In three days in Africa, a wide field opens up for the German Chancellor.

From the extreme west coast across the Sahel region to the southern tip;

from one of the poorest countries in the world to one of the strongest economic powerhouses on the continent;

from talks on the fight against terrorism to exchanges on closer cooperation in gas production.

Olaf Scholz likes to emphasize that Africa is not a unit, but consists of a large number of very different countries and regions.

This seemed to fit in well with the itinerary of his three-day inaugural visit to the continent – ​​from Senegal to Niger and South Africa.

On the one hand.

France Wittenbrink

Editor in Politics.

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On the other hand, against the background of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine, Scholz is trying hard not to talk about differences - but about what unites Germany and its international partners.

"We will have to stick together in the world," the Chancellor said at the start of his trip to Senegal on Sunday.

In the following days, this appeal was heard more often.

"Common signal of strong democracies"

Scholz would like the democracies to stand shoulder to shoulder with the autocratic regimes of the world, an alternative to the image of the “West” on the one hand and the “East” on the other.

He made this particularly clear during his trip to Japan at the end of April and during talks with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Berlin.

Now, in Africa, he has once again emphasized his new geopolitical course.

Both South Africa and Senegal have been invited to this year's G-7 summit in Bavaria at the end of June.

"From there, a common signal should go out from strong democracies that see themselves as having global responsibility," said Scholz on Monday at a joint press conference with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in the capital Pretoria.

He had spoken almost identically to the Senegalese President before.

However, there are differences between Germany and the two African G-7 guests, especially with regard to the Russian war in Ukraine.

Both Senegal and South Africa abstained from voting in the United Nations General Assembly at the end of March condemning Russia's war of aggression.

Western sanctions are also viewed with great skepticism in some countries.

The narrative that sanctions are causing global food shortages and rising grain and energy prices is sometimes rife.

"We all agree that the borders in the world must not be moved by force," said Scholz on Tuesday after his meeting with the South African President.

But the attempt at a common denominator was not very successful.

In his remarks, Ramaphosa consistently avoided using the word "war" and instead spoke of a "conflict between Ukraine and Russia" that could only be resolved through dialogue and negotiation.

In addition, one must show understanding for those states that had voted against condemning Russia in the UN General Assembly.

"Mr. Scholz understands that too," said Ramaphosa.

The Chancellor promptly contradicted: Scholz said that it was respected that not all states took the same position as Germany.