Chancellor Olaf Scholz is visiting three African countries in just as many days. In Senegal, Niger and South Africa, improving the economic relations is his main goal. But the three global crises, Corona, Russia’s war against Ukraine and global warming, are on the agenda as well.
Berlin, May 23rd, 2022 (The Berlin Spectator) — Energy, investments and trade are three of the subjects Olaf Scholz already discussed in Senegal, with President Macky Sall. In Niger and South Africa, they will come up as well. The same applies to foreign and security policy matters, meaning the three crises the world is trying to get through. It is Scholz’ first trip to Africa as Chancellor.
Reality of Life
On Sunday, the Chancellor was welcomed by President Sall in Dakar. “The COVID-19 pandemic, the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine and the climate crisis with its disastrous consequences for the African states, impact our reality of life”, Scholz said in Dakar. “They are jeopardizing the social and economic achievements the global south has worked hard for.” Swift action was required. The task was to make sure that international rules continued to apply in this world.
Scholz met both German and Senegalese business representatives and inaugurated a solar plant with President Sall. According to the federal government in Berlin, Germany supported the project in Diass which will deliver sustainable electricity and is supposed to stabilize the energy supply in the entire region. Yet another subject Scholz and Sall discussed was the exploitation of a gas field off the Senegalese coast.
On Sunday afternoon, Olaf Scholz flew to Niger. Today, he was going to talk to German soldiers at Tillia Airbase. They are part of the Gazelle mission that provides training to Malian soldiers. The project is supposed “to enable the Sahel states to assume responsibility for their own security again”, according to Minister of State for Europe Michael Roth.
With Niger’s President Mohamed Bazoum, Scholz was going to talk about many of the subjects that came up in Dakar as well. In addition, an improvement of the security situation and the nutrition crisis in the region is supposed to be discussed this afternoon.
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On Tuesday, Chancellor Scholz is scheduled to be welcomed by South Africa’s President Cyrill Ramaphosa in Johannesburg. The two heads of government were going to discuss the bilateral cooperation in several areas, including the economy, energy, trade and science. Scholz is also going to visit South Africa’s Constitutional Court and Constitution Hill Museum. According to its website, it “tells the story of South Africa’s transition from colonialism and apartheid to democracy, with all the pain, pathos and catharsis that such a journey entails”. Before he travels back to Berlin, Scholz will be visiting Sasol, a big company that is part of the oil and chemistry industry, as well as the German Chamber of Foreign Trade.
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