The 30 participants of the fifth year of the AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative from nine different countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Kenya, Mozambique, Nigeria, Rwanda and Uganda / Photo: Barbara Frommann

AFRIKA KOMMT! Training young African managers in German companies

One of the priorities of the German G20 Presidency in 2017 is Africa and the challenges the continent is facing as well as its potential. This potential is also the key focus of the AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative, which 19 leading German companies launched in 2008. 

The programme trains future managers and fosters German-African economic relations. Word about the initiative has spread quickly, including through reporting in African media. In the first year alone, about 1,000 young managers from 30 sub-Saharan countries applied. This year, AFRIKA KOMMT! has achieved a new record with nearly 6,000 applicants from 45 countries vying for the available 21 places.

The programme revolves around an eight-month internship in a German company. During their assignment, participants gain valuable insight into work processes, company structures and management methods. But the programme goes beyond providing individual support. The participants’ trips also turn them into experts for future economic co-operation between their home countries and Germany. Alumni networks strengthen the newly formed relationships, which benefits both sides.

Immediately after participating, around 70 per cent of the alumni have gone on to successfully secure a job at their partner company’s African subsidiary. Others, like Lucy Wanjiku Mutinda from Kenya, have been able to develop and implement their own business idea thanks to their participation in the programme. In the meantime, the young Kenyan’s company, which installs small-scale sewage plants for the biological treatment of waste water whose technology was developed by a company based in the German federal state of Schleswig-Holstein, now has some 20 employees.

AFRIKA KOMMT! participant Juddy Akinyi from Kenya during her training in Germany / Photo: © Judie Kaberia


Henning von Boxberg, Managing Director of Robert Bosch Power Tools GmbH, says, ‘AFRIKA KOMMT! is a great opportunity for Bosch to contribute to positive change in Africa. When participants return to their home countries, they share their experience and so prompt growth and innovation. That’s great for the local economy and for the German companies that invest in Africa, too.’

The participating German companies cover the costs for AFRIKA KOMMT! On their behalf, the German development agency (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit or GIZ) organises and steers the various activities from its state office in North Rhine-Westphalia.

On July 17, Germany’s President Steinmeier will receive the current placement holders in Schloss Bellevue, Berlin, shortly before their participation in the programme officially concludes at the end of July. Immediately afterwards in August, AFRIKA KOMMT! will then welcome the next group of 21 young professionals. For the first time, experts and managers from the public-benefit sector will also receive training.


Strengthen African-German economic relations – this is one of the goals of the German G20 Presidency and it is also the objective of the AFRIKA KOMMT! initiative.
Nineteen leading German companies launched the initiative in 2008 and commissioned the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to implement it. Supported by the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, AFRIKA KOMMT! is a further training programme for young African executives.

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