Akufo-Addo meets German chancellor Merkel

The German Chancellor Angela Merkel has met with the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Nana Akufo-Addo as part of his 16-day tour of Europe.

The three-time presidential candidate also met with CDU’s Volkmar Klein to share ideas at the Deutscher Bundestag (the German Parliament) on Tuesday.

Nana Akufo-Addo, who is currently on the 4th day of his working visit to Germany, used the opportunity to renew acquaintances and also congratulate the German Chancellor on her re-election in September 2013, marking her 3rd term in office as the leader of Europe’s biggest economic power.

On her part, Dr. Merkel, who is also the leader of the CDU, thanked Nana Akufo-Addo for his visit and wished the NPP leader well ahead of the December 2016 election.

He also called on Ambassador Georg Schmidt, Regional Director for sub-Saharan Africa and the Sahel of the Federal Foreign Office, in his final meeting of the day.

Issues bordering on the state of the Ghanaian economy, the consolidation of the democratic credentials of Ghana, as well as the importance of regional integration as a tool to for the rapid development of the West African region, were discussed.

On the consolidation of Ghana’s democracy, Nana Akufo-Addo stressed the need for the compilation of a new voter’s register, as a credible voter’s register is of the utmost importance ahead of the 2016 election.

“We are not interested in playing the blame game. We are only interested in doing what is right for our democracy. The Ghanaian election should not be a West African election. We want the Electoral Commission to listen to the growing calls for a credible register and do what is required after to achieve that,” he said.

On regional integration, Nana Akufo-Addo stated that Ghana, Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal can do for the West African region what Germany, France and the Benelux countries did for Europe, by leading the push for economic integration.

He stressed that without regional integration, West Africa’s small economies, other than Nigeria’s, will struggle for relevance, “denying ourselves the capacity to compete in this increasingly competitive global environment.”

Nana Akufo-Addo also participated in the celebration, on 19th May, 2015, of Africa Day in Berlin, where the keynote speaker was the former Nigerian President, H.E. Olusegun Obasanjo. He exchanged warm greetings there with Ghana’s Ambassador to Germany, Ms. Akua Sena Dansoa, both of whom had been Members of Parliament at the same time.

On Monday, April 18, 2015, Nana Akufo-Addo, under the auspices of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung (KAS), met with Mr. Klaus Schuler, who is the Federal Manager of the CDU and who has also doubled as the campaign manager for Chancellor Angela Merkel’s 3 successive electoral victories. At this meeting were Mr. Frank Priess, Deputy Head of European and International Co-operation of the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung, and Mme. Andrea Ostheimer, head of the department for sub-Saharan Africa at KAS.

Early that same day, Nana Akufo-Addo paid a courtesy call on Mr. Hartwig Fischer, the President of Deutscher Afrika Stiftung (German African Foundation).

On Wednesday, prior to his departure for Amsterdam, Nana Akufo-Addo met with Mr. Charles Huber MdB, the well-known actor of Senegalese descent, who is a CDU Member of the Bundestag.

According to the MP, a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs at the Bundestag, Africa needs a change of perspective and should not be overly dependent on aid from developed countries. He stressed that the time is right for African economies to depart from being mere exporters of raw materials, and embrace “value added policies.” The development of a genuine regional market, through regional integration, he added, is one of the surest ways to bring about sustained prosperity in the region.

Nana Akufo-Addo, who has over the years been an ardent advocate of the policies being espoused by the German MP, maintained that when given the opportunity, with God’s blessing, by the Ghanaian electorate in 2016, he will seek to improve the living standards of the citizenry through the implementation of such policies.

“I have always been a firm believer that raw material producing economies do not create prosperity for the masses. The way to that goal, the goal of ensuring access to prosperity, is value addition activities in a transformed and a diversified modern economy,” he argued.

Nana Akufo-Addo was accompanied to these meetings by Ms. Otiko Afisa Djaba, the National Women’s Organiser of the NPP; Mr. Charles Owiredu, Director of International Relations of the NPP; Rev. Alex Acheampong, Chairman of the NPP branch in Germany; Mr. Sammy Adjei, 1st Vice Chairman of NPP Germany; Mrs. Rebecca Sarpong, 2nd Vice Chairperson of NPP Germany; Mr. Francis Asenso-Boakye, Political Assistant to Nana Akufo-Addo; and Mr. Eugene Arhin, Press Secretary to Nana Akufo-Addo.

Nana Addo is touring five countries – Germany, The Netherlands, Belgium, France and Italy – and will meet up with members of the NPP branches.

The NPP presidential candidate on Wednesday, April 20, 2015, left for the Netherlands, the second country of his 16-day tour of Europe.