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Merkel reaches out to African nations

N. F. Kenure

The German Chancellor, Angela Merkel has just concluded a tour of the West African countries of Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria accompanied by a German business delegation to meet with their African counterparts.

Merkel arrived in Senegal on Wednesday 29 August, at the start of a West African tour, with Berlin hoping that development of the continent will help stem migration and boost the fight against jihadism. 

During her meeting with the Senegalese President, she said, "We must fight illegality but also create legality and conditions for work here on the ground". According to Merkel, Germany wants to help with building a bright future for Africa.

Meanwhile, other German delegations met with their African counterparts across the continent. German Development Minister, Gerd Müller visited Eritrea, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Chad while the German Minister of State, Michelle Müntefering visited the Foreign Office in Namibia. It appears that Africa has become increasingly important to German politics.

In Ghana, Vice President, Dr. Mahumud Bawumia  received Chancellor Merkel on Thursday and took part in business  discussions between the German business delegation and Ghanaian business representatives at the Kempinski Hotel in Accra. Three MoUs were signed with the German companies Voith, Bosch and Volkswagen for further investments in Ghana. Merkel also visited the start-up incubator, Impact Hub, located in Osu where a number of start-ups supported and sponsored by GIZ Ghana showcased their projects.

On Friday, Merkel arrived in Nigeria and was received by President Muhammadu Buhari at the State House, Abuja. During her meeting with the Nigerian President, she said, "We are operating in a great number of areas with the Nigerian side especially with the field of energy. Germany is more than happy and even more than ready to work with Nigeria in this regard". The Germans had additional discussions with a team of Nigerian business actors led by the Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Dr Okechukwu Enelamah. The meeting culimnated in the signing of MoUs on commerce, agriculture and the automobile industry.

Prior to her talks with Buhari, Merkel met with Jean-Claude Brou, the president of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which is headquartered in Nigeria.

The visits by the German delegation to the West African countries come only days after the Theresa May's "Three Nation" tour of Africa.


Sep 2, 2018