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Thursday, June 13, 2024

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Scholz To Visit East Africa To Address Green Hydrogen And Regional Conflicts

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German Chancellor Olaf Scholz seeks to discuss the conflict in Sudan, hints at backing the peace process in Ethiopia, officials said on Tuesday, and intends to collaborate with Kenya on green hydrogen during his trip to East Africa this week. 

In his second official visit to Africa as chancellor, Scholz will be on a three-day visit to Ethiopia and Kenya with a business delegation. The official trip comes as the West is engaging in increased competition with powers like China for influence and trade across the world. 

In Ethiopia, he will meet the prime minister and the interim leader of the Tigray region on Thursday to discuss the progress in bringing peace after thousands of people lost their lives in a two-year war, according to the German government officials who spoke in a briefing.

Scholz will have a meeting with the African Union Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat to talk about the recent events in Sudan as well as discuss the economic cooperation and global challenges including climate change. He will also meet with the president of East Africa’s largest economy, Kenya, to have discussions on trade and other issues.

The officials said Scholz always seeks to put forward the perspective of the West and discuss global issues such as rising food insecurity and energy prices, if he is asked about the Ukraine war.

Scholz will visit on Saturday the biggest geothermal plant in Africa, located in Lake Naivasha in the geologically active Great Rift Valley which is essential for Kenya’s goal for green hydrogen production.

The German officials underplayed the prospects of any possible deal for collaboration on green hydrogen. 

During the visit, the German development agency GIZ would hold a discussion on the issues concerning the foundation of Germany’s long-term energy cooperation obtaining 90% of its power produced from renewable energy sources.

An official said, “Kenya is a leader on the African continent on climate protection and renewables and has enormous convening power, so the chancellor’s visit also aims to strengthen that.”

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