This success story has been going on for ten years: Nineteen of Germany’s leading businesses have committed themselves to a common cause in 2008. They launched the AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative for economic and capacity development. The programme trains young, future managers from sub-Saharan Africa on-site with German companies. It is implemented by the German development agency GIZ.
The main idea behind the initiative is to create a win-win-situation for the programme participants and the partnering companies. Thus, the initiative lays the foundation stone for sustainable economic cooperation with Africa and aims at forming stable cooperative partnerships for the future.
By participating in the first AFRIKA KOMMT! programme, Lucy Mutinda from Kenya was able to establish contacts and acquire important management skills. Today she is a successful entrepreneur: her company builds fully biological wastewater treatment plants in a country where only one third of the population has access to public sewers. Interestingly, the treatment plants are manufactured in Germany. Mutinda met the manufacturer when she worked as an engineer in Germany in 2008. The eight-month internship in Germany that is part of the programme gives participants an insight into work processes and management methods. They can put these to good use later in their own careers. So far, a further 126 participants from 22 African countries have successfully taken part in the programme.
The initiative has been extremely beneficial for the participants and the companies. Uwe Raschke, Member of the Board of Management of Robert Bosch GmbH, said: “Africa offers significant market potential for companies. Having the right team on the ground is crucial. AFRIKA KOMMT! is an excellent opportunity to make contacts with future managers in Africa.” Almost three quarters of the participants continue to work at their placement companies after the programme has ended and provide assistance when offices are set up in their home countries, for example. This allows companies to step up their operations in Africa and boost the local economy at the same time.
At the heart of the programme is an eight-month internship in a German enterprise, allowing the participants:
- to gain first-hand practical experience in a leading German enterprise
- to be exposed to leadership concepts and management techniques in practice
- to become acquainted with working processes and business culture in German enterprises
- to extend their international management competencies
- to initiate networks of cooperation between sub-Saharan Africa and German companies
Qualifications/ required experience
- University degree in one of the following areas:
Business Administration, Chemistry, Computer Science / Information Technology, Business Information, Communication, Economics, Humanities, Human Resources, Industrial-, Mechanical- , Process- , Electrical Engineering, Finance, Healthcare, Law, Life Science, Marketing, Medicine, Pharmacy, Physics, Psychology, Product Management, Sales, Social Sciences, Supply Chain Management
- Postgraduate degree (e.g. MBA) is an advantage
- Two to five years of relevant work experience
- Excellent English languages skills
- French, Portuguese and German skills are an advantage
- Intercultural competencies, open to new experiences abroad and willing to learn German
The following companies and foundations are currently participating in the initiative:
ANDREAS STIHL AG & Co. KG, Alfred Kärcher GmbH & Co. KG, Boehringer Ingelheim GmbH, BSH Hausgeräte GmbH, Robert Bosch GmbH, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH, B. Braun Melsungen AG, Commerzbank AG, Continental AG, Daimler AG, Merck KGaA, SAP SE, Siemens Healthineers GmbH, Stiftung Entwicklungs-Zusammenarbeit Baden-Württemberg (SEZ), thyssenkrupp AG, Voith GmbH, Volkswagen AG, Wilo Foundation, WILO SE.