In conversation with Divine Umulisa

In conversation with journalist and author Divine Umulisa Gashugi © Divine Umulisa Gashugi

Find out how to be part of AMAHORO! in conversation with journalist and author, Divine Umulisa Gashugi. Country partnership has become and what wishes she has as coordinator, especially for the Amahoro Burundi school initiative.

What is your job in AMAHORO! State partnership?

I have been a coordinator for the since 2022 Amahoro Burundi school initiative the Reutlingen Development Education Information Center (EPiZ) employed. Together with my colleagues Kafalo Sékongo, Gundula Büker and Natalia Zumarán, I am part of the AMAHORO Education Cluster! State partnership. We work with various actors in the field of education to make the partnership better known. Our motto here is: learn from each other instead of learning about each other.

To do this, I organize events where students from Baden-Württemberg have an exchange with young people from Burundi. We also support schools that are already active in the partnership.

How did you become part of the partnership?

First and foremost, of course, about my job as AMAHORO coordinator! School initiative. But also about my personal story: I was born in Rwanda and have already lived in Burundi. So I have many friends and acquaintances in Burundi. Before my role as coordinator for school partnerships, I worked with young people from Burundi for over ten years. For example, in creative projects for political education as well as in the areas of art and culture.

I now live in Baden-Württemberg and the partnership is an opportunity for me to continue my work with people in Burundi. I like that it is now my job to bring both cultures together. Every time I am in contact with our Burundian partners and colleagues, it feels as if we have always been working together. Our shared understanding makes our collaboration particularly productive.

What is your wish for the partnership?

My wish for the partnership is of course that it gets more visibility. Unfortunately, schools in Baden-Württemberg are still difficult to win over for a school partnership in general and it is particularly difficult when it comes to the partner country Burundi. Because the country is not that well known and is not a tourist destination for people in Germany. My wish would be that we financially support the school partnership with Burundi so that a partnership with the partner country of Baden-Württemberg becomes more attractive for the local schools.

Basically, I wish the AMAHORO! State partnership to increase visibility and strengthen its work on the anniversary.

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Partnership work by AMAHORO! Country partnership between BW & Burundi


New: AMAHORO! Anniversary funding

© SEZ; Graphic: Studio Micha Binder

Many will have already noticed: The AMAHORO! State partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi celebrates anniversary. For over 40 years, partnerships have connected people from the countryside to the land of 1000 hills.

To ensure that the broad network of active and committed people grows, the AMAHORO is taking place once this year! Anniversary funding specifically for your Burundi-related events, media and public relations work.

The AMAHORO! State partnership should become better known, which is why the SEZ supports your ideas and your commitment with funds from the state of Baden-Württemberg.

The AMAHORO! Anniversary funding shortly:

  • Be promoted publicity activities, events, media etc. related to Burundi in Baden-Württemberg.
  • are eligible non-profit, private providers, clubs and organizations based in Baden-Württemberg, especially diasporic organizations.
  • The funding and activities start from now until and including December 31, 2024.
  • Applications should take approximately 8 weeks before carrying out the activity.
  • The amount of funding is a maximum of EUR 2.000 per organization.

More information about AMAHORO! anniversary funding, You can find the guidelines and the application form here here.

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Project coordination Dohuk and AMAHORO! State partnership


In conversation with Bishop Dr. Bigirimana

Bishop Dr. Éraste Bigirimana and Philipp Keil exchanged ideas during their visit to AMAHORO! State partnership and education (© SEZ).

On March 7, 2024, the Anglican Bishop of Bujumbura, Dr. Éraste Bigirimana, the SEZ office in Stuttgart. His vision: to strengthen education and connect teachers and students from both regions. The AMAHORO! State partnerships can support this.

What stands out to you about AMAHORO! State partnership?

I greatly value this partnership and am grateful that civil society, churches and other groups are involved in this partnership. I wish the partnership a happy anniversary and hope that it continues to grow.

What are your wishes for the future?

We would like to maintain good relationships within AMAHORO! Maintain and further expand the partnership. It is important to invest in youth and the young generation. The expansion and promotion of education, vocational training and professional development are essential for this. Because these are investments in the future and therefore projects in this area must be supported in Burundi.

