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The idea of a Marshall Plan for African countries has been periodically raised by many in the development community over the past fifty years. In 2017, German Chancellor Angela Merkel unveiled the framework for a “Marshall Plan with Africa” that would spur German investment flows to the continent and increase German aid to African nations by 20 percent. The announcement was greeted with some skepticism by African leaders, who felt that this Marshall Plan was less a recognition of the interdependency of the European and African nations, and more of an effort to reduce unwanted migration. But journalists and commentators have continued to invoke the need for an African Marshall Plan. As African states face the coronavirus pandemic and the first pan-African recession in twenty-five years, it may finally be time to take their arguments more seriously.
Dr. Dambisa Moyo, global economist and author, has championed such a view, writing for The Economist in support of a “short, sharp and finite assistance to save lives and rebuild the economy.” Others, including former US Congressman Dr. David Brat note that the plan could double as a strategic imperative for the West. In this vein, Africa Center Senior Fellow Ms. Aubrey Hruby argued in The Hill that the Marshall Plan had a specific structure that was key to its success and that the term should not be used casually. She notes that any big injection of aid needs to be coupled with increased US investment and a shoring up of democracy and security, with lessons for countries like Ethiopia.


Dr. Dambisa Moyo
Global Economist and Author

Dr. David Brat
Former US Congressman (R-VA); Dean
Liberty University School of Business

Ms. Aubrey Hruby
Senior Fellow, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

In conversation with

Mr. Gabriel Negatu
Former East Africa Director General, African Development Bank;
Senior Fellow, Africa Center

Atlantic Council

With remarks from

Ms. Bronwyn Bruton
Director of Programs and Studies, Africa Center
Atlantic Council

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