Economic empowerment central

On the podium (from left to right): Amelie Hübner (SINGA Stuttgart), Steve Odhiambo (ukowapi), Joyce M. Muvunyi (SEZ), Flavie Singirankabo (Herzenshand), Dr. Frauke Uekermann (BCG)

“Only economic empowerment creates development,” is the central statement of Steve Odhiambo, founder and managing director of ukowapi. According to Odhiambo, money alone is not everything; people need education and training if the economy is to serve as a motor for development.

The Kenyan entrepreneur emphasized at the event Current development policy the importance of people as the center of the economy and the fact that social innovations must always take place on equal terms in order to be successful. In his keynote speech, he repeatedly pointed out that a change in consciousness was underway. Away from the idea that the problems of African countries in particular can be solved with money, towards the realization that you have to invest primarily in people in order to achieve sustainable development.

Ulrich Werner, the managing director of the GESTE Cooperative Foundation for Development Cooperation, also discussed the importance that people have for development. “We invest in education and we encourage people to take their own initiative.” According to Werner, the cooperatives have a creative mandate and this is also fulfilled in development cooperation by imparting know-how. At the same time, he admitted: “We are not yet completely satisfied with the results, which is why we are currently reviewing our measures in terms of their effectiveness.”

“Economy is a central issue when it comes to development,” says SEZ managing director Philipp Keil. “And where better to start than with social entrepreneurship and with young people who choose this type of entrepreneurship.” He said this especially with regard to the demographic development on the African continent. By 2050, the population there will double compared to today to 2,5 billion people, and by the end of the century there will be four billion. According to Keil, Africa is “very young” because the majority of people are younger than 25 years old. “There is a lot of potential on the continent.”

This year's 26th event felt this potential Current development policy which took place on June 19th in the GENO House in Stuttgart. Current development policy is a joint event by SEZ, the Baden-Württemberg Cooperative Association (BWGV) and the Federation of Self-employed Baden-Württemberg eV

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