By the time Angela Merkel arrives Nigeria later this week, President Muhammadu Buhari’s handlers would have reminded him of how he called the German Chancellor Michelle and her country West Germany. They would have had the 75-year-old repeat “Merkel” “Germany” multiple times to ensure he does not repeat the mistake he made in 2015. But more importantly, the Nigerian president will be preparing to discuss anti-terrorism, trade and migration.
Merkel had in a video published on Sunday noted that she will focus on topics around development aid and illegal migration during her visit to Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana this week. She made a case for improved economic cooperation between Africa and Germany, noting that most countries on the continent have many young people who can contribute greatly to their economies. However, they need training and jobs which Germany can partner to improve.
The German Chancellor who has been close to Niger’s President Mahamadou Issoufou in recent times, with the latter helping Germany to address its illegal migration challenge by curbing the number of sub-Saharan Africans trying to cross the Mediterranean to Europe through Niger, is expected to also discuss how the German government can increase support to the countries she will visit, in a bid to improve security and economic development and ultimately reduce the number of Africans trying to migrate illegally.
It will be a busy week for Nigeria’s Buhari, who will also receive British Prime Minister Theresa May, who will also be visiting South Africa and Kenya. May’s first visit to Africa since become British Prime Minister will also make her the first to visit Sub-Saharan Africa since 2013, and Kenya for over 30 years.
“The Prime Minister’s central message will be focused on a renewed partnership between the UK and Africa, which will seek to maximise shared opportunities and tackle common challenges in a continent that is growing at a rapid pace – from the Sahara to South Africa,” a statement by the British government said.
Discussions about stability, jobs and growth will also be focused on during May’s visit, with emphasis on discouraging “migration and dangerous journeys to Europe”.
May adds maybe the most important reason for her visit: “As we prepare to leave the European Union, now is the time for the UK to deepen and strengthen its global partnerships.”
The British Prime Minister is joined by 29 representatives from UK business – half of which are SMEs – from across all regions of the UK and its devolved administrations.