Economy and development cooperation

In which areas can Germany develop? This is how the discussion event “Economy and development cooperation – how does it fit together?” began, to which the SEZ invited people to the state fair in Stuttgart on April 10, 5 as part of the 2018th anniversary of its Fair Trade International Fair for Fair Trade and Globally Responsible Action.

Three scholarship holders from AFRIKA KOMMT! – Naseeba Bagalaaliwo, Augusta Muhimpundu and Yolanda Pitso – company spokesperson for the program Hartwig Löffler from Bosch GmbH and the Kenyan economist James Shikwati discussed under the moderation of Joyce M. Muvunyi. The panelists agreed that a shift away from 'help and support' towards real partnerships and real shared interests is needed.  

Naseeba Bagalaaliwo, lawyer and cultural coordinator from Uganda, emphasized that empowerment should focus on sharing power. In addition, she misses stories in development cooperation that sometimes report failure. This is the only way to develop further. James Shikwati underscored this by saying that "you don't have to 'help' anyone to remain significant." This is exactly where the difference would become clear for an actual mutual interest. 

Augusta Muhimpundu, a psychologist from Burundi, highlighted the psychological challenges on both sides of Europe-Africa relations and suggested the establishment of a new 'we' understanding. The most important tool for successful collaborations is therefore not talking, but listening, says Hartwig Löffler. Every strategy paper talks about the “development” of Africa, but it is far more important to talk about youth when it comes to the future and sustainability. “We have the software, we have the people,” says Yolanda Pitso, an engineer from Botswana. “Africa does not need money, but time, data and strong mindsets,” concludes James Shikwati.

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