German Chancellor Olaf Scholz continues his Africa trip on Friday with political talks in the capital of Kenya, Germany’s most important partner in East Africa.
The German leader’s discussions in Nairobi will focus on the use of renewable energies, but also on the settlement of regional conflicts and the expansion of economic relations.
Germany was the first country to recognize the former British colony after Kenya became independent 60 years ago. Today, the German government considers Kenya its most important trading partner in the region. Berlin also sees Kenya an an example for East Africa when it comes to democratic governance.
Recently, however, Kenyan President William Ruto came under criticism after he had opposition protests put down with excessive force.
Kenya also has a mediating role in regional conflicts. Currently, Nairobi has offered to help de-escalate the conflict in Sudan. In addition, Kenya supports an the African Union mission in neighbouring Somalia.
Scholz will be accompanied in Kenya by about a dozen business representatives. On Saturday, the chancellor will visit Africa’s largest geothermal plant at Lake Naivasha. Varying estimates show that Kenya generates between 80% and 92% of its electricity from renewable sources, putting it in the top third worldwide.
Still, according to the International Renewable Energy Agency, Kenya, with its population of around 53 million, produces around 12 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity, while Germany, which is much more industrialized and has 84 million people, produces almost 50 times as much.