(Bloomberg) -- German Chancellor Olaf Scholz pledged €4 billion ($4.4 billion) for the Africa-EU Green Energy Initiative through 2030 and said Europe’s biggest economy will import “a large proportion” of its green hydrogen needs from the continent.

“This is not about development aid according to the outdated patterns of donors and recipients,” Scholz said Monday in a speech marking the opening of a Group of 20 investment summit in Berlin.

“This is about investments that pay off for both sides,” Scholz told delegates. “For example, on the road to climate neutrality in 2045, we in Germany will need large quantities of green hydrogen and will import a large proportion of it from Africa.”

Scholz urged African leaders attending the conference to speed up efforts to forge an African Continental Free Trade Area, which he said could create one of the world’s largest free-trade zones.

Such a move would “enormously increase the market potential for investors,” Scholz said. “We want to continue to closely support this forward-looking project, which is why we are backing the negotiations and implementation of the agreement as the largest donor.”

--With assistance from Antony Sguazzin.

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