Chancellor travels to Africa: What Scholz hopes for in Nigeria and Ghana – Politics

For many Germans, Nigeria is an exotic country where they know some things and think they know some things. The reassuring thing is: the opposite is also the same. Nigerian comedian Godwin Komone aka Gordons, for example, visited Berlin last year and report it to the newspaper Blow after that from the findings of his journey. Most importantly, he said, he learned that in Germany you can’t just show up at a stranger’s house without telling other people. Instead of inviting you in, the Germans called the police.

Komone is increasingly confused about the dinner he was invited to. Some guests appeared naked, he reported, allegedly for religious reasons. But to him it felt more like an orgy. Komone was also asked what Nigeria could learn from Germany. The answer, which from the point of view of German teachers is perhaps only partially acceptable: very good teaching staff salaries. If he could choose a passport from any country in the world, he still wouldn’t take a German passport. But the British one.

Germany has a dubious reputation in West Africa

Although the Nigerian comedian’s analysis of Germany is not very clear, there is at least one thing that should be taken seriously from Berlin’s perspective: the Federal Republic, which is in dire need of professionals with technical, medical and perhaps even comedian skills, is not yet a viable option. trained Nigerians Desired goal. They are located where English is spoken, such as in Nigeria: in the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada or Australia.

The same thing happened in Ghana, which was Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s second destination after Nigeria on his third visit to Africa. Finance Minister Christian Lindner found out about this during a visit earlier in the year. When he asked in a lecture hall in Accra which students wanted to work in Germany, only a few raised their hands. And perhaps more out of pity for the embarrassed German minister.

Germany has a somewhat dubious reputation in some parts of Africa, and not just because of the language barrier. But also because – to put it politely – this place is not considered friendly, especially towards people from Africa. A study has now even confirmed this. After arriving in Abuja on Sunday, Scholz announced that skilled workers from Nigeria would find it easier to come to Germany in the future. However, this does not answer the question of whether they also want this.

At the political level, it is clear that the federal government has a serious commitment to Africa and, especially in West Africa, is willing to break away from the policies of France, with which it is currently difficult to partner in the region. This is especially true in Nigeria. Berlin scored points with the return of Benin’s bronze medal, as well as increased travel activity of almost the entire cabinet and the Federal Chancellor’s commitment in particular to Africa’s seat in the G-20 group, which became a reality in September. . However, in Africa it is also known that the German attack entailed a war in Ukraine, including acute energy problems, as well as increasing systemic conflict with China and Russia, especially in Africa.

African countries are becoming more confident

The growing self-confidence of African countries, which has recently been encouraged by many parties, is unmistakable. If Germany wants gas from Nigeria or pushes Abuja to take back rejected asylum seekers, please follow up those beautiful words and gestures with action. This applies to visa facilitation and the fight against climate change, where Africa has only had a small impact, but has had to bear huge costs.

And that applies to the investment sector. Nigerian President Bola Tinubu strongly encouraged Scholz at the G-20 summit in India in September to take advantage of the business-friendly environment created by his government and spread the message to companies like Volkswagen. In contrast to their Chinese competitors, German companies often remain restrained in Africa – fearing the risks of ubiquitous corruption and the fragile security situation, not just in Nigeria.

The country with the largest population and largest economy in Africa is in dire need of investment. The economy is in a slump and massive increases in food and petrol prices are leaving many people struggling. But at the same time, the Nigerian government also knew that Germany, like other Western countries, would have to fight for influence in Africa. A series of coups in the Sahel region have harmed important European and United States allies such as Mali and Niger; The expansion of the Brics group to include Ethiopia and Egypt (including South Africa), decided in the summer, is likely to shift the balance in Africa further towards China and Russia. This certainly does not weaken the negotiating position of countries that are willing to cooperate, such as Nigeria and Ghana, towards guests from Germany.

In the interview, Godwin Komone, Nigerian comedian, answered the question of whether there were any similarities between Germany and Nigeria: “Not at all.” There are at least two similarities that can be argued: Both countries are giants on their respective continents, but globally they are not enough for the first league. And in both states there are politicians who see great opportunity in closer cooperation with each other. Now they just need to find each other.

Ambrose Fernandez

"Subtly charming web junkie. Unapologetic bacon lover. Introvert. Typical foodaholic. Twitter specialist. Professional travel fanatic."

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