Anniversary concert “30 years of SEZ”

Yoya Jamal opens the SEZ's 2021 anniversary concert. He was accompanied on guitar by Marcus Halver.

Small country meets country - How Burundi and Baden-Württemberg celebrated at the SEZ anniversary concert in Stuttgart

The Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation (SEZ) celebrated its 28th anniversary with music from Burundi and Baden-Württemberg on the evening of October 2021, 30 in the New Castle in Stuttgart. Around 80 invited SEZ guests listened to the sounds of the Burundian musician Yoya Jamal and the chamber orchestra Camerata Europeana in the White Hall of the New Palace. The concert was all about the human encounters and partnerships that the SEZ has made possible for over 30 years. Two of the invited guests met for the first time that evening: Appolonie Nibona, the Ambassador of the Republic of Burundi and Rudi Hoogvliet, State Secretary for Media Policy, Federal Representative of the State of Baden-Württemberg and the new Chairman of the SEZ Board of Trustees.

The “Little Country” – this is the name Burundi became known through the novel of the same name by the French-Burundian author Gaël Faye – and the Baden-Württemberg region have a lot in common: numerous civil society, religious and informal connections have existed since the 1980s. The SEZ took up these connections in the 1990s and bundled them, for example in the Burundi meetings that have taken place regularly since 1996 as a space for encounters and exchange. Since 2009 at the latest, it has been said more and more often in Baden-Württemberg Amahoro (Kirundi for Peace) – because this year it was Burundi Competence Center The SEZ was founded, which has since coordinated Burundian-Baden-Württemberg networks and promoted new partnerships.

Encounters, partnerships and networking were the main themes of the evening. In their welcoming speeches, Philipp Keil (Managing Director of the SEZ), Rudi Hoogvliet, Mirjam Schwink (Head of Foundation Management at BW-Bank) and Appolonie Nibona highlighted how important civil society commitment is for a fairer world and thanked all those committed and supporters of the SEZ . In the panel discussion moderated by Lena Wimmer (SEZ), Astere Hatungimana (Chairman of the Burundian Diaspora Germany), Gudrun Today-Bluhm (Executive Director of the Baden-Württemberg City Council), Claudia Duppel (Managing Director of the Baden-Württemberg Development Policy Association) and Erich Schneider (President of the State Parliament) emphasized a.D.) the development policy achievements of the last three decades and discussed what development policy impulses the future needs. You can find a detailed look back at past milestones from 30 years of SEZ and an outlook on our vision for the future in the anniversary brochure “30 Years of SEZ”, which was presented on the evening of the celebration.

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