Merkel Stakes Out Germany’s Position as a Democracy Advocate in Africa

German Chancellor Angela Merkel arriving at the national palace, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct. 11, 2016 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).
German Chancellor Angela Merkel arriving at the national palace, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Oct. 11, 2016 (AP photo by Mulugeta Ayene).

German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Africa last week, traveling to Mali, Niger and Ethiopia. Issues of security dominated her visit to Mali, while migration was central to her trip to Niger. In Ethiopia, Merkel focused on security dialogue with the African Union, but her expression of support for greater democratization in the country was equally important. Merkel was notably blunter about Ethiopia’s authoritarianism than U.S. President Barack Obama and American diplomats, suggesting Germany’s potential as a mediator and advocate for political rights on the continent. Historically, Germany has not had nearly the same interest in Africa as France, Britain and […]

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