International Workshop on Germany´s West Africa policy, May 23.-25, 2018 in Berlin

In col­la­bo­ra­ti­on with Pro­fes­sor Micha­el Staack (Helmut-Schmidt-University/ Uni­ver­si­ty of Fede­ral Armed Forces Ham­burg) and his Team, the Insti­tu­te of Theo­lo­gy and Peace  orga­ni­zed an inter­na­tio­nal work­shop on Ger­man West Afri­ca poli­cy. The work­shop took place on May 23-25, 2018, at Dietrich-Bonhoeffer-Haus, Ber­lin. The aim of the work­shop was to cri­ti­cal­ly reflect on Germany´s poli­cy towards the West Afri­can regi­on based on a com­pre­hen­si­ve approach (deve­lo­p­ment, eco­no­my, poli­tics, secu­ri­ty, migra­ti­on). During the work­shop, the fol­lo­wing topics have been dis­cus­sed: the (new) con­cept of Germany´s West Afri­ca poli­cy, pos­si­ble con­flicts with French poli­ci­es in the regi­on and the new approach of the Macron pre­si­den­cy, cur­rent deve­lo­p­ments in West Afri­ca, the per­cep­ti­on of Germany´s new strategy/interest from a regio­nal ang­le. The work­shop assem­bled 20 aca­de­mici­ans from West Afri­ca (Mali, Gha­na, Sene­gal), France and Ger­ma­ny and high-ranking minis­try offi­ci­als from the Fede­ral Chan­cel­lery, Fede­ral For­eign Office, Fede­ral Minis­try for Eco­no­mic Coope­ra­ti­on and Deve­lo­p­ment as well as Fede­ral Minis­try of Defence.


The very fruitful, open and pro­duc­ti­ve dis­cus­sions pro­cee­ded within five panels:

– Peace­buil­ding in Mali – on the right track?

– Wes­tern model of demo­cra­cy vs. Afri­can social structures?

– Secu­ri­ty coope­ra­ti­on within ECOWAS and Sahel G 5

– Ger­man poli­tics in the West Afri­can region

– What are the most pres­sing chal­lenges in West Africa?

All par­ti­ci­pan­ts agreed on the exis­tence of a rese­arch gap on cur­rent Ger­man West Afri­can poli­cy. The­r­e­fo­re, fur­ther rese­arch and aca­de­mic exch­an­ge bet­ween Ger­ma­ny and West Afri­ca is nee­ded. The orga­ni­zers intend to host a simi­lar event in Dakar (Sene­gal) next year.