‘A Marshall Plan for Africa’ won’t help Africans; free trade will

[...] The European Parliament has no competence, nor responsibility, outside its own jurisdiction. But that does not mean it can do nothing to improve Africa’s economic condition. More exactly, some European policies are putting obstacles in the way of Third World merchants. The infamous Common Agricultural Policy makes it more difficult for underdeveloped nations to export their products to the EU. CAP exerts a particularly high economic prejudice against non-European farmers. These protectionist policies haven't caused farming to become an economic powerhouse for the EU-28. Despite its annual budget of €59 billion (which finances income support for farmers and rural development programs, which less developed countries cannot afford), agriculture made up less than two percent of the EU’s GDP.

There is a model for the kind of transition the EU would need to implement if Africa is to have freer access to European markets. New Zealand, whose rural sector was similar to that of Europe three decades ago, endured a process of economic liberalization. There were widespread worries about failing farms, but in the end only about 800 farms were forcibly sold. Farmers who hoped to compete began to operate in a more efficient and innovative way based on market conditions. Today, agriculture still makes up seven-to-10 percent of New Zealand’s GDP. [...]