Afrika kommt! means “Africa is Coming!” and is the name of an exchange programme launched by German companies in 2008 that offers advanced training for junior executives from Sub-Saharan Africa.
It aims to make them familiar with workflows and management methods and create long-lasting economic alliances. The participants learn German at the Goethe-Institut in Bonn.
“'Made in Germany' is in great demand in Africa, at least industrial and other products stand for good quality and sustainability. But purchasing them directly remains only wishful thinking for many end consumers,” says Dominique Gnezele.
The operations and sales manager from Ivory Coast is one of the participants in Afrika kommt! Every year, about 6,000 people from various spheres of life in Africa apply for the programme. This year’s group consists of 13 women and 9 men who come from Angola, Botswana, Burundi, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Nigeria and Zimbabwe.
Open to different cultures
In the initial phase, the candidates met in Nairobi every year and learned German there in the Goethe-Institut’s representative office for two months before they were able to fly to Germany for advanced training in the respective host companies.
For the past five years, the German classes have been held in Bonn. Annesusanne Fackler, director of the Goethe-Institut in Bonn, feels enriched by this encounter in Germany saying: “We had managers at different levels who are very intelligent and open to other cultures. They are highly educated and at the same time easy-going, so they not only want to acquire knowledge from Germany, but also to convey this knowledge in their home countries.”
The professionals and executives spend eight months as interns at German companies and foundations.
Three international management training courses by the German development agency GIZ supplement the practical phase at the companies and teach theoretical and practical fundamentals in project management, intercultural competence, conflict management and leadership.
After completion of the programme, the junior managers return to their home countries and become part of the alumni network.
To move Africa forward
“Germany and its people are doing better because the foundations of its social order are based on the rule of law and socio-economic equality,” says the marketing communications specialist Simon Mwanzia from Kenya enthusiastically.
Everyone agrees: “The success of the German economy is a combination of efficiency and solution-oriented production.”
They will take this culture and the know-how home with them at the end of the advanced training so that they can move things a bit in their own countries and so that Africa can truly move forward due to this exchange.
About “Afrika kommt!”
Nineteen leading German companies launched Afrika kommt! in 2008 and the GIZ implements the programme on their behalf.
Under the patronage of the German President, Afrika kommt! is an advanced training programme in which junior executives from Africa work at German companies for eight months.
The cooperative partners include the German Foreign Office, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH and ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius.