German Chancellor Angela Merkel arrived in Senegal late Wednesday, at the start of a West African tour, with Berlin hoping that development of the continent will help stem migration and boost the fight against jihadism.
Signalling that Germany means business, Merkel was accompanied by around a dozen German business leaders. In Ghana, Merkel plans to visit a start-up hub and in Nigeria she will meet with Ecowas head Jean-Claude Kassi Brou.
On her arrival in Dakar, the German leader was greeted by Senegalese president Macky Sall and a guard of honour by dozens of Senegalese marines.
Joining Mall at a joint news conference at the presidential palace, Merkel then spoke of the need to tackle illegal migration and people traffickers.
“We must not be the accomplices of the human traffickers and we must not just watch,” Merkel said.
“We have to fight illegal migration on the one hand, on the other hand we have to create legal opportunities.”
Sall, who announced the solar electrification of 300 villages thanks to German funding, deplored the fate of migrants losing their lives “across the Sahara and Mediterranean” and called for solutions. -AFP