Germany wants a “Marshall plan” to keep African migrants at home

Seeking a better life.
Seeking a better life.
Image: Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi
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Germany is prepared to invest millions of euros into African countries in hopes of persuading migrants to stay home. The country’s development ministry will release details of a “Marshall Plan with Africa” in the coming weeks—a reference the monumental US aid and investment program in Europe after World War II.

“We have to invest in these countries and give people perspectives for the future,” development minister Gerd Mueller told reporters this week. ”If the youth of Africa can’t find work or a future in their own countries, it won’t be hundreds of thousands, but millions that make their way to Europe.”

Germany received a million migrants last year—five times more than the year before, as part of the country’s open door policy for refugees. It has been searching for ways to fix what chancellor Angela Merkel has admitted have been mistakes in its approach.

Germany’s interior ministry had previously proposed intercepting migrants in the Mediterranean, before they reach Germany, and sending them to north African states where they can apply for asylum.

The German Marshall-style plan, in contrast, would focus on keeping them home, with programs focused on youth, education, and bolstering economies and rule of law. The country has also promised a 61 million euro ($67 million) increase in funding for UN operations in Africa.