Angela Merkel has been Chancellor a.D. for more than 200 days. Since then, hardly anyone has heard of her – or even seen her. Despite all the criticism of her Russia policy, she has so far only been a silent observer of the Ukraine war.

How is Angela Merkel doing? One would also like to know that a good 5000 kilometers as the crow flies from Berlin. Olaf Scholz was asked about this when he was in Africa last week and met President Macky Sall in Senegal and President Mohamed Bazoum in Niger. The gentlemen promptly inquired about the ex-Chancellor’s health. 16 years of chancellorship don’t evaporate that quickly, even near the equator.

Both men join the long line of people who basically have the same questions: What is Angela Merkel actually doing? How is she doing?

And? Scholz reported a bit tight-lipped about his predecessor. He doesn’t really know himself, he hasn’t met her in person for half an eternity.