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Young-Leaders-Seminar: Comparative Advantages of Africa

While the leading industrial nations were negotiating about the future of Africa at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, young leaders met at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics

 While the leading industrial nations were negotiating about the future of Africa at the G8 Summit in Heiligendamm, young leaders met at the Wittenberg Center for Global Ethics from May 29 to 31 for a workshop in connection with the Program on "Building Global Cooperation - New Alliances with Africa". Their goal: To take fate in their hands themselves and actively help to fashion further development in their home countries. The participants came from various African states, Germany and the United States in order to discuss entrepreneurial thinking, directly responsible action and the use of potential in Africa. Whereas China is rapidly pressing forward with its investments in Africa with its eye on the raw material resources, the Western industrial nations are continuing to hold back. They see Africa as the continent in which wars and conflicts, corruption and criminality, diseases and catastrophes dominate. Particularly in Germany, one had primarily set store by charity and "help for self-help" for a long time under the slogan "development cooperation". However, the economic potential and Africa's economic interests had been largely ignored.

Young Africans believe that there must be a rethink here: "We need more entrepreneurial and investment activity and less talk about charity", is how Tumenta F. Kennedy from the Wittenberg Center summed it up. This was the only way in which the continent could overcome its dependency in the long term and thus find its independence, he went on. The participants summarized their demands to decision makers in politics and industry in ten propositions in the "Wittenberg Declaration on Building Global Cooperation". The central lead idea: An economic starting point is necessary in order to advance Africa's development in self-determination and direct responsibility and make potential beneficial to mutual advantage. Part and parcel of this is credible and fair rules as well as an understanding of responsible action in competition.

Wittenberg Declaration for Entrepreneurial Spirit and Comparative Advantages in Africa (PDF)