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NOVember 2019


Dear Readers,

Africa is young, this statement is most likely not a new one for you. The average age on the continent is 18 years, 40 percent of the population in sub-Saharan Africa is even under 15 years of age. The population in Germany is around three times as old.
What does this mean for Africa and the world? Many people may first think of youth unemployment, lack of prospects and migration. We in the African-German Youth Initiative think of potential, diversity and opportunities. And how we can best reach as many young people and young adults as possible with our opportunities for international exchange or volunteering.
This applies equally to the African pilot countries of the AGYI, Benin, Tanzania and South Africa, and to Germany.
But what does “best reach” mean and how can we ensure that no one is left out? We have been looking into these questions over recent weeks and months - for example at a conference of the AGYI Benin Network on the subject of inclusion and an expert exchange between instructors for the pedagogical preparation and follow-up of volunteers.

The African Union celebrates African Youth Day every year on 1st November. It serves to direct attention towards the youth of Africa, but also to allow their voices to be heard. African Youth Day is followed by African Youth Month with many activities. This was preceded by the African Youth Forum from 23rd to 25th October 2019 in Rwanda, where alumni and participants from the African-German Youth Initiative also contributed their experiences and suggestions.
Aya Chebbi, the African Union Youth Envoy, is convinced: “You can be whatever you want to be. You just need to do two things: find your identity and live out your mission. You have to know who you are and what you stand for.” Finding this out is a big task for many adolescents. Participating in volunteering or an exchange programme – no matter where you come from or which country it is in – is a crucial step for many young people. As the African-German Youth Initiative, we would like to make our contribution here. Read more about this and find out more about other exciting AGYI activities in the last quarter of 2019.

We hope you will find this an inspiring read,

Your AGYI Coordination team


Articles of this issue:




Making volunteering inclusive

The photo shows a group of around 40 people all looking into the camera. They are standing under a banner with the inscription ‘conference for inclusion in youth exchange programmes and volunteering’.
Participants at the conference in Benin. Foto: GIZ
The network of the African-German Youth Initiative in Benin (AGYI Benin Network/ Réseau AGYI Bénin), with the support of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ), organised an international conference on inclusion and volunteering from 2nd to 4th October 2019, which brought together 100 civil society actors from several African countries and Germany involved in youth exchange programmes and volunteering. During the conference, the participants exchanged their opinions, thoughts, activities and suggestions on how to involve people with disabilities or special needs more closely in youth exchange programmes and voluntary work.
For these three days, participants took part in several panels, workshops and group work. They shared their experiences and visions on topics as varied as the design thinking process, regional perspectives on integration, North-South power relations in African-German partnerships, language as a mechanism for exclusion and the inclusion of rural youth or people with special needs in volunteer and mobility programmes.
At the end of the work, the participants formulated several recommendations for those involved in the field of volunteering:
→ Increase awareness campaigns within communities
→ Conduct lobbying and advocacy on behalf of people with special needs and contribute to a change in mentality and better acceptance in society
→ Enforce laws that favour stigmatised people or pass laws that protect them and allow their integration
→ Encourage target groups to get involved in decision-making bodies
→ Train stakeholders
→ Promote inclusive training and training in general
→ Build appropriate infrastructure
→ Facilitate the professional integration of target groups by setting quotas and promote exchange programmes in rural areas.
GIZ has supported the establishment of the AGYI Benin Network since August 2018. Its objectives include the promotion of volunteering and exchange programmes, the development of partnerships and exchange programmes with organisations from other countries in Africa and the rest of the world, increasing the availability of pan-African volunteer services and youth exchange programmes, and building capacity for organisations working in the field of volunteering.

Sustainably sporty: successful German-Botswanan advanced training for Deutsche Sportjugend

The photo shows 20 young people posing for a group photo and looking into the camera.
Exchanges in Botswana. Photo: Deutsche Sportjugend
Together with the Botswanan partner organisation ‘The Voice of a Child and Youth Engagement’, Deutsche Sportjugend (German Sports Youth, dsj) this year organised advanced training for youth leaders interested in an African-German youth exchange programme as part of a weltwärts exchange project. The participants, aged between 19 and 29, brought initial project ideas with them and developed them further over the course of the year. After all, the main objective for participation in this pilot project was: to have the necessary enthusiasm and motivation to initiate their own exchange projects thanks to their newly acquired knowledge and personal experience.

