Future Tour stop in Bonn: „Global Responsibility – Youth Involvement“

June 30, 2016 | launch of German African Youth Initiative (DAJ) | BMZ, Bonn, Gemany

On June 30, over 1,200 visitors attended the Future Tour and celebrated the launch of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development's (BMZ) German African Youth Initiative (DAJ). Associations and initiatives from all over the state of North Rhine-Westphalia traveled to Bonn to present their ideas for sustainable development.

Minister President of North Rhine-Westphalia Hannelore Kraft had words of encouragement for the around 500 young people gathered in the former plenary hall: „Get out and get to know the world, it will change you!“ More than 1,200 participants attended the event held at the World Conference Centre Bonn.

Minister President Kraft shared how travel had changed her own personal view of other cultures and of global connections, strengthening her resolve to get involved and make a difference. The event also focused on the central role of global partnerships in driving sustainable development and Hannelore Kraft's message -- that we all have a part to play in what may iseem like national problems and crises – is also a central tenet of the BMZ's Charter for the Future. Today a over 65 million people have been forced to flee their homes to escape violence, hunger and a lack of perspectives for the future. The effects of climate change do not stop at national borders, according to Kraft, making them challenges that can only be countered if we work together.

The launch of the German African Youth Initiative was a particularly exciting item on the agenda. In 2015, German Development Minister Dr Gerd Müller and African Union Commission Chairperson Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma proposed the initiative as a means of promoting exchange between young people in Germany and in Africa, and their idea came to fruition just one year later. Dr Martial De-Paul Ikounga, Commissioner for Human Resources, Science and Technology of the African Union, and numerous other African diplomats joined Minister President Kraft and Federal Minister Müller in welcoming the development.

German and African youths talked about their personal exchange experience and how it had helped them to overcome prejudices Senegal-born DHL Freight CEO Amadou Diallo expressed his enthusiasm for the initiative, adding that exchange was the only way to build strong relationships.

Minister Müller emphasized how essential young people were for our global future: „We need the youth to shape the future – in Germany and in Africa. If we don't take action, join forces now, we will have destroyed the world by 2030.“ He talked about a future with African Nobel prize laureates and in which bilateral exchange was the rule rather than the exception. Kraft offered her full support: „Young people are full of natural curiosity. We have to maintain and encourage this openness.“

Picture above: Engagement Global / Barbara Frommann

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