Seven is a special number. It’s said that 7 is the number of completeness and perfection (both physical and spiritual).
It is therefore an important occasion when an organisation clocks that figure.
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Organisation for African Unity, eighty representatives of African-German organisations, representing the 54 African countries, came together in Berlin on 24-25 May 2013 at the Kenako African Festival to form a united body.
The result is the Federal Network of The African Network of Germany or TANG.
The goal of this body is to bring together people of African descent living in Germany to develop their full potential as a driving force in society.
The initiator of TANG is Dr Sylvie Nantcha, a member of the CDU who was then a councillor in the city of Freiburg.
“Around 500,000 people with African roots from 54 countries live in Germany. There are over 3,000 African associations and companies that have been operating here for years. Every day we show how successfully we organise at local and regional levels. Now it is time to systematically expand this cooperation to the federal level. This network offers us a great opportunity to achieve a great deal in the Federal Republic of Germany in the area of thematic and regional networks as well as through the committee of nominated delegates from the African embassies and the diaspora,” Dr Nantcha told delegates at the inauguration of TANG seven years ago.
The historic event was attended by dignitaries such as Mr Günter Nooke, special adviser for Africa to the Chancellor, who gave the opening speech. Ms Honey Deihimi, a senior official at the Federal Chancellery who represented the then Federal Integration Commissioner, Prof Maria Böhmer, officially inaugurated TANG.
Seven years down the road, TANG has become an octopus, consisting of more than 700 organisations and individual members, which has spread its influence into German government policy in the areas of integration and international development.
TANG represents the interests of its members in numerous specialist commissions, forums and working groups at the federal level.
For example, TANG is a member of the expert working group on the review of the Federal Government’s National Integration Action Plan (NAP-I). The result of the group’s work was presented at the 2020 National Integration Summit, which took place in March, and at which Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the formation of a high-level cabinet committee against racism and right-wing extremism. It’s the first time that government at the highest level will tackle racism in Germany.
TANG is also a member of the Forum Against Racism, an internal discussion platform on which non-governmental organisations and the Federal Government exchange views and ideas on issues surrounding racism.
Moreover, TANG is a member of the Africa Dialogue Round with the Diaspora of the Federal Foreign Office.
Last July, the Federal Government appointed Dr Sylvie Nantcha as a member of a technical commission on migration. The task of the 24-member commission is to identify “the root causes of flight and irregular migration” and it has until the end of this year to make concrete recommendations for action on how to tackle the issues.
The African Network of Germany now includes the following regional networks: Baden-Württemberg, Berlin-Brandenburg, Hamburg, Hesse, Lower Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Saxony-Anhalt, Schleswig-Holstein and Thuringia. There are plans for the establishment of further regional networks.
TANG, through its regional networks, implements projects to promote the integration of Africans in Germany and advise governments at all levels on issues of international co-operation and development. TANG is also involved in efforts to raise awareness of the dangers and risks of irregular migration in Africa.
For an organisation to have become such an important player in Germany in only seven years is enough reason to celebrate it.
Happy Birthday, TANG!
More about The African Network in Germany (TANG) at http://tang-ev.de/