Germany pushes plan to boost private investment in Africa

Features Reuters

  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble smiles after G-20 family photo during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble smiles after G-20 family photo during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (Copyright Reuters 2017)

  • German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble smiles after G-20 family photo during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas

    German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble smiles after G-20 family photo during the IMF/World Bank spring meetings in Washington, U.S., April 21, 2017. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (Copyright Reuters 2017)

  • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) chats with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as they take their seats for a "family" photo for the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), as part of the IMF and World Bank's 2017 Annual Spring Meetings, in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2017.   REUTERS/Mike Theiler

    IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde (L) chats with German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schauble as they take their seats for a "family" photo for the International Monetary and Financial Committee (IMFC), as part of the IMF and World Bank's 2017 ... Annual Spring Meetings, in Washington, U.S., April 22, 2017. REUTERS/Mike Theiler (Copyright Reuters 2017)

Narrowing the gap between rich and poor is key to avoiding a destructive rise in populism, German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said on Saturday as he laid out a plan to boost private investment in Africa.

Continue Reading Below

"If we do nothing to change this, we can expect a rise in populist parties and demagogues, and a rise in instability around the world, with all its negative effects for sustainable growth", he said in a speech in Washington.

"We are seeing it already in some parts of the world," he said during the Global Infrastructure Forum at the Inter-American Development Bank. Schaeuble is among the officials attending the IMF and World Bank spring meetings this week.

He said Germany, which holds the presidency of the G20 group of nations, is pushing a plan to have African nations partner with certain G20 countries and international lenders, such as the World Bank, to attract outside investors to the continent.

The first stage of the proposal, dubbed "Compact with Africa," would focus on Rwanda, Senegal, Tunisia, Morocco and Ivory Coast.

"If we want to ensure long-term stability and security, we have to continue to reduce the gap in wealth between the rich countries and the poor countries of this world, especially on the African continent", Schaeuble said.

Continue Reading Below

(Reporting by Gernot Heller; Editing by Paul Simao)