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ONE: Will the G20 show real leadership in partnering with Africa and reject isolationism?

The G20 will not find long-term solutions for migration, terrorism, and climate without a true partnership with Africa and its youth.

July 6th 2017.  The G20 claims to carry the mantle of responsibility for the global economy, and now has to prove that it can fulfill that responsibility despite President Trump’s distracting tactics.   The American president’s behavior does not excuse the rest of the G20 from leading. More than ever, after the time-wasting G7 in Italy, the G20 Summit in Hamburg must deliver to make globalisation fairer for all by: partnering with Africa to eradicate extreme poverty in the fastest-growing region in the world; leading on global efforts to ensure that women and girls are no longer disadvantaged; and by standing with the poorest fighting back against climate change.

The Hamburg Summit is the moment of truth: Can the G20 still find global solutions or will it be deafened by populist roaring?  The G20 can’t solve today’s biggest challenges — including migration, terrorism, and climate — without a visionary partnership with Africa.  Africa’s population will double to 2.5bn people by 2050. Whether this population growth will yield benefit or burden to the continent and the global economy depends on African leadership, but a G20 partnership is also essential.  Chancellor Merkel did put a “Partnership with Africa” on the agenda, now the G20 need to translate it into meaningful action. Specifically, ONE is calling on the G20 to lead by practically supporting efforts to expand  education, employment and empowerment.

ONE Co-founder, Jamie Drummond, says:

Angela Merkel and the rest of G20 club will have to show in Hamburg that it still matters and can  position the global economic for the future. Striking an alliance with Africa is key to that: in less than 50 years’ time, Africa will be home to more youth than in all the G20 countries taken together.

The German government has rightly put a new Partnership with Africa on the G20’s agenda – but now the G20 must deliver across youth employment, education and empowerment, in line with its commitment to the Agenda 2030. The G20 will also have to show that the Partnership with Africa is more than a one-off show for a few selected African partner countries.

Employment: While the G20’s key initiative, the private sector “Compacts with Africa” is a good start, the Compacts must be extended and explicitly designed to include fragile states and least developed countries, where most of the extreme poor in the world live and which are among the countries with the fastest growing population.

Education: The new partnership must also go beyond private sector investments and include public investments, including ODA commitments. This is especially true for education. Right now 51 million girls in Africa and 130 million globally are out of school.  To remedy this, the G20 should agree to support the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait. But even if these are fully funded, there will still be a 9bn Euro gap for education. Therefore, the G20 should agree to support the UN Secretary General’s proposal of new innovative financing facility for education.

Empowerment: The G20 must also agree to empower citizens to “follow the money” in the fight against corruption. A key measure before them is the proposed public register for the beneficial owners of companies and trusts.  These opaque companies and trusts are currently the “getaway cars of the corrupt.” It is hypocritical to ask African governments for better governance, more transparency and adherence to the rule of law while blocking greater transparency within the G20 and globally.

Notes to the editors:

  • ONE will be on the ground during the G20 Summit in Hamburg. ONE Germany Director Stephan Exo-Kreischer and ONE International Director for G7 and G20 Friederike Röder are available for briefings and interviews in German, English and French. Contact, information & interviews – XX
  • ONE explicitly calls on the G20 to deliver on the following:
    • Education: We’re facing a funding gap of 10bn USD/ 9bn € for global education. The G20 can help close it if they agree on paving the way to an innovative financing mechanism for education and fully fund existing institutions such as the Global Partnership for Education and Education Cannot Wait.
    • Employment Compacts with Africa: The G20 have to come up with a concrete 3-year-plan for the Compacts with Africa by the end of 2017 that works for the poorest and most vulnerable populations and has the right scale of ambition. In addition, they should include more fragile states and least developed countries in the program.
    • Empowerment and Transparency: The G20 should agree on a public register for beneficial owners of companies and trusts to fight corruption and money laundering. 89 billion dollars is siphoned out of Africa every year due to money-laundering, shady deals and illegal tax evasion. While African governments need to step up the fight against illicit financial flows, the G20 have a special responsibility as most of the shadow companies and trusts used for money laundering are located in G20 countries.
    • ONE has also put forward proposals on two other items on the G20 agenda and essential for empowerment: the Women Entrepreneurship Facility and Global Health, especially pandemic preparedness and health system strengthening.
  • ‘The African Century’ report: ONE has published a report on the 8th of June that shows that in less than 50 years, Africa’s youth will outnumber the G20’s youth population and will bring with it huge opportunities – and requires a strong partnership between Africa and G20 to seize this moment. Through renewed action by African and G20 leaders investing into employment, education and empowerment, sufficient jobs and chances for prosperity for this youth generation can be created and lead to an increase of $500bn for the African GDP for 30 years, which will also drive global growth. Read the report