Chancellor Angela Merkel has been to Africa - her third trip as Chancellor.In her weekly video message to the public, she made it clear that In Kenya, she would find out how renewable energy is coming into wider use while In Angola, Germany wants to establish an energy and raw materials partnership. Angola is the second largest oil producer in Africa after Nigeria. In Nigeria, the third and last nation on her schedule, she wants to address the dismal performance of Germany's energy partnership with the country.
Germany unveiled a new policy on Africa last month that requires future development aid spending to achieve "value for money" and puts more emphasis on the German interest in obtaining minerals and oil. The quest for value ought not to be one sided. For example, the Horn of Africa is currently grappling with threats of famine to over 10 million people. Whereas the common discussion thread has centered on "drought" and "climate change" as the main cause of famine; little mention is on the role of geopolitical interests that fuel conflict in the region which exacerbate famine. Will Germany's quest to assist in the war against terror and piracy in the horn of Africa fall in this trap?
As Germans become more frank with their intentions in Africa - Africans too should be frank and push for value added engagement on the continent. This can be attained by African countries determining the skill set they would wish to obtain in proposed educational exchange programs; encourage Germany business people to set shop in Africa and learning from Germany's experience in both World Wars that put emphasis on need for rule of law and the role of international institutions in fostering peace. We welcome Angela Merkel and her people.
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