BERLIN/DAKAR/ACCRA/ABUJA | | ghananigeria

BERLIN/DAKAR/ACCRA/ABUJA (Own report) - A central theme of Chancellor Angela Merkel's tour of African countries, which began yesterday, will be the expansion of the EU's defense against refugees. As government circles confirmed, following Merkel's talks yesterday in Senegal, she will also negotiate today in Ghana and tomorrow in Nigeria, steps for stopping people fleeing poverty, hopelessness and war and facilitate the deportation of refugees from Germany. In opinion polls, nearly half of the Senegalese, and around three-fourths of the Ghanaian and Nigerian respondents, signaled their wish to leave their country, because of dire poverty and a dramatically high youth unemployment rate. European companies are systematically destroying African jobs, for example, by overfishing the Senegalese coastline, thereby heavily damaging Senegal's fishery sector or by the EU's poultry dumping in Ghana, ruining the domestic poultry industry. Merkel does not intend to address these EU practices causing people to flee their countries. more…

BERLIN/ACCRA | | ghana

BERLIN/ACCRA (Own report) - To compensate for its loss of influence in Africa, the German government is taking the occasion of the Ghanaian president's visit in Berlin today to push for a rapid expansion of business relations with Ghana. This must be seen in the context of China's growing influence on the African continent. Already sub-Sahara's most important trading partner, China will most likely become the regions largest investor in the foreseeable future. Ghana plays only a secondary role among Germany's trading partners in Africa, but it is viewed as a door opener to the African market. Within the framework of the G20-"Compact with Africa," Berlin has concluded a "reform partnership" with Accra, intended to facilitate German investments in Ghana. The fact that Ghana's President Nana Akufo-Addo needs foreign investors to fulfill his electoral promises is thereby seen as advantageous. To secure its influence, the German government is also intensifying its military relations with Ghana. more…

ACCRA/BERLIN | | ghana

ACCRA/BERLIN (Own report) - The German president's visit to Ghana, which ends today, focuses on warding off refugees and landing lucrative business deals for German enterprises. In an interview with the Ghanaian press yesterday, Frank-Walter Steinmeier "warned" against attempts to cross the Sahara and Mediterranean to reach Germany, because this trip could end in "imprisonment" by Libyan slave traders or even death. "Stay home," is how the German media summarized the message of the president's remarks. At the same time, Steinmeier is eager to pave the way for lucrative investments in Ghana for German companies with the help the "Compact with Africa" G20 initiative. "Compact" is aimed at encouraging African countries to adjust their economies to better meet the wishes of western investors. German business circles see Ghana "in the second row" of African countries behind the economic heavyweights, South Africa and Nigeria and are pleading to expand their business with this country - in rivalry to China. more…

BERLIN/ACCRA | | ghana

BERLIN/ACCRA (Own report) - The German Navy will participate in a large-scale maneuver in the Gulf of Guinea. The maneuver "Obangame Express 2014" is scheduled for mid-April and is aimed at warding off pirates, active off the West African coast. According to the German government, the maneuver will serve to strengthen military "cooperation" among the coastal states. This operation conforms fully with Berlin's strategy of arming "partner countries" in Africa with its weapons exports and training their troops, to avoid the costly intervention of German troops. An arms fair for the "total surveillance" of coastal areas has recently taken place in Ghana's capital Accra. The participating German arms manufacturers see Ghana as a lucrative potential market. The oil deposits off the Ghanaian coast are to be protected against enemy exploitation, but rather than use these resources to fight poverty within the country, the foreign exchange revenue from their sales are to purchase arms from western industries. more…