Policy Updates

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BMZ highlights potential of African free trade zone

May 29, 2024 | Germany, Nutrition, Agriculture, Agricultural R&D, International development | Share this update

On May 29, 2024, German Development Minister Svenja Schulze delivered a speech at Africa Day, hosted by the African Diplomatic Corps and the German Africa Foundation in Berlin, where she lauded the African Continental Free Trade Area's potential to boost intra-African trade and development and emphasized the importance of partnerships based on respect and mutual benefit.

Schulze praised the AfCFTA for its potential to significantly enhance intra-African trade, reduce tariffs, lower transport costs, and simplify visa processes, thereby creating one of the world's largest markets. She highlighted that the AfCFTA could double intra-African trade by 2035, creating employment and lifting millions out of poverty.

Schulze emphasized the importance of integrating women and youth into trade and the economy, addressing structural barriers that hinder their participation. She outlined Germany’s support for the AfCFTA, including financing cross-border trade and training border officials. Schulze also underscored the need for a continental EU-Africa trade agreement and recognized the AfCFTA as an African initiative fostering independence and economic integration.

Schulze further called for a partnership based on respect and equality, acknowledging the colonial past and its lingering effects. She stressed the necessity of including Africa in global decision-making, supporting its representation in international forums such as the G20 and the UN Security Council.

Schulze concluded by reaffirming Germany's commitment to strengthening the African Union and advancing its Agenda 2063 for sustainable development.

Speech - BMZ (in German)

G7 finance ministers call on donors to coordinate efforts, increase investments

May 25, 2024 | UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Italy, Germany, EUI, Global Health, Climate, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On May 23-25, 2024, the G7 Ministers of Finance met at a summit in Stresa, Italy, where the ministers voiced support for contributions to the IDA, WHO, Gavi, and the Global Fund in the resulting communiqué.

The G7 ministers supported efforts towards a successful 21st replenishment of the IDA by the end of 2024 through an ambitious policy and financing package. Notably, they did not give a concrete signal that the critical US$100 billion threshold requested by the World Bank will be crossed, nor any indication of the US$120 billion expected by African leaders.

The ministers reaffirmed their dedication to strengthening the governance and finance of the global health architecture and voiced support for refinancing processes of several GHIs, such as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance, the WHO, and the Global Fund, and expressed support for the Pandemic Fund. The communiqué called on the donor community to coordinate efforts and increase investments in global health in line with their capacities to ensure sustainable funding and maximize the impact of available resources.

Following the summit, the C7 pointed out the G7's lack of ambition and financial commitment to international development, including climate adaptation. International civil society organizations criticized the lack of any reference to allocating SDRs to global solidarity.

G7 Ministers of FinanceC7 statement

C7 releases international civil society communiqué around seven key issues

May 15, 2024 | Italy, Germany, EUI, Japan, Canada, US, France, UK, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality, Nutritious Food Systems, Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health, Family Planning, WASH & Sanitation, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

On May 14-15, 2024, the C7 summit was held at the UN FAO headquarters in Rome, Italy, organized by the Italian Civil Society Coalition that led, coordinated, and moderated the C7 2024 process.

Approximately 400 global representatives took part in the event, as well as international decision-makers, including FAO Director-General Qu Dongyu, Italian G7 sherpa Ambassador Elisabetta Belloni, Cardinal, President of the Italian Episcopal Conference, Pope’s envoy for the Russian-Ukrainian conflict Matteo Maria Zuppi, and Director of the UN SDG Action Campaign Marina Ponti.

The official C7 communiqué that listed the international civil society recommendation to the G7’s Leaders around seven key issues was released at the event, which included:

  • Economic justice and transformation;
  • Climate, energy transformation, and environmental justice;
  • Global health;
  • Principled humanitarian assistance;
  • Peace, common security, and nuclear disarmament;
  • Human mobility and migration; and
  • Food justice and food systems transformation.
C7 communiqué

US joins others to support African-led agricultural growth

May 10, 2024 | Ireland, Canada, US, Netherlands, Germany, UK, France, EUI, Agriculture | Share this update

On May 10, 2024, USAID joined the AU Commissioner and 14 other partners in a statement of support for the African Fertilizer and Soil Health Action Plan at an AU-led soil health summit.

The US also announced US$40 million for the Space in Place approach, which is meant to support farmers with geospatial data and knowledge to ensure the best use of fertilizer for more nutritious foods.

Others joining the statement included the ADB, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, France, the World Bank, France, Canada, the EU, Germany, the Netherlands, the Rockefeller Foundation, Germany, and the UK. Commitments included improved investment policies, more access to fertilizers, enhancing soil inputs and interventions, and building capacity for soil health and fertilizer management.

Press release - USAID

Civil 7 asks G7 to take concrete action for more peaceful future

April 14, 2024 | Italy, UK, France, Canada, Japan, US, Germany, EUI, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems | Share this update

On April 14, 2024, the C7 published a statement ahead of the G7 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in Capri from April 17-19, 2024, where the group called on the foreign ministers to take concrete action to promote human rights as well as the common interests of humanity and the planet.

The C7 advocated that the G7 ministers reaffirm their commitment to developing long-term peace-building strategies that address persistent structural challenges at the basis of conflicts, ensure food security even in fragile settings, and address a profound transformation of food systems. The group also called upon their governmental counterparts to ensure safe and regular migration channels and commit to protecting migrant rights.

