President William Ruto (left) and Chancellor Olaf Scholz during the kenyan leader's vist to Berlin in March/Photo: Kenyan Presidency

German chancellor embarks on second visit to Africa

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz will visit Africa for the second time since he assumed office.

In May last year, he visited Senegal, Niger and South Africa in a three-day tour. This time, the German leader will travel with a trade delegation to Ethiopia and Kenya from 4 to 6 May 2023.

In Addis Ababa, Chancellor Scholz will meet with the Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Moussa Faki Mahamat, and exchange views on the role of the African Union in peacekeeping as well as co-operation in the areas of trade, food security and the fight against climate change, according to a press statement of the German government.

Furthermore, Chancellor Scholz will also meet Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Head of the Interim Administration of Tigray Province, Gatchew Reda, and the Ethiopian President, Sahle Work.
The meetings will focus on the continuation of the peace process as well as regional and international security issues, in particular the situation in Sudan.

On Friday, 5 May, Chancellor Scholz will travel on to Kenya to meet President William Ruto. Germany and Kenya cooperate closely in the areas of economy and green energy production. In addition, Kenya is also an important partner in global and security issues.

Other items on the programme in Kenya will include Chancellor Scholz’s meeting with representatives from politics, business, civil society and culture. He is also scheduled to visit the Humanitarian Peace Support School, as well as a geothermal plant at Lake Naivasha, which is the largest geothermal plant in Africa.

“For us, the main focus is on strengthening sustainable economic partnerships and visible political support for the German economy and its projects in Kenya,” said Sabine Dall’Omo, newly-elected Chairperson of the Africa Association of German Business (Afrika-Verein), who will accompany the Chancellor on the trip. “During the visit to Ethiopia, we hope for further support from the German government in the peace process and the major pan-African economic projects – especially the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area,” she added.

“The German government should also be interested in including Kenya in the Compact with Africa initiative and thus draw even more attention to Kenya as a business location for German companies. The trip should also be an occasion to improve the conditions of the federal guarantees for investments and trade by German companies dealing with Kenya as their destination because Kenya can become an important destination for diversification towards Africa,” Ms Dall’Omo explained.

President Ruto visited Berlin in March and he met Chancellor Scholz and addressed a meeting of German business people, among other activities. Throughout his visit, Ruto said Kenya was open to foreign investment and would support international companies to do business in the country.

“We are ready to partner with businesses, especially in the areas of renewable energy, infrastructure, digital economy, housing, and agriculture, among others,” President Ruto told the Germany-Kenya Business Forum in Berlin during his visit.

According to Afrika-Verein, German companies are increasingly investing in Kenya due to the positive economic and political climate and they also see the country as a gateway to the East and Central African markets.

In the assessment of the trade association, a decisive factor in favour of Kenya as a choice of location for investment is that the country is one of the most stable democracies in the region and it has one of the most dynamic economies in Africa.

“For German companies, Kenya remains among the top 5 export markets in sub-Saharan Africa with 260 million euros in 2022,” says Ms Dall’Omo.

Sola Jolaoso

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