AHA at IGW: because people are the focus internationally too

by Nicole Bolomey

With our team for development cooperation, we participated for the fifth time in International Green Week (IGW) in Berlin (17-26 January) and once again we were delighted with visitors’ interest in cross-border initiatives. The Ugandan participants in the Schorlem Foundation's trainee exchange programme were also represented at the stand and had the opportunity to meet ministers Gerd Müller (BMZ - Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development) and Julia Klöckner (BMEL - Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture). By the way, there are still places available for the new round of trainee exchanges with Uganda - and host organisations are very welcome to contact us.
Präsident des Ugandischen Jungbauernverbands ‘UNYFA‘, Geoffrey Okot, und AHA-Geschäftsleiterin für ‘Internationale Zusammenarbeit‘, Nicole Bolomey, im Austausch vor dem AHA-Messestand
Präsident des Ugandischen Jungbauernverbands ‘UNYFA‘, Geoffrey Okot, und AHA-Geschäftsleiterin für ‘Internationale Zusammenarbeit‘, Nicole Bolomey, im Austausch vor dem AHA-Messestand

The meeting point at the fair was once again Hall 2.1. of the BMZ, where we had set up our stand alongside the GIZ (Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH), BMZ, KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau) and various NGOs. The hall welcomed visitors with its international, exotic ambience and heads were turned by items ranging from cotton plantations to insect snacks.

As is our custom, we had brought along many exercises from our training sessions, giving visitors to the stand a taste of the “AHA effect”. For instance, our trainers had prepared “Tower of Power” and “Magi Stick” tools on the stand, thereby making parts of our training work tangible, literally!

The visitors to our stand included various groups of IGW attendees, pupils, students, the general public, specialists, as well as guests from our partner countries in Africa. The stand support team – made up of German and African colleagues – gave their authentic impressions of current AHA projects in Africa and India. As well as two master trainers from Burkina Faso, young Ugandan farmers who had just completed their three-month internship on German farmyards were also present on the stand.

Behind all this is the exchange programme organised by the DBV (German Farmers’ Association) Schorlem Foundation, supported by the BMZ initiative “ONE WORLD – No Hunger”. This involves young farmers from Uganda and Germany undertaking an internship in agriculture within the partner country; the Andreas Hermes Akademie prepares and accompanies them by means of a series of seminars.

Mutual understanding, personal development, inspiration and acquiring know-how: the exchange pays off on different levels. Just recently, for example, participant Najjemba Ritah Lutaya was awarded a prize in Uganda for her abattoir project, which she had developed during her internship in Germany, in Uganda ausgezeichnet worden. Congratulations!

The next round of the exchange programme is scheduled for April to June 2020:

  • Young people from the agricultural sector, keen to take an exciting look beyond their own horizons, can still apply. For further information, see the AHA website.
  • Host organisations wanted! Bring the world to your farmyard! Details and information about the expense allowance can be obtained directly from the Schorlemer Foundation.

For further questions or information, please contact Johannes Leber and Zora Böttcher at any time. Telephone +49 (0)30 31 904 312 or 321.

Beyond the stand, our team was also involved in the stage programme, promoting the cause of international cooperation. Entitled “Change of Perspective” and with the participation of Parliamentary Permanent Secretary Dr. Maria Flachsbarth, the programme included an international exchange of young farmers’ experiences. Exchange trainees from Uganda once again gave their first-hand impressions and suggestions.

By the way, the date of the next IGW has already been set for 15-24 January 2021. Save the date!

The Author

Nicole Bolomey

Director international