In June, participants of the African Academy embarked on a journey to Brussels and Berlin for a series of enriching experiences.
The month began with an immersive exploration of European politics in Brussels. The participants had the opportunity to engage in policy exchanges at the EU Commission, the EU Parliament and the Representation of North Rhine-Westphalia. They witnessed a parliamentary session, gaining firsthand exposure to European politics. Additionally, they met with the Ambassador of the African Union Representation to the EU, visited the AfricaMuseum, and engaged in thought-provoking discussions on postcoloniality. The visit to Brussels concluded with substantive exchanges and networking opportunities with civil society organizations, focusing on topics such as the Green Deal and sustainable economy.
The second academic module coincided with the UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn. It was a collaborative effort between AfrA and WASCALTogo to facilitate joint knowledge exchange and creation. With the overarching theme of „Climate change and adaptation strategies for more resilient societies“, the module covered various topics, including disaster risk management, water availability, systems thinking perspectives and gender-specific adaptation measures. The participants also enjoyed a guided tour of the Meteorological Institute of the University of Bonn, which provided them with a firsthand understanding of research and practices in the field, enhancing their learning experience.
In the latter part of the month, the Academy traveled to Berlin for the final academic module focused on combating inequalities. The multifaceted nature of inequality and its dynamics were extensively explored, and participants delved into various instruments and methods for analysing them. The module covered the informal economy, social security systems, political participation, power structures, privileges, and discrimination. A highlight of their stay in Berlin was the exchange with Jochen Flasbarth, the State Secretary of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), discussing the BMZ African Strategy.
The module concluded with the BMZ Dialogue Event, organised by GIZ, where the participants were presented with and discussed the new position paper titled „Less inequality – More opportunities for sustainable development.“