Michael Küppers-Adebisi, spokesman for Diversity and Community Building at the Berlin Global Village (left), and his colleague ably moderated the event/All Photos: Femi Awoniyi

Berlin Global Village opens

The opening of the newly-built German capital’s one-world centre (Eine-Welt-Zentrum), the Berlin Global Village, was celebrated on Friday.

The aim of the Berlin Global Village, whose construction was flagged off just about a year ago, is to provide working and meeting spaces for around 50 development and migrant-diasporic non-governmental organisations.

The Berlin Global Village, whose construction was flagged off just about a year ago, is to provide working and meeting spaces for around 50 development and migrant-diasporic non-governmental organisations

“Berlin as a sustainable and cosmopolitan metropolis needs strong structures and places of exchange and debate for civil society. With the one-world centre, Berlin now finally has a place for dialogue on global issues,” said Ramona Pop, Senator for Economic Affairs, at the opening ceremony.

“This is important for a lively, solidary and committed capital. I am excited about the numerous initiatives and projects that will find their way into the city from the Berlin Global Village,” she added.

Ramona Pop, Senator for Economic Affairs, delivering her address at the opening ceremony

Ms Pop praised the speed with which the building was erected, reminding her audience that its topping-out ceremony took place only in February last year.

“The communities have been waiting for this for a long time,” Akinola Famson, chairman of the Berlin Africa Council, said at the function. He described the Berlin Global village as a place of openness, non-discrimination and inclusion. Famson, who is also a member of the board of the Berlin Global Village, thanked the State of Berlin and the District of Neukölln for their generous support for the project.

A cross-section of guests at the opening ceremony

Facilities at the Berlin Global Village, located in the district of Neukölln, include a “global classroom” for dissemination of information on globalisation, human rights and sustainability. There are also event rooms, a gallery, a toy library with toys from all over the world and a café with fair trade products.

“The centre provides excellent working conditions for civil society organisations and initiatives to jointly develop sustainable strategies for the future,” the managers of the Berlin Global Village says. “But it is also a social space and thus a place of dialogue and exchange that inspires visitors and interested people for the necessity and diversity of One World work and integrates them into the work through very specific offers.”

Akinola Famson, chairman of the Africa Council Berlin Brandenburg and member of the board of the Berlin Global Village, speaking at the function

The state of Berlin made the project possible in 2018 with start-up financial support of 3 million euros to Berlin Global Village gGmbH. In addition, the federal government provided 1.8 million euros. The non-governmental organizations themselves provided over half of the construction costs, 7.9 million euros, through long-term loans.

Berlin Global Village e.V. was founded in February 2011 and emerged from an initiative of the Berliner Entwicklungspolitischer Ratschlag e.V. (Berlin Development Policy Council or BER).

Adetoun Küppers-Adebisi of AFROTAK TV cyberNomads addressing the event

With now more than 30 member organisations, the Berlin Global Village association is a network of individual small associations, larger non-governmental organisations and umbrella organisations that work on a variety of issues relevant to globally just development. Among these are Afrika-Rat Berlin Brandenburg e.V., AFROTAK TV cyberNomads, AfricAvenir International e.V. and Initiative Schwarze Menschen in Deutschland e.V.

Elizabeth Beloe, chairperson of moveGLOBAL e.V., addressing the event

According to Michael Küppers-Adebisi, spokesman for Diversity and Community Building at the Berlin Global Village, a memorial to the victims of the slave trade and colonialism will be erected in the premises of the Village.

The opening of the Berlin Global Village was celebrated alongside the 25th anniversary of the BER, an association of more than 100 development policy groups.

Femi Awoniyi

Visit the website of the Berlin Global Village at: https://www.berlin-global-village.de/

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