During the first exchange phase in Botswana in March 2019, personal and cultural understanding, intercultural communication, teamwork and project management were on the agenda with various workshops. The participants’ shared enthusiasm for exercise and sporting activity was the connecting element and made the mutual exchange easier.

The focus was on the question: “How can the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Agenda 2030 be communicated, made tangible and ultimately implemented through sport?” The participants worked on the 17 goals and sub-goals and developed methods of active implementation for their own exchange projects.

During the second exchange phase in September in Germany, the participants primarily dealt with the specific implementation of the 17 goals at various levels. The participants developed project ideas and plans in answer to the question, ‘How can we create the necessary structures, personal networks and organisational conditions on the ground – in Germany and in Botswana – to implement our own youth exchange programmes in the future?’.

The training is expected to be concluded in November at national evaluation weekends.

The winners of the third round of the song contest ‘Dein Song für EINE WELT’ have been announced!

The jury of the song contest ‘Dein Song für EINE WELT’
The jury of the song contest ‘Dein Song für EINE WELT’. Photo: Engagement Global
The song contest ‘Dein Song für EINE WELT!’ (Your song for ONE WORLD) invites children and young adults aged between 10 and 25 to respond musically to issues relating to global development and to compose their own song for ONE WORLD. In the third round of the song contest, a total of 492 songs were submitted by the closing date in June 2019, including many from African countries.

The main jury for the current round of the song contest met in Berlin on 8th and 9th October 2019. With the jury’s decision, the 23 songs that will be released on the EINE WELT album Vol. 3 have now been decided. The winners of the ‘Africa’ and ‘Latin America’ special prizes and the five finalists who will compete for the main prizes and the title of the EINE WELT song on 4th December 2019 were also selected.

The 25-year-old artist Prince TC from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo was able to secure a place on the EINE WELT album with his song ‘Le monde que l’ont veut’. With his song, Prince TC appeals to mankind to become aware of the importance of planet Earth and to counteract global challenges such as environmental destruction and war. Volcanic King ZW from Waterfalls in Zimbabwe was among those who qualified for the final on 4th December 2019 with the song ‘Kuchema Kwedu’. With his song, the 22-year-old musician draws attention to the challenges in the lives of people in poverty-stricken areas of Zimbabwe. His goal is to encourage these people to continue to hold on to their dreams and strive for a better life.

Sporty language games – Collection of methods for international youth encounters in sport in French and German

Photo of the brochure in German and French
Brochure “Sporty language games - collection of methods for international youth encounters in sport” in French and German. Photo: dsj
The aim of an intercultural youth exchange in sport is to help the two national groups to grow together into a binational team. But how can this be achieved? How can young people overcome their natural inhibitions? How can two groups who do not speak the same language get to know each other? How can group dynamics be encouraged and intercultural learning supported? Language animation is a fun method that makes this possible. Deutsche Sportjugend (German Sports Youth) has developed the brochure ‘Bewegte Sprachanimation’ (Sporty language animation), a collection of methods that combine the potential of language animation with that of sport and movement. In addition to international youth work, the methods are also suitable for other contexts in which young people from different backgrounds and with different language skills play sport together – for example in integrative sports programmes with young migrants. The Franco-German publication was developed in cooperation with the Comité National Olympique Sportif Français (French National Olympic Sports Committee) and supported by the Franco-German Youth Office. The brochure can be downloaded and ordered from the publication shop.

The Respect Guide

The Respect Guide
The Respect Guide. Photo: i-Päd
“When we talk about discrimination, we can’t help but talk about personal actions and statements. A lot can happen between people, whether they are meeting for the first time or have been friends for 20 years. We all have the opportunity to treat each other more respectfully and to discriminate less.” This is how the Respect Guide begins, a guideline for respectful interaction with one another. With this publication, the organisation i-Päd aims to provide suggestions and proposals which make it possible to prevent discrimination.

The guide is already in use in many places: “We use the Respect Guide to advise the German youth organisation team, which is planning an international youth conference together with young people from Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Malawi and South Africa,” reports Nina Reichert from the German association bridge-it!

