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African-European Relations: Artists as Role Models for Politicians

Art and Politics joined forces at the Federal Foreign Office in Germany in order to build bridges between Europe and Africa

June 14th, 2017
Hélène Meyer, News from Berlin

On June 12th, 2017, on the initiative of Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel (SPD), Wolfgang Niedecken, frontman of the Cologne rock band BAP, and the Kenyan musician Eric Wainaina, performed a concert at the Federal Foreign Office.

The Federal Foreign Office of Germany supports projects of artists including the “Rebound” project, which contributes to the rehabilitation of former child soldiers, as well as the initiative of Eric Wainaina intended to fight against corruption and to promote democratic values. This commitment of artists could serve as an example for politicians in order to strengthen relations between Germany and Africa.

One of the main missions of the German Foreign Policy in Africa is to foster the freedom of civil society and to support educational and cultural projects, most notably through the collaboration of the Goethe-Institute or the platform promoting music such as “Music in Africa”. The objective is to develop cultural exchanges also outside of the political sphere, between people within societies, because Germany would like to create more of a common ground and cooperation with Africa. A important component of its foreign policy in Africa is the goal of contributing in the tackling corruption, poverty and refugee issues in the framework of peace-building and civil society activities.

Africa is currently very present in Berlin through various events such as the international conference on the G20 Africa Partnership and the Africa Festival at Alexanderplatz. These events demonstrate the strengthening of the interactions between Germany and African countries, but also between Europe and the African continent at all levels of society.


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