German President Heads to Khartoum Amid Investment Promises
German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier will arrive in Sudan's capital Khartoum on Thursday in a visit for which the Sudanese transitional government has prepared a rich agenda. This will mark the first visit of a high-level European official in decades.
Steinmeier will arrive at the head of a delegation of businessmen, investors and German Development Minister Gerd Muller who visited Sudan earlier this month.
Germany sees that ‘time should not be wasted’ and investments in Sudan must kick off the soonest, especially with the German parliament (Bundestag) laying grounds for these plans through annulling a law that prohibited German investments after the coup that brought Omar Bashir to the presidency.
The German delegation will seek investment opportunities without wasting time, stressed Muller before his visit.
Earlier, Germany announced allocating EUR80 million to assist the transitional government in Sudan. The aid will be invested in energy, fuels, infrastructure, training, agriculture, water and fields that empower women and youths.
Sudan pins high hopes on German investments and sees them as a key to more western and European investments. They may even pave the way to removing sanctions hindering economic development.
Information Minister Faisal Saleh told Asharq Al-Awsat newspaper that the government is interested in the president’s visit because it is the first for a high-level European official in years.
Saleh described Germany as a significant state and its importance is reinforced with its presence in the EU. He highlighted the historic ties between Germany and Sudan in diverse fields.
He added that when Sudanese Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok visited Germany, the two discussed electrical energy and renewable energy in Sudan. Hamdok also expressed the will to revive vocational training centers in Germany.
In this context, Head of Delegation of the European Union to Sudan Robert van den Dool announced that EU High Representative Josep Borrell will arrive in Sudan next Saturday on an official two-day visit.
Borrell will attend a ministerial meeting of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in Khartoum. Sudan is chairing the IGAD, the head of the delegation revealed in a press released that Asharq Al-Awsat received a copy of.
He will also hold meetings with Sudanese leaders including President of the Sudanese Sovereign Council Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and Hamdok. He will also visit Al Fashir, where he will meet international organizations, UN agencies, internally displaced people, women and young leaders in Sudan.
He will also deliver a speech at the University of Khartoum on the anticipated EU role in the country and meet with Sudanese young men and women who led the Sudanese peaceful revolution.