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.

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

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