C7 Statement to the G7 Foreign Ministers

Munich Security Conference highlights international conflicts, nutritious food systems, SDG financing

February 16, 2024 | Germany, Nutrition, Agriculture, Nutritious Food Systems, Climate, Global Health | Share this update

From February 16-18, 2024, the Munich Security Conference hosted global leaders to discuss pressing issues such as the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, alongside calls for increased global financial allocation for sustainable developing

The agenda and many side events were dominated by discussions surrounding the Russian invasion of Ukraine and the Israeli–Palestinian conflict.

Several statements from high-level individuals focused on the insufficiencies of the current global financial architecture. Among them was UN Secretary General António Guterres, who requested an additional allocation of US$500 billion annually to provide accessible, long-term financing for low- and middle-income nations to invest in achieving the SDGs.

Some CSOs took the opportunity to advocate for the 0.7% financing goal for ODA during the conference, which highlighted uncertainty following Germany's budget crisis, which began in late 2023. The One Campaign issued a statement advocating for the 0.7% target, signed by various influential figures of German politics, including former German President Horst Köhler, former Minister of Development Gerd Müller, and Chair of the Munich Security Conference Christoph Heusgen.

Sustainable food systems was another prominent topic at the conference. The WFP presented its new global Innovation Accelerator office during one of the side events of the conference. The Accelerator is slated to utilize innovation and technology to address food insecurity globally, according to the WFP.

Speech - UNPress release - WFPPress release - ONE Campaign (in German)

German development minister travels to Sahel region

August 14, 2023 | Germany, Education, Agriculture | Share this update

On August 14, 2023, German Development Minister Svenja Schulze traveled to Mauritania and Nigeria in her first visit to the region since assuming the Sahel Alliance presidency in July 2023.

Schulze will meet with high-level government representatives in Mauritania to discuss their priorities of the Mauritanian G5 Sahel Presidency and support for Sahel Alliance initiatives. Job creation for young people, social security, and food and water security are priorities of Schulze's Sahel Alliance Presidency and of German bilateral cooperation with countries in the Sahel region. Schulze highlighted that economic development and prosperity will help create societal stability and prevent the rise of terrorist groups.

In Nigeria, Schulze will meet with representatives of ECOWAS to discuss how Germany can support ECOWAS' efforts to engineer a peaceful solution to the crisis in neighboring Niger following a military coup in the week of July 24, 2023.

Press release - Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)News article - Deutsche Welle

Germany pledges U$31 million for sustainable food security

July 25, 2023 | Germany, Agriculture, Climate | Share this update

On July 25, 2023, at the UN Conference on Global Food Systems in Rome, Italy, BMZ State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth called for advancements in climate-adapted local agriculture to reduce reliance on volatile world food markets and counter Russia's use of wheat blockades as a weapon in the war against Ukraine.

Flasbarth emphasized the importance of achieving lasting structural changes. He called for the end of slow, reactionary crisis solutions and urged policymakers to reduce dependencies on global wheat and fertilizer markets and promote local, climate-adapted farming in partner countries. The conference intended to reduce the impact of future food crises by tackling intersectional issues such as hunger, inequality, climate change, and biodiversity loss.

Flasbarth announced a collaboration with the WFP on a five-year program worth EUR22 million (US$25 million) for sustainable and inclusive school feeding. The BMZ announced an additional EUR5 million (US$6 million) in 2023 to the newly established financing window for the transformation of food systems under the UN Joint SDG Fund.

The 2023 summit was billed as a "Stocktaking Moment" following the 2021 UN Food Systems Summit, which called for collective action to achieve all 17 SDGs through the transformation of food systems. The 2023 summit provided member states and stakeholders the opportunity to report on their activities and identify new solutions to further the transformation of agricultural and food systems.

Press release - Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)

German development minister takes over Presidency of the Sahel Alliance

July 10, 2023 | Germany, Spain, Education, Agriculture, Gender Equality | Share this update

On July 10, 2023, German development minister Svenja Schulze took over the Presidency of the Sahel Alliance from Spain.

Schulze outlined three priorities for her presidency:

  1. Creating paths out of the crisis by offering more education, training, and employment;
  2. Making societies more resilient through social protection and long-term solutions for food security that go beyond emergency relief; and
  3. Recovering areas that the government has lost control over and providing people with basic services.

    Schulze emphasized the empowerment of girls and women, who are often main income-earners and can significantly impact regional development.

    With over EUR28 billion (US$31 billion) in support for initiatives, the Sahel Alliance is the region's biggest alliance of international supporters.
News article - Deutsche WellePress release - BMZ

Germany joins agroecological coalition

June 28, 2023 | Germany, Agriculture | Share this update

On June 28, 2023 the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture and the BMZ announced Germany's accession to the Agroecology Coalition, a global coalition for food systems transformation through agroecology.

The Agroecology Coalition was founded to support the sector's transition to sustainable farming methods through policy, knowledge exchange, and the provision of financial resources on a global scale. Germany's accession to the Agroecology Coalition reflected the government's increasing focus on national and international issues of agroecology across different government departments and incorporate them into agricultural policy.

Press release - Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (in German)






US$ amounts are cited directly from sources; in the absence of an official conversion, they are calculated using the previous week's average of the US Federal Reserve's daily exchange rates.

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