Federal Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller in EritreaEnlarge image (© Ute Grabowsky / photothek.net)
Being the first German minister after 20 years, Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development Dr Gerd Müller visited Asmara. The Minister and his delegation arrived in the early evening of December 14th from a state visit in Cairo. On their arrival at Asmara International Airport, they were welcomed by the staff of the German Embassy and Eritrea's Foreign Minister.
On the occasion of a dinner with international organisations' representatives, the UN, and diplomats in Asmara, the current situation and possibilities for future cooperation in Eritrea were discussed.
The second day of the visit was centred around Dr Müller's talk with State President Isaias Afewerki. In their meeting, issues of human rights and Eritrea's role in international politics were discussed intensively. „It was a very important meeting“, the German Federal Minister stated, and next steps would follow. These include the continuation of the dialogue and agreements for a cooperative improvement of living conditions in Eritrea.Enlarge image Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller and Isayas Afewerki, State President of Eritrea in the president's official residence in Asmara. (© Ute Grabowsky / photothek.net)
Afterwards, members of the German NGO ArcheMed took the delegation on a tour through the Orotta hospital in Asmara, informing about medical improvements and plans in Eritrea. In the future, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development will contribute additional means for humanitarian aid and the training of doctoral students.
In the afternoon of the second day, Dr Müller visited the Eritrean Institute of Technology (EIT), the nation's largest institution for higher education. Students, instructors and volunteers explained the possibilities and necessities for higher education in Eritrea while taking the delegation on a campus round tour.
During an open round table discussion with Eritrean youth organisations, the members of the delegation discussed causes of flight and possible approaches to improve the future perspectives of younger generations. Every month, a high number of primarily young people leave Eritrea on extremely dangerous routes for Europe. „We need to think of the people in this country. For them, we have to improve the living conditions in their homeland“, Minister Müller concluded.
As a result of this visit, the German-Eritrean dialogue on possible projects of development cooperation will be continued and intensified in the forthcoming months.Enlarge image Members of the delegation and the German Embassy at Asmara International Airport. (© Ute Grabowsky / photothek.net)