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The Chancellor's Africa trip

Expanding assistance for the Niger

The Chancellor has flown on to the Niger, the next stop on her African trip. Her meeting with President Mahamadou Issoufou focused on the country’s migration policy and a planned migration partnership with the European Union.

President Issoufou Mahamadou welcomes Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Niger. President Issoufou Mahamadou welcomes Chancellor Angela Merkel to the Niger. Photo: Bundesregierung/Steins

The Niger is the second stop on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s trip to Africa. With President Mahamadou Issoufou, the Chancellor discussed development cooperation, the Niger’s migration policy and a planned migration partnership with the European Union. "We intend to build on the long-standing development cooperation with the Niger," said Angela Merkel. Water management, agriculture and education projects are the main focus of German support, she reported.

Major transit country

The Niger is one of the major transit countries for migrants trying to reach North Africa or Europe. Against this backdrop, the Chancellor announced that Germany would like to cooperate with the Niger in three more areas, on top of the existing priority areas.

  • In the fight against illegal migration, Germany would like to help the Niger to stamp out the existing network of drugs smuggling, the illicit arms trade and human trafficking. These forces finance one another and reinforce one another. To fight them, Germany will earmark 10 million euros over the next year, to be used in particular to procure vehicles and communications technology.
  • In the Agadez region in the north of the country Germany will support the Niger in creating jobs for migrants. In 2017, Germany will provide 17 million euros directly and another 60 million euros indirectly in order to build infrastructure and education facilities, and thus improve the prospects of the entire region.
  • Finally, the German government would like to step up cooperation between the two ministries of defence. The Bundeswehr already has an air transport base in Niamey, the capital of the Niger. Its mandate is to support Bundeswehr troops involved in the UN’s MINUSMA peace mission in Mali. To improve cooperation, Germany will supply trucks to the Niger’s armed forces, and deliver advisory services on training and on developing the airport.

Meetings in Niamey

After her meeting with the President, Angela Merkel also met with German troops serving at the Bundeswehr air transport base.

She visited a transit centre run by the International Organization for Migration (IOM). Returning migrants are cared for at these centres by the IOM. They are given support to help them return to their own countries on a voluntary basis. And in Niamey the Chancellor visited the Goudel II primary school, which was financed by the German side.

Oct 10, 2016