African-German Youth Initiative
The African-German Youth Initiative not only intends to promote better understanding between young people from both continents but is also a way of working together to master challenges, from climate protection to a world without hunger. In cooperation with the African Union, the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (Bundesministerium für wirtschaftliche Zusammenarbeit und Entwicklung – BMZ) has selected three pilot countries: Benin, South Africa and Tanzania.
To date, the exchange program has catered for individual young people or school groups. Working with the AGYI, the BMZ now cooperates with additional social groups, for which the ministry is creating a new funding program: youth groups, scouts, sports clubs or music groups meet up and work together on issues such as climate change, poverty, or their respective perception of Germany or Africa. For example, Benin football clubs will in future be able to play against German teams. In order to make this possible, the AGYI has initiated a strategic collaboration with the German Sports Youth organization (Deutsche Sportjugend – DSJ), which will enable access to some 90,000 prospective sports associations.
Existing exchange programs will continue
The BMZ intends to use the first three years to gather experience with the pilot countries, and subsequently to negotiate with additional countries. Current exchange programs with other African countries (e.g. Ghana, Uganda, Rwanda) will continue. At least a third more young people are expected to take part in the programs during the coming three years. Today, some 2,000 young people from African countries and Germany are involved every year in various BMZ-funded exchange and voluntary service programs. Next year, the new funding program is expected to attract 400 participants. Associations wishing to participate can apply as of now.
For more information about the African-German Youth Initiative go to: www.jugendinitiative.info