Dear Professor Liebing,
Honorable Ministers and Excellencies,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Thank you very much for your invitation to the German-African Energy Forum. Hamburg has been hosting this important event since 2006.
We are glad to welcome you here again after two years of pandemic restrictions. As a port and merchant city, Hamburg has a long history of international trade and co-operation. Our network of partners connects us to all continents.
Hamburg has good relations to many African states. There are 20 African consulates in our city. Dar es Salaam and Hamburg have been sister cities for more than a decade.Many companies and research institutions from Hamburg are in close contact with African partners, and are always looking for new opportunities to work together.
One opportunity is the global energy transition, which is the focus of this conference. The German-African Energy Forum draws attention to an important fact:
Climate change, one of the major global challenges of the 21st century, affects countries and continents unequally. The international community needs to find ways to de-carbonize.
We need new technologies and we need to make sure that these technologies are available worldwide and new standards can be achieved globally. The hydrogen economy holds great promise in this regard. Green hydrogen from wind and solar energy is one of the most important carbon-free energy sources of the future.
Africa can play an important role in the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energies. Many African regions have very good conditions for production and export.
Hamburg has very good conditions for importing green hydrogen.
As the third-largest seaport, and a major hub for rail logistics in Europe, we already have a lot of important infrastructure in place.
We are already investing in new technology and facilities to import and distribute hydrogen internationally. So there are great opportunities for Hamburg and Africa to shape the energy transition together and to create positive social and economic impact.
Ladies and gentlemen,
We live in challenging times. Climate change, the Covid-19 pandemic, and the Russian invasion of Ukraine have far-reaching consequences for Germany, Europe and for Africa.
They remind us that our world is strongly interconnected. The German-African Energy Forum is an excellent setting to explore our potential for co-operation and partnership. It will hopefully be the starting point of many successful projects.
On behalf of the Senate, I would like to thank Christoph Kannengießer and the team at the German-African Business Association for organizing this event. I wish you a successful conference with many new contacts, good conversations, and a pleasant stay in Hamburg.
Thank you very much.