The German Language is in the top 10 of the most widely spoken language in the world. It is the language of business and science. About 100 million people speak German as their mother tongue or home language, mostly in Europe, but also in North America, South America, Africa and Asia. An additional 55 million people are actively learning German.
On the continent of Africa, the German language is a sought-after skill. In academia as well as in economy, Germany and Africa are growing together. With the new Marshall plan for Africa that was introduced by the German Development Minister, Gerd Müller, poverty elevation stands at the center of the joint actions between Germany and Africa. Read more about the Marshall plan for Africa here.
In academia, co-operations between Germany and Africa grow closer daily. One of the major co-operations between Germany and Africa is the Africa Strategy Paper devised in 2014 in Johannesburg by African representatives from various Higher Education Landscapes in Africa and DAAD representatives:
The DAAD strategy for academic co-operation with sub-Saharan Africa is the result of an intensive dialogue process between German and African universities, DAAD alumni, university associations and political organisations in Africa.
Five areas of activity have been identified for 2015 – 2020:
- Qualifying university lecturers – through scholarships in Germany and at well performing universities in sub-Saharan Africa
- Building capacities for graduate education and research at African universities
- Strengthening universities as effective actors in promoting societal development, especially through degree programmes that are relevant to the current and future labour markets, applied research and consultancy, knowledge transfer to industry, promoting entrepreneurial commitment among graduates, social and legal expertise and developing a culture of dialogue in civil society
- Facilitating access for German universities to the African continent and disseminating knowledge about Germany in Africa – building on the existing interest in cooperation and opening up additional opportunities through appropriate funding programmes
- Strengthening synergies and co-operations – reinforcing the ties between German and African players, especially with Africa’s regional university associations (AAU, CAMES, IUCEA and SARUA). Both established DAAD programmes and new models of cooperation should be used to achieve these objectives. The quantitative and qualitative expansion of the programme portfolio to implement this strategy will be achieved, on the one hand, by reallocating expenditure and, on the other hand, by acquiring new German, African and international donor funds
Furthermore, the number of university co-operations and student exchanges between Germany and Africa rises every year which shows that both regions are becoming more aware of one another and thrive upon the exchanges of its academics and students between Germany and Africa. Therefore, DAAD sends more than 30 lecturers to Africa to teach the German language and build bridges to German Higher Education landscapes. Those lecturers are in Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Mali, Ivory Coast, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Cameroon, Sudan, Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda, Sao Tome, Tanzania, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Madagascar and South Africa.
In Kenya, for example, a new Master’s degree programme educated the next generation of German teachers and professors. The highly successful degree has a strong impact on the whole region of East and West Africa. In Togo, more than 200 students enroll for a Beginner course in German each semester and this number increases yearly.