Afrika Kommt! - Recognizing the potential of Africa
Uwe Raschke, managing director of Robert Bosch GmbH, talks in an interview about the involvement of Robert Bosch GmbH in AFRIKA KOMMT!, writes the GIZ.
What made Bosch decide to start, AFRIKA KOMMT! ?
Uwe Raschke: As early as 2008, the then Bosch shareholder Tilmann Todenhöfer and the former Federal President Horst Köhler realized what had become more and more accepted in recent years: that the German economy is becoming more involved with Africa, especially south of the Sahara. As a result, “AFRIKA KOMMT!” was launched. This is an initiative in which young Africans participate in a education program for one year, learning more about Germany and its companies and contributing to the long-term success of German companies in sub-Saharan Africa.
What have you achieved so far with the program? How do companies benefit from this?
In the ten years that have passed since the start, the idea has proven to be very successful: Nearly 160 participants have now completed the program and completed internships in German companies. Many of them work for these companies around the world today, but especially in Africa. Each year around 6,000 young specialists and executives apply for one of the coveted program slots. The selection is not easy, because there are many more highly qualified applicants than places. At the same time, the number of scholarship holders are increasing year after year. 19 internships were offered in 2008, and today there are 44. Satisfaction among the participating companies is high - both for the organization and for the quality of the selected applicants.
What do you value about the cooperation with the German development agency GIZ ?
The program would not be conceivable without GIZ. They steer the whole process with passion, reliability and professionalism. This starts with the job advertisement, the selection of applicants, the entire administration such as the procurement of visas or apartments and extends the offer of different training and events within the framework of AFRIKA KOMMT!. GIZ has developed this very successfully over the years.
What do you hope for the future of AFRIKA KOMMT!?
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the participating companies and express the hope that they will set even more ambitious business goals in Africa in the future and recognize the enormous potential of this continent, through the participants of AFRIKA KOMMT!.