The guide has also been used in South Africa and Dambisa Dube, technical advisor at GIZ South Africa, sums up her experiences with it: “The Respect Guide is easy to read and has done a great job in simplifying highly complex topics in a very relatable manner with the simple use of language and many examples. Although it has a Eurocentric perspective, I highly recommend it, particularly to those who have engaged in intercultural contexts before and will be able to appreciate the value of another perspective.” However, Dambisa also points out that it would have been better if the guide included perspectives from what is known as the Global South. “I imagine some of the topics addressed, like sexism and homophobia, would need to be addressed with much more sensitivity. Bearing this in mind, I would not recommend it for beginners engaging in topics such as these, particularly from the Global South.”

The Respect Guide can be downloaded free of charge from the website of the organisation i-Päd - intersektionale Pädagogik (intersectional pedagogy). The guide has been available in French since August 2019 – financed by Engagement Global with funding from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.



Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship ‘E-waste and the circular economy’

Group photo of Autumn School participants waving into the camera
25 young social entrepreneurs from Germany and African countries took part in the Autumn School, which this time took place in Accra/Ghana. Photo: Engagement Global
The Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship took place in Accra, Ghana and focused on ‘E-waste and the circular economy’.

“The Autumn School exceeded my expectations,” says Liz Melissa Capcha Eulogio from Germany.
This year, the Autumn School for Sustainable Entrepreneurship took place from 1st to 5th November 2019 in Accra, Ghana, and focused on ‘E-waste and the circular economy’. The participants are upcoming young social entrepreneurs from Germany and African countries who networked with each other and exchanged ideas with experts from business, science and politics in less than a week.
Speaker Vanessa Forti from the United Nations University E-Waste Academy challenged the participants of the Autumn School, “Each of you can be active in areas that are either advancing legislation on e-waste in your countries or using it to develop private services in this area.” Barriatoulah Achimi from the African Circular Economy Network explains, “In Africa, we have the advantage that our societies have been traditionally operating with a circular economy model, so this is already embedded in our culture. And the fact that we are second movers regarding economic development should help us learn from others' mistakes and implement high sustainability and circular economy standards right from the start.”

In addition to workshops on fundraising, business plan development, e-waste value chain creation and online marketing, the Autumn School offered many opportunities for exchange. A special highlight of the Autumn School was the Open Marketplace, where young entrepreneurs could present themselves. “This was an awesome experience from which I will really benefit - I began to think much more broadly, maybe I want to cooperate with that one guy from Zimbabwe. The Autumn School was a significant investment in me. I want to give back in every possible way,” explains Idris Abdulrahim from Nigeria for the organisation FATRA.
This year’s Autumn School was organised by Engagement Global together with the Impact Hub Accra, the city of Accra and numerous economic and civil society institutions mainly from Ghana and Germany.

Trainers exchange ideas and experiences

The picture shows five people standing in a circle around a round table and talking to each other.
Mutual exchange between trainers. Photo: Engagement Global
By skilled workers for skilled workers – the meeting for instructors in international volunteering and youth exchange programmes in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, was all about networking and communication. From 2nd to 4th September 2019, a total of 30 experienced training experts took part in the meeting, which was organised by Engagement Global and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ) together with the civil society partners of the African-German Youth Initiative. The selection and pedagogical support of young people before, during and after their time abroad is of central importance for a successful intercultural exchange. The experienced trainers, representatives of partner organisations and alumni from Benin, Germany, Kenya, South Africa and Tanzania exchanged successful approaches and methods. Training materials from different countries were viewed and shared in open space workshops and group work. In addition to establishing and strengthening existing instructor pools in the pilot countries of the AGYI, the experts formulated the overarching goal of creating an online knowledge platform on which training and mentoring concepts can be shared in the future.

