Germany signed a $5 billion renewable energy and gas deal with Nigeria and pledged to invest €4 billion ($4.3 billion) in green energy projects in Africa by 2030 at the G20 Compact with Africa (CwA) Conference in Berlin this week.

The conference, chaired by German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and attended by some 18 African leaders, aimed to attract greater private investment in Africa and foster political dialogue between the G20 and African countries.

At a time when China and Russia seek to secure geopolitical influence in Africa and access to the continent's critical natural resources, it was an opportunity for Germany and other European countries to expand their influence in the region. European leaders such as President Macron of France and European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen also attended.

The CwA was established during the German G20 presidency in 2017, with the aim of attracting greater private investment in African member states through substantial improvements to their macroeconomic, business and financial frameworks. Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Morocco, Rwanda, Senegal, Togo and Tunisia are currently members. Other G20 partner countries, such as Nigeria, also attended the conference.

Michael Staak, chair of political science at Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg and an expert on German foreign policy in Africa, told African Business that the CwA was designed "with Germany wanting to present itself as a reliable and attractive partner for African countries" and bring African countries closer to the West.

However, during the summit, the president of the Comoros and president of the African Union, Azali Assoumani, explicitly defended China's influence in Africa, saying "there is no monopoly... everyone has a place."

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