International Cooperation with Africa

Dynamic megatrends such as digitalisation, urbanisation, demographic change, climate change and growing inequalities will shape the lives of people on the African continent in the near future. Additionally, the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic pose massive challenges for health and social systems, the economy, politics and society in Africa. These transnational challenges can only be addressed through global cooperation. The growing interest of China, India, Arab actors, Russia and others is changing the international environment for German and European cooperation with Africa. The German Institute of Development and Sustainability (IDOS) examines how cooperation with Africa should be shaped in this context in order to promote a transformation towards sustainability and global common good-oriented policies.


The transformation towards sustainability will only succeed if the context conditions in society are conducive. Consequently, IDOS is researching the causes and patterns of social cohesion and polarization in Africa. At the same time, IDOS intends to develop scenarios for a socially and environmentally responsible transformation in the African economy. Research focuses on constellations of actors and cooperation approaches in a range of policy areas (e.g. economic, security and climate policy) as binding elements of societal, economic and environmental transformation.


Joint production of research and knowledge with African partners are central elements of research, policy advice and training conducted at IDOS. The research institution closely cooperates with the T20 Africa Standing Group, among others.


Together with African and international partners, Africa-related research at IDOS includes work on the following questions:


  • What are the short- and medium-term consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic for the African economy, society and politics?
  • What factors influence social cohesion in Africa and how do different social cohesion profiles affect sustainable development in Africa?
  • How do African autocracies and democracies contribute to promoting inclusive growth?
  • What role do international actors such as China, India, Russia or the USA play in Africa? Does their presence have implications for policies promoted by Germany or the EU?
  • How can agricultural policies be reformed to enhance efficiency and reduce poverty against the backdrop of numerous challenges such as climate change and population growth?
  • How can the process of adaptation to climate change in African states and societies be designed and supported?
  • How are international migration norms translated into African migration policy and which factors influence African migration?
  • Are German and European development policies in Africa effective?
  • What international strategies for addressing the problem of state fragility in Africa and the Sahel have proven successful?
  • How are African financial systems developing?





AU EU Summit 2021