Last updated in November 2018

Political Relations

Germany and Nauru established diplomatic relations on 20 September 1984. Political relations between the two countries are friendly and untroubled. The German Ambassador in Canberra, Australia, is also accredited to Nauru.

In 2016, bilateral trade amounted to approximately 21,000 euros, with German imports from Nauru worth 5000 euros and German exports to Nauru 16,000 euros, putting Nauru in 223rd place among Germany’s trading partners in terms of German imports and 233rd place in terms of German exports.

Germany is supporting Nauru’s economic, social and cultural development, in particular through its substantial contributions to the European Union. The EU is the second largest donor of development aid in the region, after Australia. The focus of the European Development Fund (EDF) in Nauru is on developing the renewable energy sector.

Nauru is also closely involved in German cooperation on climate policy with the countries of the South Pacific region. Participants from Nauru were among those attending the International Workshop on Seismology, Seismic Hazard and Tsunami Early Warning organised by the Helmholtz Centre Potsdam – GFZ German Research Centre for Geosciences in July 2010. The project “Coping with climate change in the Pacific island region”, which runs from 2009 to 2018 and is being implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), has also been extended to cover Nauru. In addition, the German Embassy in Canberra occasionally supports small-scale projects in Nauru.

Nauru was a German colony from 1888 until the First World War – during the period before the systematic exploitation of the country’s phosphate deposits. Many historical documents from this era, such as maps, statistics and letters, were written in German by the administrators of that time.

In light of this, in the 1990s Germany provided support for two publications. In 1992, it presented the book “Nauru 1888–1900” at the National Library of Australia in the presence of then Nauruan President Bernard Dowiyogo. In this book, the former German Ambassador in Canberra, Wilhelm Fabricius, assembles and annotates a great many documents from the colonial period. In 1993, a Nauruan grammar was published, based on the detailed notes of the German missionary Alois Kayser, who lived in Nauru from 1903 to 1943.

As part of the Cultural Preservation Programme of the Federal Foreign Office, Germany plans to provide funding in 2018/19 to support the translation of a two-volume work by the German ethnologist Paul Hambruch into English. Hambruch carried out ethnographic studies of Micronesia from 1908 to 1910 as a member of the Hamburg South Sea Expedition. He published the results of his research into the Nauruan culture and language in two volumes that still today are considered a foundational work in the field, as there have been few scientific studies of Nauru since. The English editions of Hambruch’s work will give a wide Nauruan public access to historical information about their island nation, providing important insights into Nauru’s history, traditional culture and cultural heritage.


This text is intended as a source of basic information. It is regularly updated. No liability can be accepted for the accuracy or completeness of its contents.

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