Visit to Africa

Development Minister Gerd Müller on the eve of his tour of Nigeria, Sudan and Egypt

"We are strengthening our initiatives in the Sahel region and surrounding countries"

Development Minister Gerd Müller visiting the Nyanya General Hospital in Abuja, Nigeria

Press release of 03.02.2020 |

BERLIN – German Development Minister Gerd Müller will be visiting Nigeria, Egypt and Sudan between 3 and 7 February.

Before departing on his tour, Minister Müller said, "In the Sahel region and surrounding countries, the challenges facing our neighbouring continent are particularly starkly apparent: security and peace, food security, water, energy and ever more rapid population growth. That is why we are working on a new strategy to bring stability to the region. I am currently engaged in preparations to strengthen our initiatives in the Sahel region and surrounding countries. The focus is on modernising agricultural methods, improving water supply and creating jobs and training opportunities. Only if people can see a future for themselves will we be able to effectively curb radicalisation, terrorism, forced displacement and people trafficking."

The first stop on the tour will be Nigeria, Africa's most populous country. In 30 years, the population will reach 400 million people – double the current figure. That will make Nigeria the country with the third largest population in the world, even outstripping the USA.

Minister Müller commented, "Nigeria is one of Germany's most important partners in Africa and is incredibly dynamic. Yet at the same time it has more people living in extreme poverty than any other country in the world. As a resource-rich country and Africa's largest economy, Nigeria can and must do more itself to tackle the problem. That is why I will be talking to the government about reforms and youth opportunities. So we are supporting Nigeria in the field of agriculture, promoting renewable energies and family planning. Another issue will be how to tackle terrorism. The horror of Boko Haram is spreading ever further. Over two million people have been forced from their homes. Nigeria is the top African country of origin for refugees fleeing to Germany. The people need security, training opportunities and jobs in their own country."

Minister Müller's visit to Nigeria will take him, for example, to several training centres and a project for national family planning and maternal health. He will then continue to the Niger Delta, where he will learn more about the problem of oil pollution.

The second leg of his journey will take him to Sudan. Minister Müller said, "Sudan is one of the world's poorest countries and its economy is in a disastrous state. But after 30 years of dictatorship, it has now embarked on a path that we are hopeful will lead to peace, democracy and reforms. Because the country has potential. It has farmland the size of France. It could become Africa's breadbasket. So will be giving even more support to Sudan in pursuing economic and social change."

The Minister will be meeting Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok and also visiting an SOS Children's Village and a vocational training centre supported by Siemens and the BMZ for engineers working in power generation. Minister Müller will also meet with women's rights activists to talk about the widespread practice of female genital mutilation.

The final stop on the tour will be Egypt. There, for example, the Minister will visit projects concerned with organic farming, one of the world's largest solar parks and also the Aswan Dam, whose turbines are being refurbished with German support.

Minister Müller commented, "Egypt and German are working together closely, with a particular focus on energy and training. With Germany's support, 60,000 young people have now received training, which has opened up a future for them. On this visit, we will also be focusing on water. The Nile and Niger are a lifeline for millions of people and, at the same time, important for the expansion of renewable energy. Africa must develop into a green continent. The technology exists. The Aswan Dam hydropower plant not only creates jobs but also green energy – drawing on German know-how."

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