Cars, tea and tourism: Germany's relationship with East Africa

Political leaders from Germany and East Africa are set to attend the second German-African Economic Summit in Nairobi this week. But how friendly or cordial are Berlin's ties with Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania?

East Africa, Germany and their political leaders

Relations between Germany and East Africa are generally good. West Germany was the first country to recognize Kenya after it gained independence from Britain. German President Joachim Gauck visited Tanzania in 2015. Germany and Tanzania are traditionally close. Before the end of World War I, mainland Tanzania was a German colony. In 2015, former German foreign minister Frank Walter Steinmeier also visited Kenya and Uganda and Development Minister Gerd Müller was in Kenya last year. There have also been official visits in the other direction. Last year Uhuru Kenyatta became the first Kenyan president to make a state visit to Germany since 1999. Ugandan President Yoweri came to Germany on a private trip during which he participated in a German-African Economic Forum.

What East Africa expects from Germany

All three countries - Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania - are battling with poverty and unemployment. Their heads of state and government are interested primarily in German development aid and investment. They are less enthusiastic about debates on human rights or democracy. Uganda's longtime President Yoweri Museveni amended his country's constitution some years back so he could stay in power. Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta was in the dock at the International Criminal Court. The German government is reluctant to criticize them publicly.

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Source: DW Africa