Germany’s chancellor, Angela Merkel is calling on the African Union and African countries at large to step up in order to put an end to Africans migrating to Europe.
The statement was made during a three-day visit to Ethiopia, Mali, and Niger by Chancellor Angela Merkel.
“I am expressly in favour of the African Union bringing its influence to bear to help solve the conflict,” she said citing the Islamic extremism in Libya.
Merkel vowed to make Africa a priority as Germany leads the G20 presidency in 2017, but this would be in return for the African Union and African countries putting in the extra effort to put an end to young Africans migrating to Europe. According to her, “it is important that Africa does not lose its best minds.”
She cited the brain drain in Mali as an example, stating that it is affecting the country negatively and more development policies need to be implemented in order to prevent the outflow of skilled workers.
When Merkel touched down in Ethiopia, the issue of Africans migrating to Europe was once again reiterated. Ethiopia is one of the largest homes to refugees in the world, as some come in from nearby Somalia, South Sudan, and other countries. The Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn said Germany could help Ethiopia deal with its own refugee crisis.
“Ethiopia is one of the global hosts of refugees… the first in Africa, with 780,000 refugees here. I think Germany can support us on this.”
Merkel also addressed the state of emergency in Ethiopia which was instated as a response to the burgeoning protests by the Oromo and Amhara ethnic groups. She showed support for the protesters who called on her to open up a political dialogue in Ethiopia, as well as calling for the release of jailed protesters.
She also added:
“We are already working in Oromia to de-escalate the situation there by offering mediation between groups,
“I would always argue for allowing people of a different political opinion … to engage with them and allow them to express their views because, after all, a democratic experience shows that out of these discussions good solutions usually come.”
Merkel also announced that Germany has decided to train Ethiopian police to deal with protests in a peaceful way.