With this mission statement German Research Minister Anja Karliczeck and African Union Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology Sarah Mbi Enow Anyang Agbor introduced the new Africa Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) today. The strategy was developed with the participation of both German and African stakeholders from the education, science and research sectors. ‘Education and research are key to shaping the future, growing markets and creating jobs. This is especially significant for the strong-growing young population on the African continent. These young people need opportunities to discover, develop and unfold their talents. Such opportunities provide prospects, advance the African continent and strengthen relationships between African and European stakeholders’, said Minister Karliczek at the presentation of the new strategy in Berlin.
The BMBF’s African Strategy offers a reliable framework for establishing and expanding contacts and collaborations with African partner institutions. Henceforth the BMBF is funding five fields of education, science and research in German-African collaboration with a total of 300 million Euro. African and German stakeholders will jointly work on solutions for challenges. Some of these challenges include demographic development, youth unemployment, nutritional needs, climate change, rapid urbanisation and growing demand for energy.
The qualification of people, innovation, as well as the transfer of research results and application form a central focus in the new Africa Strategy. The strategy utilises African priorities and assists with the implementation of the United Nations’ sustainable development goals.
Collaboration with African stakeholders will be strengthened specifically in those subject areas which provide, protect and enhance sustainable livelihoods for people on the African continent. Although the Africa Strategy is oriented towards the interests and needs of African stakeholders, it serves German interests too. ‘With the Africa Strategy, we want to tackle mutual issues, affecting both Africa and Germany as the big issues of our time do not stop at borders. Only together we can master these issues’ underlined Minister Karliczek.
The new Africa Strategy should further internationalise education, science and research in Germany and encourage future prospects and sustainable development opportunities in Africa. For this purpose measures in five areas of action will be focused on:
- Knowledge transfer and innovation
- Qualifying people as a key to individual life prospects and social participation
- Strenghten employability
- Synergies of German commitment should contribute to
- Reaching the UN’s goals for sustainable development and
- improve growth, economical perspectives and wellbeing in the African partner countries.