STORY: This weekend German Chancellor Olaf Scholz makes his third trip to sub-Saharan Africa in two years.
So what’s it about?
Well, the backdrop is conflict in other parts of the world… and their impact on Germany’s energy supplies.
After Russia invaded Ukraine in February 2022, Germany turned to Qatar for liquified gas.
But an eruption of violence focused on the Gaza Strip raises fears of disruption in the Middle East.
A legislator for Germany’s Greens, Anton Hofreiter, said the impetus for the trip comes from Berlin’s realization that it needs Africa more than previously thought.
As such, Scholz will be stopping in major energy producer Nigeria as well as Ghana.
Oil is Nigeria’s single largest export to Germany, and officials are considering adding gas to that mix.
One barrier to that, though, is chronic underinvestment in Nigeria’s energy sector.
That’s something that a business delegation accompanying Scholz may be able to address.
Nigeria and Ghana might also be seen as potential sources of labor as Germany’s population is increasingly aged out of the workforce.
Christoph Kannengiesser is managing director of the German-African Business Association.
“I personally think that, especially when it comes to immigration from African countries, we are paying more attention to the opportunities that lie here.”
Some in Berlin would also like Germany to play a constructive role in West Africa, a region that has been marked by political instability.
It does not have the same political baggage in West Africa as former colonial power France.
Last year Germany returned several Benin Bronzes to Nigeria.
That gesture was seen as an attempt to win favor on a continent where anger at European colonial crimes still smolders.
Source : Yahoo