German programme to support African agriculture professionals
In future, 25 young professionals from the agricultural sector in Africa will be given the opportunity to deepen their expertise on value chains in the agricultural sector in a post-graduate programme at the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences (HSWT).
Enlarge image An employee of the Institute of Applied Agricultural Research and Training of Kaiti-bogou in Mali. (© Thomas Trutschel/photothek.net) During his visit to the campus on Monday, Development Minister Gerd Müller will sign an agreement between the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences. The joint project is aimed at outstanding graduates from master programmes in selected African partner countries.
"By signing this initiative today we have committed to sharing German know-how and expertise with the next generation of top experts in Africa. They are highly motivated to work on implementing innovative and sustainable forms of agriculture in their home countries," said Minister Gerd Müller.
The young scientists from Africa will have the opportunity to take a five months post-graduate course at the University along with a language course to learn the fundamentals of the German language. The post-graduate course will include project work and seminars on sustainable agricultural production methods, planning and management of value chains, market analysis and developing business ideas for national markets. The modules are highly practice oriented. In addition, an alumni network is to strengthen the cooperation between the HSWT and universities in the partner countries.
The cooperation between the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development and the Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences is part of the BMZ flagship project on green innovation centres and the Marshall Plan with Africa. To date, the BMZ has established thirteen innovation centres in Africa alone, which are aimed at transferring knowledge about modern and sustainable farming techniques. The participants of the post-graduate course will be from the thirteen partner countries that have those innovation centres. Every year, 20 million young people enter the labour market in Africa. Climate change and ensuring adequate food and nutrition for a rapidly growing population are central challenges faced by Africa's agricultural sector. That is why a well-trained next generation of experts, who are well informed about modern agriculture, is crucial to create new agricultural career opportunities in their home countries.
The global programme on green innovation centres is part of the BMZ's special initiative One World – No Hunger and is aimed at raising the income levels of smallholders, creating more employment and improving the regional availability of food in selected rural target regions through innovation in the agro-food sector. It involves developing innovations in production, processing and marketing of staple foods in cooperation with numerous partners and establishing and implementing programmes to strengthen domestic processing industries. The programme has a volume of 206 million euros and will run until the end of 2021. Green innovation centres have been established in Ethiopia, Benin, Burkina Faso, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, Malawi, Mali, Mozambique, Nigeria, Zambia, Togo, Tunisia and India.
Weihenstephan-Triesdorf University of Applied Sciences is the University in Germany that is fully specialised in green engineering degrees. The links between nature, humans and the environment are the point of departure for all of the courses on offer. The aim is to manage and use natural resources in an efficient and sustainable manner. The university's roughly 6,400 students learn and live on Germany's largest green campus. The range of courses the university offers allows students to cover the entire value chain in their studies – from the field to the table. Study visits and internships, a double degree programme and active cooperation with more than 80 education facilities worldwide show that the university provides education with an international edge.