08.03.2018

AFRIKA KOMMT! – 10 years of successful bridge-building

International Women’s Day: a former participant in the AFRIKA KOMMT! programme has built a highly successful wastewater treatment business

Kenyan national Lucy Mutinda is Managing Director and Technical Manager of a small company that installs customised small-scale wastewater treatment plants. The plants treat wastewater organically and are in great demand in Kenya, where only around 30 per cent of the population is connected to a public wastewater system.

Lucy Mutinda came up with the business idea in 2008, when she spent a year in Germany as part of the AFRIKA KOMMT! programme. A qualified engineer, she was one of the first cohort to benefit from the programme, which provides training for young managers from sub-Saharan Africa. Lucy worked at Continental AG in Germany and learned German. The experience and expertise she acquired are still benefiting her, as she sources her treatment plants from a German manufacturer. Lucy’s company employs seven people, with a further seven freelancers also working for her.

AFRIKA KOMMT! trains young specialists and managers and promotes economic cooperation between German businesses and companies in sub-Saharan Africa. The core of the programme is an eight-month placement in a German company or a foundation. Participants are also important bridge-builders for German companies that would like to develop business in Africa.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH organises the selection process on behalf of the German partner companies  and provides the participants with professional and personal support during their time in Germany.

AFRIKA KOMMT! has a 10-year record of success: around 60 per cent of former participants now work for one of the programme’s partner companies. Almost 87 per cent now have a more senior position than they did before participating in the programme, and virtually all of them – 98 per cent – have greater responsibility in their job. Forty of the 105 participants so far have been female, and 13 of the 22 participants in the current cohort are women.