With the European Green Deal, the EU Commission presented a new green growth strategy in December 2019, which is to define the framework for EU policy in the next five years. Social and ecological sustainability aspects are also to play a more prominent role in European trade and agricultural policy. However, the Green Deal poses challenges for African-European trade relations in particular: Many African countries fear that the Green Deal will create additional barriers to trade and market access, for example by increasing environmental requirements in the production process or introducing new documentation and certification obligations and standards.
European subsidies, which are supposed to promote the Green Deal and the transformation of the agricultural sector in the EU, among other things, could also endanger the competitiveness of African agricultural exports. Both would have enormous consequences for Africa‘s economy – after all, around 60% of African exports to the EU are primary goods, agriculture accounts for 13% of Africa‘s total value added; 50% of all Africans are employed in agriculture.
What challenges does the European Green Deal pose for African-European relations, especially in the agricultural sector? How can it be prevented that African companies are additionally burdened by the requirements of the Green Deal and that exports continue to decline while other export destinations become more attractive for Africa? Or, given Africa‘s enormous potential in the field of agriculture or renewable energies, can the Green Deal even become a success story in European-African relations?
These and other questions were at the centre of the online discussion to which the German Africa Foundation and the German-Africa Business Association cordially invited.
Welcome Remarks: Christoph Kannengießer, CEO, German-African Business Association
Input: Prof Dr Christine Wieck, Head of the Institute for Agricultural Policy and Agricultural Market Theory, University of Hohenheim
Keynote: Marlene Mortler MEP, Member of the Committee on Agriculture and Rural Development & Deputy Member of the Committee on Development
Discussion: Martha Byanyima, Chief of Party, USDA-TRASE Project in East Africa, Land O‘Lakes Venture37
Closing Remarks: David Schwake, Secretary General, German Africa Foundation
Moderation: Larissa Pflüger, Scientific Advisor, German Africa Foundation