Southern African Alumni Network Continental Summit

Group photo of 40 young people who participated in the Continental Summit of the Alumni Network in Johannesburg.
Participants, alumni of exchange programmes, and representatives of organisations at the Continental Summit of the Southern African Alumni Network. Photo: SAAN
The Southern African Alumni Network (SAAN), with the support of WESSA and Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (German Society for International Cooperation, GIZ), organised a continental summit focusing on an alumni exchange from volunteer and exchange programmes from 23rd to 25th October 2019 in Johannesburg, South Africa.
The summit served to provide a platform for the alumni voices to be heard and to facilitate an exchange across the entire continent. In addition, the summit aimed to engage strategically with exchange stakeholders and government in order to improve the quality of the exchange landscape in African countries. At the same time, the summit showcased the value, benefit and impact of exchange formats for the African youth and enabled a common basis on which challenges can be solved in the future.
The conference gathered over 65 delegates, including 30 alumni from the SADC countries, 20 alumni from West and East Africa, and 15 decision-makers and guests from African-German exchange programmes to participate in the conference. SAAN had already collected stories from alumni in advance and shared them during the conference in the spirit of the conference theme, ‘amplifying youth voices’. The collection will be available as a printed publication and video from December 2019. The experiences shared by the alumni not only help strengthen existing exchange programmes but are also a tool to measure the impact of exchange formats in concrete terms.
Live posting on social media platforms helped build momentum ahead of and during the summit. #AYVSummit2019 and #amplifyingyouthvoices were the summit’s official hashtags. The live streaming of the summit helped engage audiences in an innovative way. After the next steps were agreed on at the Continental Summit in South Africa, the alumni are expected to continue their high level of commitment in the future.

Diverse activities for young people in Tanzania

Young people are standing in a circle and having a discussion.
Students from different schools met during the TYC Schools Camping Conference held in Kilimanjaro in August 2019. Photo: TYC
The Tanzania Youth Coalition (TYC), the AGYI’s implementation organisation in Tanzania, looks back on an intensive and diverse year in 2019. After a first survey of actors for youth exchange programmes in Tanzania was undertaken in 2018, this year’s survey focused on the impact of international exchanges and volunteer programmes. Extensive reports on change processes and other success stories were documented during this by TYC. The trainer’s manual developed by TYC to prepare and follow up on young people was tested in a workshop and 23 schools took part in a Schools Camping Conference. The camp from 5th to 7th August 2019 was the first opportunity for different schools to share experiences and knowledge on volunteering, school partnerships and related learning effects. Each school was represented by a teacher and a student.



New ASA projects in African countries 2020

The photo is taken from a bird’s eye view. Five people are sitting on the floor. Index cards with writing on them lie between the people.
Periods working and studying around the world, that’s what the ASA Programme stands for. Photo: Engagement Global
Once again in 2019, the ASA Programme by Engagement Global has acquired interesting project places for the coming year. Of the 144 projects with 299 places, a total of 69 projects are located in African countries, 15 of which are in the ASA global format. In this format, two participants from Germany work together with two participants from an African country on a six-month project, three months in Germany and three months in the respective African partner country.  

The projects in the ASA global format take place in nine different African countries. These are innovative sustainability projects in various areas, such as digitalisation, marketing and business development, global learning or fashion design. The projects will be published on the website of the ASA Programme from Wednesday, 20th November 2019. Anyone interested can apply for the programme until Friday, 10th January 2020.

Open sponsor conference in the weltwärts programme

The photo shows a globe.
The sponsor conference will take place on 13th and 14th December 2019. Photo: Engagement Global

On the theme of ‘How do we inspire young people to commit themselves to development policy?’, the ninth open sponsor conference for the weltwärts programme will take place in Bonn on 13th and 14th December 2019. Actors from the North-South Volunteer Service and the South-North Component as well as from the weltwärts exchange projects funding line will be invited for the first time.

In addition to current developments in the weltwärts programme and a discussion on the topic of the current sponsor conference, the focus will also be on the possibility of exchange between each other. The various actors who work within the volunteer service components, the weltwärts exchange projects funding line, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the committees and centres of excellence, Engagement Global and the political volunteer representatives in the weltwärts programme can get to know each other and network during the two-day event.


The African-German Youth Initiative

The African-German Youth Initiative (AGYI) promotes the exchange between young people from Germany and African countries, both quantitatively and qualitatively. In a dialogue-orientied, participative and cooperative manner, the Initiative builds on what already exists. It aims to strengthen civil society in order to establish a structure for equal partnerships between Germany and African countires. AGYI has been set out under instruction from the Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung (BMZ - Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development) and the African Union Comission. Engagement Global coordinates the Initiative.


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Responsible for the content: Ulrike Mann
Editors: Ulrike Mann, Barbara Scharfbillig

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