EU wants to force digitalisation in Africa

The EU-Africa Forum on the subject of digitalisation begins this Monday in Vienna. Leaders from African and EU states will come together with around 800 companies there to inject fresh impetus into the economic ties between the two continents. But not all observers are convinced that investing in Africa makes sense.

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Corriere della Sera (IT) /

Development aid trickles away

Columnist Angelo Panebianco can see no real point to a Marshall Plan for Africa, as he writes in Corriere della Sera:

“Europe is not post-war America and Africa is not the Europe of back then. The so-called Marshall Plan would only fill the pockets of local rulers and warlords. 'Development aid', no matter how you define or dress it up, doesn't create development. This depends on the existence of solid local institutions that are capable of creating order. ... The problem, however, is that no one knows how to build up solid institutions where they don't exist.”

Kurier (AT) /

Invest and create jobs in Africa

Europe must stop seeing Africa merely as its raw materials warehouse, warns Kurier:

“This approach is one of the main reasons why the continent can't develop. And why more and more young people are making their way to Europe due to the lack of prospects there. There are currently 1.2 billion Africans, and in 2050 there will be well over 2 billion. So migration will remain the defining issue of the coming years. But precisely this offers an opportunity (not least out of self-interest) to finally start treating each other as partners. ... If we want to prevent millions from setting off for Europe this can only be achieved by making sensible investments and creating jobs in Africa. And this could also offer the opportunity for good business too since Africa has huge development potential and is a vast export market.”