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Partnership work by AMAHORO! Country partnership between BW & Burundi


Change of perspective - images of Africa reflected in the generations

Participants of the network meeting at Fair Trade: In conversation about images of Africa as reflected in the generations (© Cengiz Akaygün)

On April 06, 2024, 50 voices from the Afrodiaspora in Baden-Württemberg and interested parties met at the Fair Trade trade fair for the Africa Forum Baden-Württemberg network meeting to talk about images of Africa as reflected in the generations.

Established and young voices from the Afrodiaspora shared their personal experiences and encounters with images of Africa and the stereotypical representation of the continent in Baden-Württemberg in living room discussions during the network meeting. 

Moderated by Faisal Osman (Black Community Foundation Stuttgart eV), there were two rounds of discussions:

In the first conversation, Grace Alele from SIMAMA – STAND UP eV and Eric Kamguia from Awoli eV exchanged their personal experiences with images of Africa. In the second round Naemi Mirene Makiadi from Afrokids International eV and the ReCollect Collective and Komlan Batema from KAMA MBOWOU eV talked about the diversity and complexity of the African continent. In both conversations, the speakers took the listeners on an intergenerational journey into the past, present and future.

Musically, the artist has Akeva! Malayika framed the event with their songs.

Thanks to all participants and supporters!

Become part of the network

Would you like to work with the Africa Forum Baden-Württemberg network to promote more exchange between actors in Afrodiasporic civil society and representatives from state politics, foundations, municipal representations and administration?

As part of the network, you strengthen the partnerships and the participation of those involved in global issues and actively contribute to rethinking the image of Africa in Baden-Württemberg.

We look forward to new faces and your interest in the Africa Forum Baden-Württemberg network and cordially invite you to become part of the network. Attend one of the events in the network or contact us if you would like to be included in our mailing list.

Events from the Africa Forum network

20. Jun

Biogas, solar and wind power: Sustainable energy production in sub-Saharan Africa: Development policy lunch talk

12:00 - 13:30
12. Jun

Digital presentation of the second edition of the brochure “Reflect North-South Partnerships”

16:00 - 17:30
06. Sep

Rhine-Neckar District adventure tour: From the river to the sea – the path of our waste

14:00 - 18:00
26. October

Africa Forum Baden-Württemberg




Strategy Partnerships & Africa Forum


Management & Communications Officer


Fair trade was celebrated at the trade fair

Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the SEZ, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, Ambassador Albert Shingiro, Agriculture Minister Peter Hauk, Federal Agriculture Minister Cem Özdemir cutting the anniversary cake (from left to right). Photo: SEZ/Fotonoid.

Ceremonial opening of Fair Trade and the AMAHORO! anniversary year

This year there was double reason to celebrate at the spring trade fairs: the opening of Fair Trade with a focus on resource justice and the 40th anniversary of AMAHORO! State partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi. The Minister for Foreign Affairs and Development Cooperation of the Republic of Burundi, Ambassador Albert Shingiro, traveled with a delegation for this occasion.

In the hall too, everything at the Fair Trade Fair revolved around resource justice. From April 4th to 7th, exhibitors showed what fair handling of raw materials and production in the areas of fashion, food and handicrafts is. Those thirsty for knowledge and those who enjoy playing got their money's worth at the FAIRchange market.

Anniversary cake with the taste of the state partnership

At the opening of the Slow Food and Fair Trade Fair, opening speaker Cem Özdemir and Agriculture Minister Peter Hauk, who, as a Baden-Württemberg government representative, handed over a special cake to Foreign Minister Albert Shingiro, also congratulated. Vegan and locally produced by Café Kuchenliebe from Stuttgart with local spelled and a cream made from passion fruit and coffee, the cake was a symbol of what the AMAHORO! What makes partnership what it is: the exchange between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi.

The offers of Fair Trade

The state development policy conference on the Saturday of the trade fair also dealt with resource justice and the AMAHORO! State partnership and formulated demands on state politics. Fair trade always combines specialist events in development policy as well as participatory offers relating to global learning and thus contributes to networking and visibility of global sustainability issues. In the areas of future fashion and fair trade, certified and tested exhibitors offer concrete product alternatives to fast fashion and waste of resources. Trade fair visitors were also invited to become active themselves: repair cell phones in the Repair Café or create future fashion themselves using upcycling and design techniques at DIY Sunday at the Future Fashion Forum. The new traveling exhibition “AMAHORO Burundi – partner country full of facets” was shown at the trade fair for the first time. After the successful completion of the fair trade rally, to which the development policy education actors invited, a competition offered great prizes from the exhibitors.

Thanks to all exhibitors and participants at Fair Trading 2024!

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