AFRIKA KOMMT!: a flagship initiative of German industry for young, future leaders from Africa
Germany’s leading businesses joined forces for their vision of sustainable economic cooperation with African countries. Africa is on the rise and is teeming with infinite potential for sustainable economic and social transformation. A brilliance of young promising leaders, female and male, share the vision of ensuring both economic and social success and becoming the backbone of new developments in the German African relationship.
In 2008, nineteen companies, led by Tilman Todenhöfer, former Managing Director of Robert Bosch Industrial Trust KG and supported by the former Federal President Horst Köhler, transformed their vision into action and founded AFRIKA KOMMT!.
The programme AFRIKA KOMMT! brings together the most visionary young leaders from Africa and German companies. Companies benefit from the expertise, knowledge, local network and unique African perspective of the young professionals. The African fellows dive deep into the German corporate specifics, German business spirit and the German culture. Empowered with international experience, technical skills and German language they become African change agents for the sake of both: the German business relations with Africa as well as for economic and social growth in the fellows’ home countries and communities.
The programme entails selection of top tier professionals from all African countries – including North Africa – and facilitating a one year personal and professional transformational journey in Germany. This encompasses German language lessons, international management trainings, study tours and peaks in an 8-month practical training at the host company.
After completion of eight program intakes, the impact is evident: 203 alumni of the programme are transferring their knowledge and experience to their home countries. They are leading projects, businesses, and change initiatives through German-African cooperation. In addition, more than half of the young experts continue to work for their partner companies in Africa or Germany. They are driving diversity and innovation within the companies, creating new products, opening new offices in Africa, growing existing markets and boosting the local, African and global network.
The Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier supports AFRIKA KOMMT! and acknowledges the initiative through a reception of the young leaders. The programme also receives active support from the German Federal Foreign Office and the German embassies in Africa. The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is commissioned by the companies to organise and implement the programme.
What does the programme entail?
At the core of the AFRIKA KOMMT! programme is a one-year stay for the African professionals in Germany. During this time, the fellows actively work in their partner companies where they are trained and mentored. Other components organized by GIZ such as language courses, trainings and networking events supplement the learning experience.
- Professional and tailor-made selection process: The fellows of the programme are chosen in a comprehensive selection process that is implemented in close cooperation with the participating companies.
- Language and cultural integration for fellows: The programme begins with German language and cultural integration courses to prepare the fellows for their stay in Germany. The fellows also get an opportunity to visit cultural heritage sites within Germany.
- Management training for fellows: The fellows undergo three modules of intense management training where they advance their knowledge of modern global management practices.
- Professional fellowship in partner company: The young experts spend eight months with their partner companies and are engaged in projects and meaningful work experience.
- AFRIKA KOMMT! Network: The partner companies and the African professionals come together at various networking events, share expertise and drive common projects.
- Alumni phase: After their one-year stay in Germany, the fellows become knowledge and skill transfer ambassadors as alumni in their home countries. A one-week refresher course in Germany or in Africa advances the skill set of the alumni and fosters continued strengthening of the AFRIKA KOMMT! network.
A Comprehensive Programme in Three Phases
Selection and Preparation
- Definition of fellowship profiles by the companies
- Application phase
- Selection of the candidates for the Assessment Center
- Assessment Center and final selection of fellows
- Preparatory German course in home country for fellows
One-Year Stay in Germany
- Intensive German language course
- 3 Management Trainings (Focus: Intercultural Competencies, Leadership, Project and Change Management, Conflict Management)
- 8-month fellowship in the partner company
- One-week study tour
- Weekend Seminars
- Networking events
- Farewell ceremony with the Federal Foreign Office
- One-week refresher course
- Participation in AFRIKA KOMMT! events
- Alumni projects
- Continous networking