German chancellor begins West Africa tour focused on migration and security

German chancellor begins West Africa tour focused on migration and security

Germany’s Angela Merkel arrives in Senegal today for the start of a three-day tour of West Africa that will also

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Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

Germany’s Angela Merkel arrives in Senegal today for the start of a three-day tour of West Africa that will also include Ghana and Nigeria. The trip is expected to focus on increasing security assistance to the region as a means of stemming migration flows into Europe.

Talks in Senegal, Ghana and with the ECOWAS trade bloc will primarily deal with European trade and investment ties in Africa. However, Nigeria’s security issues are expected to be a top priority of the trip. The country has been a source for wider instability in the region, due to the ongoing insurgency by extremist group Boko Haram. The chancellor’s discussions with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari are expected to focus strongly on bolstering international assistance, and enhancing the ‘Marshall Plan for Africa’—a German-led G20 security and assistance initiative.

The focus on security is similar to EU efforts to stem violence in the Sahel, with an emphasis on re-securing the region in a way that will be conducive to development and halting some of the root causes of migration. Expect the trip to continue security and development assistance to the region in the short-term, with Germany looking to significantly expand its economic and development presence in the region to support such efforts.

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