Visit to Africa

"More involvement in Africa is in Germany's interest" says Minister Müller on his way to visit Central and East Africa

Training as toolmakers, metalworkers and engineers at the Integrated Politechnical Regional Centre IPRC in Kigali, Rwanda

14.08.2019 |

Development Minister Gerd Müller left today for Central and East Africa. Key topics during his visits to Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Kenya will be investment support, the fight against pandemics as well as climate and environmental protection.

"Climate action, raw materials, investments to create more jobs – these are some of the issues that are of great public concern to us in Germany but are likely to be determined in Africa. The Marshall Plan with Africa is beginning to take effect, with an above-average increase in trade between Germany and Africa in the first five months of the year. We now need to consolidate this dynamic development by following up with a targeted programme of innovation and investment – a programme which needs to be backed with the necessary funding in both Germany's and the EU's budgets," said Minister Müller before departing.

On the first leg of this journey to Rwanda's capital Kigali, Minister Müller will visit the local Volkswagen plant, which makes about 5,000 vehicles a year for the regional car market. One of the key aims of the Marshall Plan with Africa initiated by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) is to improve the general conditions for investments in Africa.

Expanding on this, Development Minister Müller said: "Rwanda is a good example of the way in which consistent reform policies and support for investments can attract business from all over the world. In Rwanda, we are actively involved in helping to facilitate more private sector investment and improve vocational education and training. At the same time, however, I also intend to discuss current shortcomings in democracy and the rule of law in clear terms."

The second leg of the trip will take Minister Müller to the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the second-largest country in Africa. The country has been in the throes of an outbreak of Ebola for the past year, with the deadly disease already claiming more than 1,800 lives.

Minister Müller said, "We need to see stability and democratic transformation in the Congo if Germany is to continue its development cooperation there – in particular with a view to helping the country protect its tropical forests and set up fair supply chains. As far as the Ebola crisis is concerned, we are working with the World Bank and the World Health Organization to improve prevention and strengthen health systems in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and we will step up our support for the affected areas in the east of the country.

The Development Minister's trip will finish with a visit to Kenya. Germany and Kenya are working together closely on climate protection matters. In future, the two countries will also work together to further enhance the protection of Kenya's biological diversity.

Gerd Müller explained: "Climate protection and economic growth are not mutually exclusive. The move to energy from renewable sources and the sustainable use of natural resources is creating new jobs in Kenya. The BMZ wants to support this development by helping Kenya adapt its system of vocational education. However, the Kenyan government must also do its bit by creating an enabling environment and stepping up its anti-corruption drive."

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