Afrika kommt!

German businesses, including several leading companies in their respective sectors, are making a stance for Africa, with their ‘Afrika kommt!’ initiative. They are offering young African managers an insight into their operations and management methods. GIZ plans, organises and evaluates the programme.

Building bridges for German-African economic cooperation

In 2008 nineteen major German businesses got together to establish an initiative that was to provide further training for young managers from selected sub-Saharan African countries. They called it ‘Afrika kommt!’ – Africa’s coming. The businesses had realised that Africa has a fantastic future ahead of it and they aimed to harness its potential at an early stage. Each of the businesses involved accepts one African participant and gives them managerial training over a one-year period. In this way they invest in building cooperation with Africa. They benefit from the country-specific knowledge and experience of these highly motivated young professionals – it is a classical win-win situation!

GIZ runs the programme on behalf of the initiative. Our work starts with the selection of the young managers in Africa and goes all the way through to establishing an alumni network, which brings together former participants and allows them to advise and assist new programme members. Our wealth of experience in handling longer-term manager programmes and our infrastructure both in Germany and in Africa mean that we are predestined to take on this role.

The selection of suitable candidates itself is an extremely complex process. For the second intake in 2010 – 2012, seventeen candidates were finally selected from a field of 1,697 applicants. Participants acquire a basic knowledge of German in Africa, and then attend intensive language courses for three months in Germany. GIZ management courses prepare them for day-to-day work in German companies. During their stay in Germany and their training within the company to which they have been assigned, GIZ supervises all participants, providing technical and individual support as required. On completion of their stay in Germany we analyse and assess results and bring the future executives together within an alumni network. This network plays a very important role in both private and professional terms. It allows former participants to pass on the positive experience they have gained with German culture and German businesses and thus helps shape public opinion in their home countries. In this way ‘Afrika kommt’ build bridges for sustainable German-African economic cooperation.