German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Senegal Wednesday, at the start of a West African tour, with Berlin hoping that development of the continent will help stem migration and boost the fight against jihadism.
Signalling that Germany means business, Merkel was accompanied by around a dozen German business leaders.
In Ghana, Merkel plans to visit a start-up hub and in Nigeria she will meet with Ecowas head Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
Al Jazeera: German Chancellor Angela Merkel is set to begin a tour of three West African countries, Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria, with efforts to boost economic ties and limit irregular migration to Europe expected to dominate her agenda.
Analysts say the three-day visit beginning in Senegal on Wednesday marks Germany’s belated growing interest in parts of Africa and preoccupation with the flow of undocumented arrivals in the European Union. “Africa has many conflicts and some people are fleeing very, very difficult conditions,” Merkel said in a video address published on the chancellery’s website on Sunday. “But we also know, on the other hand, that African countries could be a good market down the line. Other countries are already very active here.” Senegal, Ghana and Nigeria face some high hurdles and have an important role to play in finding solutions to conflict in the region, said Merkel.