President Muhammadu Buhari is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel next week in Berlin with the Boko Haram menace topping the agenda.
Also due to meet Mekel on the issue is President Idriss Deby of Chad whose country is one of Nigeria’s three neighbours badly hit by the Boko Haram insurgency. The others are Niger Republic and Cameroun.
The Germany leader is arriving Bamako, Mali tomorrow at the start of a three-nation visit to Africa. She will also visit Niger before heading to Ethiopia where she is to visit the headquarters of the African Union in the capital, Addis Ababa.
Merkel is expected to discuss ways to stem a migrant influx to Europe and the battle against jihadist groups with her hosts. On Wednesday, a day after her return to Berlin, she will host President Deby and cap off the week by meeting with President Buhari.
“The well-being of Africa is in Germany’s interest,” Merkel told Die Zeit weekly in an interview ahead of the visit, arguing that bringing more stability to Africa and improving living conditions on the continent would help reduce the numbers of people seeking to leave.
Simply ignoring the reasons that are pushing people to migrate “will not make the problem go away,” she warned.
Pointing to drought plaguing Chad as an example, Merkel said that “it does not mean that everyone who is in difficulties there can come to Europe as a refugee”.
“But we should be interested in whether 11 million people will have a livelihood or not,” she said.
Berlin’s ambassador to Niamey said on Wednesday that his country would build a military base in Niger to support the UN mission fighting jihadists in neighbouring Mali.
Germany has troops stationed in Mali and Niger as part of the UN mission MINUSMA, and Merkel is due to visit the soldiers during her upcoming tour.