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Germany Improving East African Trade Ties from Energy to Food

Germany’s foreign policy is now focusing on two bilateral issues of profound interest to both sides. Energy for Germany, food for Africa.

For the second time since taking office in 2005, German Chancellor Angela Merkel is amidst a lengthy visit to Africa. The German government’s website commented on the voyage, "The federal chancellor's purpose in making the journey is to show that relations with Africa go far beyond conventional cooperation over development."

Among the countries visited by Chancellor Merkel are Kenya, Angola, and Nigeria. Merkel will be the first German federal chancellor to visit Angola and the first German government leader since Helmut Schmidt to visit Nigeria, Africa’s largest and most prosperous black African nation.

Both Angola and Nigeria are highly dependent on oil exports and in urgent need of developing and diversifying their energy infrastructures, an area in which Berlin sees opportunities to assist both nations to broaden their economies and expand their electricity grids. In 2008 under a Merkel initiative Germany announced an energy partnership with Angola which is now to become operational, Germany is interested in potential long-term supplies of Angolan liquefied natural gas, while in Nigeria, German firms are involved in developing the country's energy infrastructure.

By. Charles Kennedy, Deputy Editor OilPrice.com



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