In gratitude for Erich Schneider

On the occasion of the 90th birthday of Mr. Erich Schneider, former President of the State Parliament. D., in Burgstetten in August 2023: SEZ Managing Director Mr. Philipp Keil next to Mr. Erich Schneider and Ms. State Parliament President Muhterem Aras (from left to right) in Burgstetten. ©Municipality of Burgstetten

Erich Schneider as a pioneer of the Amahoro! State partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi

On February 8th, 2024, our long-time friend and supporter, Mr. Erich Schneider, President of the State Parliament and Mayor (retired). D., deceased. Schneider was President of the Baden-Württemberg state parliament from 1982 to 1992 and, together with Erwin Teufel, the former parliamentary group leader of the CDU state parliamentary group, promoted the establishment of the Baden-Württemberg Development Cooperation Foundation.

Schneider has been committed to our partner country Burundi since his time in the state parliament and has also actively promoted this commitment under the umbrella of the Christian Youth Village Association of Germany (CJD). This led to the creation of the Erich Schneider Foundation Fund Burundi in 2006, which supports projects for the education and training of young people in the East African country.

With his commitment to Burundi, Schneider initiated the Amahoro state partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi, whose more than 40th anniversary we are celebrating this year.

Philipp Keil, Managing Director of the SEZ, honored Erich Schneider as a pioneer for this partnership at the 90th birthday celebrations in Burgstetten and expressed his gratitude for his long-standing commitment to Burundi in the following words:

Once thought in Baden-Württemberg,
A partnership was created, beautifully done.
It was Mr Schneider, President of the State Parliament, who gave it as a gift,
The ties with Burundi that guided us today.

Now we are celebrating his 90th birthday
A life full of impact, big and fine.
The state partnership, a legacy so worth
For peace and friendship that adores us.

Thanks to Mr. Schneider, we stand hand in hand,
Connected to Burundi, in a distant land.
The years pass, but the friendship remains,
A bond of hearts that will always accompany and teach us.

So we raise a glass and sing a song,
For Mr. State Parliament President Schneider, full of gratitude.
A life full of deeds, a heart full of kindness,
We congratulate you on 90 years today!

We remain deeply grateful for Mr. Erich Schneider as a pioneer of the Amahoro state partnership between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi.


Philipp Keil and Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann in conversation

A special moment captured in pictures: Philipp Keil personally invites Prime Minister Winfried Kretschmann to the partnership celebration between Baden-Württemberg and Burundi.

The most important message to Mr. Kretschmann that Philipp Keil was able to make clear during the conversation at Villa Reitzenstein is that development cooperation begins here in Baden-Württemberg and strengthens social cohesion.

The fact that Baden-Württemberg's connections to the world are diverse and that the commitment of associations, churches and municipalities represent international partnerships in Baden-Württemberg and complement the relationships in business and research was the broad framework that Philipp Keil spanned in the conversation. Partnerships between cities, communities, NGOs and associations enable encounters between south and north and bring people from Baden-Württemberg together with people all over the world. These development policy partnerships and content priorities are in the The country's development policy guidelines which the State Ministry developed together with civil society in a complex participation process. The Council for Development Cooperation advises the state government on its implementation and is coordinated by the SEZ.

Philipp Keil also brought to the conversation a different view of the African continent, of the BW-Burundi partnership and of what development means: that we in Baden-Württemberg, as world export champions, cannot of course live at the expense of others and, above all, in addition to natural resources must also recognize the value of ideas from partner countries. Our world, which is largely influenced by Western countries, has brought about climate change and has not resolved major conflicts to this day. We are currently facing particularly big challenges, which is why new ideas are urgently needed.

Philipp Keil took the Prime Minister with him on a change of perspective: it is a task for Baden-Württemberg to learn that our partner country Burundi is a fertile, traditional country with an innovative youth. That many people in Baden-Württemberg don’t even know about. And that a focus on ideas, people and opportunities for cooperation is a win-win for both sides. Because everyone knows the moment of enlightenment on vacation or, when you walk through your hometown with someone who doesn't know it yet: you suddenly see with different eyes.

Therefore, the invitation to the Prime Minister to celebrate the anniversary of the BW-Burundi partnership together with the State Ministry, the Baden-Württemberg state parliament and the Burundian and Baden-Württemberg protagonists of the partnership fell on fertile ground. As a gift, Philipp Keil brought the Prime Minister a small drum from Burundi, which represents a national landmark and is world-famous. Burundian drums and ritual dance convey cultural, political and social messages and bring people of different generations and backgrounds together to promote unity and social cohesion. The ritual dances and drums from Burundi have been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2014.

SEZ Board of Trustees

Philipp Keil is a guest on the podcast of the Baden-Württemberg state representation in Berlin

Development cooperation of the State Ministry of Baden-Württemberg

Calendar of Events




About Us


Jobs & Careers

Foundation mission


Board of Trustees

Board of Trustees

support group


Global Commune

Africa Forum #Changing the Narrative

Partnership Center

World:Citizens asked!

project funding





BW-Burundi partnership

Act fairly

Future fashion

School and global learning

To connect

Funded projects

World shop directory Baden-Württemberg

Network map for Baden-Württemberg

Media Library

Photo and video gallery

Exhibition rental

SEZ publications