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Germany’s Scholz Arrives in Kenya on Day 2 of Africa Trip


Scholz has arrived in Kenya to continue his visit to the East African region. Berlin and Nairobi share close ties going back to Kenya’s independence 60 years ago.

German Chancellor Olaf Scholz landed in the Kenyan capital Nairobi on Friday, a day after arriving in Ethiopia to kick off his four-day trip to East Africa.

He was received by Kenyan President William Ruto with military honors before the two held talks that focused on economic relations between the two, regional conflicts and the use of renewable energies — an area in which Kenya has excelled.

Kenya joins Climate Club

After the talks, Ruto said his country had officially joined the Climate Club established last year by the G7 for nations that pursue ambitious climate policies. Ruto said Kenya wanted to play a leading role in the initiative.

Scholz said he was very pleased that Kenya had decided to join. 

In comparison to other European nations such as the United Kingdom, France and even the Netherlands, Germany lags behind in trade with Africa, according to researchcarried out by Munich-based insurance firm Allianz.

At the same time, Germany considers Kenya its most important trading partner in the region, and the ties between the two countries go back to Kenya’s independence from the British Empire 60 years ago when Germany became the first country to grant it official recognition.

What did Scholz discuss in Kenya?

Scholz’s visit to Ethiopia on Thursday saw him meet with the head of the African Union (AU) which has its headquarters in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Scholz backs African Union bid to join G20

The topic of violence in Africa, especially the recent outbreak of conflict in Sudan, and it continued to dominate the agenda as the German chancellor crossed into Kenya.

Scholz said he was “very concerned” about the situation in Sudan and called on the army and militia there to end their conflict “which is taking place at the cost only of civilians.”

“There must be a transition to a civilian government,” he said, adding that he was “very grateful” for Kenya’s role in helping to bring about a cease-fire.

Berlin considers Kenya a hub of democratic governance in the region, but Ruto has recently come under fire for his heavy-handed response to opposition-led protests.

Kenya’s renewable energy

But talks also focused on the use of renewable energies. Kenya is a frontrunner in this field, producing between 80% and 92% of its electricity from renewable sources.

Scholz called the East African country an “inspiring climate champion.”

However, the real amounts remain relatively low, with just 12-gigawatt hours (GWh) produced for its population of 53 million in 2020, compared to Germany’s 573 GWh produced in the same time period, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA).

Scholz also brought a dozen business representatives on his trip. Kenya is hoping to attract foreign investment to increase its electricity production capacity and with it its industrial base.

On Saturday the German chancellor will be visiting the Lake Naivasha geothermal plant — the largest in Africa.

Source : DW News

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