Building on 60 years of diplomatic relations, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz made a strategic visit to Kenya and Ethiopia to reiterate the importance of cooperation and mutual progress.
Increasing Strategic Partnerships on a Global Stage
Germany is keen to build stronger partnerships on an equal footing with the countries of the Global South. Emphasizing the multipolarity of today’s world, Chancellor Scholz used his second trip to Africa to highlight Germany’s aim to expand its circle of friends and partners. China and Russia have been increasing their influence on the continent, prompting western countries, including Germany, to step up their game.
As a clear indication of Germany’s commitment, Scholz expressed his support for the African Union’s (AU) inclusion in the G20. The AU, representing the interests of around 1.4 billion people, has been lobbying for greater international representation for decades. The inclusion of AU in the G20, Scholz believes, would be a significant stride forward in bringing about justice to the African continent’s role in global decision-making.
“We want to support the African Union getting a seat in the G20, so that it can participate and have a say in decision-making. Africa must play a bigger role in international relations, a role that does justice to the continent and its growing population”, Scholz said during a joint press conference.
Solidifying Relations through Energy and Migration Policies
Scholz’s visit to Olkaria, Africa’s largest geothermal power plant, located 120 kilometers north-west of Nairobi, symbolizes Germany’s commitment to Kenya’s energy sector. This power plant accounts for 50% of Kenya’s electricity requirements, with Germany aiding its development for two decades.
Impressed by Kenya’s ambitious goal of achieving 100% renewable electricity production by 2030, Scholz voiced Germany’s readiness to assist in this endeavor. He stated, “Germany is ready to support Kenya in that effort and intends to strengthen its energy and climate partnership with the East African country.” He called Kenya an “inspiring climate champion.”
In addition, Scholz emphasized the potential benefits of strengthening regular labor migration while reducing irregular migration. He noted that Germany, facing a significant shortage of skilled labor, could find a valuable partner in Kenya, a country renowned for its skilled workers in the IT and digital sector. Kenya’s vibrant start-up scene, dubbed the “Silicon Savannah,” has positioned it as an attractive source of skilled labor migration for many parts of Germany’s economy.
Addressing Regional Stability and Conflict
Scholz used his visit to also meet with Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Tigray’s President Reda Getachew. Although no press conference followed, the German government issued a statement supporting Ethiopia’s transitional justice efforts in the wake of the Tigray conflict.
Further, the Chancellor underlined Germany’s backing for a peaceful resolution of the ongoing crisis in Sudan and appreciated Kenya’s role as an anchor of stability in the region. “Kenya is an established democracy and as such the country is a stabilizing player in a very troubled region. We really appreciate the mediation efforts Kenya has put in place over the past few years,” Scholz said.
By solidifying its relations with Africa, Germany is setting a significant strategic precedent, emphasizing mutual respect, cooperation, and shared progress. Scholz’s tour, therefore, represents a step forward for both Germany and its African partners, highlighting a promising future for their strengthened alliances.
Are you an entrepreneur, a start-up or a SME with the goal to start up between or in Africa and Germany? Then our team will happily assist you on the legal side! We are specialized both in supporting multicultural businesses in Germany, in supporting African businesses in Germany and in supporting businesses across various African jurisdictions. While our support starts with providing help on immigration and relocation matters, it does not stop there – taxes, tech, intellectual property…You heard us! Contact us today to find out more!