Africa is currently featuring strongly in the German and European public debate. The political interest in the continent is mainly driven by the fear that population growth and global warming will lead to enormous migration pressure from Africa as they lead to a severe lack of productive employment opportunities for the youth. The countermeasures that are currently discussed and partly already implemented in Europe range from more restrictive immigration policies to a scaling-up of foreign aid as a means to tackle the root causes of migration. At the same time, there are increasingly more optimistic voices. They point to the high African growth rates in the 2000s and regard them as a sign of a large economic potential in terms of rising trade and investment opportunities. In contrast to what the often very clear assertions in the public debate suggest, there are still many open research questions regarding Africa’s international economic relations, for example when it comes to assessing the potential impact of the African continental free trade agreement (AfCFTA).
The Kiel Institute Africa Initiative is meant to help overcome this discrepancy. For this purpose, we maintain a network of experts mainly from economics, who exchange research findings, work on joint research projects, and engage in a dialogue with policymakers and the general public. The project focusses on Africa-Europe relations.
The activities of the Kiel Institute Africa Initiative include two large research projects:
China in Africa: Exploring the Consequences for Economic and Social Development (CIA)
This research project aims to shed new light on the economic and social effects of China’s engagement in Africa along all key dimensions - trade, investment, aid, debt, and migration - and also to get a better understanding of how China’s presence is perceived by African citizens.
This cluster features economics research on Africa related to topics of high policy relevance. The focus is on (i) the potential of African markets for local and German enterprises; (ii) trade and investment policy; and (iii) macroeconomic development, stability and public finances.
Furthermore, the Kiel Institute Africa Initiative is involved in a consultancy project at the University of Rwanda. The purpose of this project is to develop a Master program in applied quantitative economics and to develop local research capacities.
The Africa Monitor is a joint effort of the research center for Business Cylces and Growth and the Kiel Institute's Africa Initiative, to build an interactive platform that tracks leading economic indicators for 55 African economies, and to provides economic analysis as well as analytical tools to monitor economic developments in Africa. The monitor consists of several building blocks accessible through the website.