Africa Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research

Germany and Africa are cooperating more closely than ever in the fields of education and research. German researchers are working together with partners from more than 39 African countries in over 500 research and education institutions.

The Federal Ministry of Education and Research aims to systematically expand and intensify cooperation with African countries in education and research under its Africa Strategy for the period 2014 to 2018. This will increase Germany's visibility as a key partner for Africa in these two areas. More than 550 collaborations have been launched in higher education so far.

Cooperation focuses mainly on joint research objectives, many of which contribute to mastering global challenges. The two main objectives are 1) to create high-quality and sustainable scientific cooperation structures, and 2) to strengthen regional and continental cooperation and innovation potential while opening up new markets.

Research and education are the two main pillars of the Africa Strategy. The thematic priorities of the research pillar include environment, bioeconomy, health, societal development, resource management and transformation as well as the cross-cutting topic of innovation. The focus in education is mainly on postgraduate studies in the tertiary sector and on vocational training and continuing training. The aim here is to encourage practice-based training and strengthen the African higher education and research area.

The Africa Strategy of the Federal Ministry of Education and Research includes a list of 30 measures which are planned to be implemented in the coming years. Some of them are projects with a wide appeal. Examples of such beacon projects are:

  • the science service centres in Southern and Western Africa which deal with the impact of climate change (SASSCAL / WASCAL – Southern / Western African Science Center for Climate Change and Adaptive Land Use)
  • the establishment and expansion of networks for health innovations in Sub-Saharan Africa
  • the Pan-African initiative AIMS (African Institutes for Mathematical Sciences), in which the German Federal Education Ministry is funding the establishment of a total of five research chairs.

German education, research and intermediary organizations support the Federal Education Ministry in implementing the Africa Strategy through their many years of experience and their numerous contacts and relations.