Paper: “A Marshall Plan with Africa” within Humanitarian-Development Nexus

Paper details

Paper authors Tolga Tören
In panel on Humanitarianism and Inequality
Paper presenter(s) will be presenting In-Person / Online


​​The year of 2014 marks a turning point for Germany’s relations with Africa. In this year, regarding the continent, the German government formulated a comprehensive approach. Thereafter, the year of 2017 was declared as ‘Africa year’ in Germany. The main theme of G-20 2017 in Hamburg under Germany’s presidency was Africa. In the same year, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) launched a new Africa program: “A Marshall Plan with Africa” (MPwA), which has not only focused on trade, employment, peace, security, democracy and rule of law but also claimed a ‘paradigm shift' in ‘development cooperation’, distancing itself from the colonial era.

A recent tendency in Germany is to link the notions of ‘humanitarian assistance’ and ‘development’ through varying concepts including ‘humanitarian-development-peace nexus’. In this respect, some actors recommend to link “MPwA” with the European Union’s humanitarian program and some others compare “MPwA” with the European Recovery Program (the Marshall Plan) of the cold war period, pointing out so called ‘humanitarian mission’ of the former as a model for the latter (MPwA). The alleged ‘humanitarian mission’ of the former and the latter is the key problematic of the paper.

From this, the paper aims to discuss the MPwA together with the notions of humanitarian assistance, development cooperation and their varying combinations, and through the lenses of global political economy.