German- African Scholarship Exchange Program


Call for Papers

Are you interested in politics affecting African countries?
Are you a student between 21 - 28 years?
Send your motivation letter + cv + essay to:
Closing date for applications: March 15, 2011

The Federal Agency for Civic Education (Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb) is granting fellowships to students and young graduates, enabling them to take part in a five-week seminar to be held from 14th to 29th August 2011 in Germany and in March 2012 in Kenya.

By organising a five-week exchange programme – which is implemented for the fifth time on the initiative of the former Federal President – the Federal Agency for Civic Education is aiming to help overcome the lack of knowledge that exists between African reality and German perception and, vice versa, between German reality and African perception. The personal, intercultural encounter between young and upcoming academics and the interdisciplinary exchange are aimed at promoting advanced professional training and at acquiring multipliers for a German-African future that is based on the spiritof partnership.

The fellowship holders are invited to take part in an education programme that will both encompass talks with political decision-makers, personalities from civil society and industry, academics and journalists from both countries and also give participants the opportunity to take part in political and cultural events and excursions. The participants are to contribute towards implementing the programme by assisting in organising lectures and facilitating group discussions. They will also draw up an interdisciplinary strategy paper on an academic subject that will be prepared in Germany and will be written between September 2011 and April 2012.

The event is directed at students and young graduates from Germany and East Africa. Applicants should be between 21 and 28 years old and be studying or have a degree in political science, modern history, international relations, economics, business administration, African studies, cultural studies, media and communication studies or law.

The seminar will be delivered in English; the number of participants is limited to 24, twelve from East African countries and twelve from Germany. The Federal Agency for Civic Education will cover the costs. Furthermore, there will be an obligatory preparatory seminar for the German participants from 24th to 25th June 2011. For more detailed information about the Federal Agency for Civic Education, please visit the website:

Students and graduates who are interested can apply to the Federal Agency for Civic Education by submitting an essay comprising a maximum of three A4 pages (approx. 6,000 characters) written in English. The essay must be accompanied by a curriculum vitae in tabular form, a letter of motivation comprising no more than one A4 page and a photograph (the following information must be provided:

Surname, first name, gender, date of birth, profession, job/field of study, place of study, place of work and place of residence). Applicants must also issue a declaration stating that they wrote the essay without any help from third parties. Please note that the Federal Agency for Civic Education is not able to cover costs for obtaining visas of the German participants or for vaccinations. The acceptance of African participants to the programme only becomes final when the German Embassy in the participant’s home country has issued the relevant visa. It is not possible to legally claim participation in the programme.

A further condition for receiving a grant is that applicants must be able to participate for the entire period. Full applications must be emailed to the Federal Agency for Civic Education at by 15 March 2011.

You may choose any one of the following topics for your essay. All three questions must be answered in each case.


1. The constitution in Kenya and Germany

The Kenyans voted with an overwhelming majority on 4th August 2010 to pass a new constitution that was brought into force on 27th August 2010 by Kenya’s president Mwai Kibaki. Politicians, media and the Kenyan population celebrated the commencement of the new constitution as a symbol of a “national rebirth”. The constitution is the result of a long reform process, preceded by a failed constitution referendum in 2005 and the serious unrest following the controversial election result in December 2007. At the same time, it represents the emancipation from the “Lancaster” constitution that came into force in 1963 and was drawn up with the participation of the former colonial power Great Britain.

This also manifests itself in the Preamble at the beginning of the new constitution text: “We, thepeople of Kenya (...) give this Constitution to ourselves and to our future generations.”

In Germany there was no new constitution after reunification as the new federal states joined the territory of the German constitution that was passed in 1949. This was preceded in particular among the East German citizens’ movement by a debate on a provisional confederation, although it never really gained political significance. The question as to the necessary of a plebiscitary constitution for reunited Germany, however, has been the subject of repeated discussion over the past years.

1.1 The new Kenyan constitution includes the decentralisation of power. What effect will this have on the form of the political system in Kenya? Describe the changes in detail and present a comparison with the political system in Germany.

1.2. The German constitution has undergone multiple changes during its more than 60 years of history in order to adapt to new developments in political reality. Which difficulties do you anticipate in the implementation of the Kenyan constitution? Do you expect a similar ongoing development process in Kenya? And in your opinion, where will be the key areas of change over the next few years?

1.3 Should Germany follow in Kenya’s footsteps 20 years after reunification and introduce a new constitution that is directly legitimated by the people? Give reasons for your views.


2. Transnational river basins: the Nile – potential for conflict or cooperation?

With a length of almost 6,700 km, the Nile is the world’s longest river and has outstanding socio-economic and strategic significance for the ten countries bordering the river. In order to achieve cooperative negotiation of the different usage interests by the countries, in 1999 the Nile Basin Initiative (NBI) was founded. This has brought about new regulation of the distribution shares that was initially signed in May 2010 in Entebbe by four of these countries (Ethiopia, Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania). Egypt, currently the main user of the Nile’s waters, is blocking the new regulation and instead is citing its “historical rights” that were set down in contracts from 1929 and 1959.

1.1 Distribution rights not only hold potential for conflict, they also provide the necessity for cooperation. In this context, how should the Nile Basin Initiative be evaluated?

1.2 “Why go to war over water? For the price of a week’s fighting, you could build desalination plants. No loss of life, no internal pressure, and a reliable supply you don't have to defend in hostile territory,” wrote Avraham Tamir back in 1988. In what way can modern technologies be used as a solution to the Nile distribution conflict?

1.3 Which contribution is made by the German EZ in the region’s water sector?


3. Jointly coordinated security policy of the AU and EU

In a globalised world, the challenges facing the areas of peace and security can no longer be dealt with on a national level, but require multinational cooperation. This also finds expression in the principles of the newly founded African Union from 2002, in which the new African Peace And Security Architecture, APSA represents a key element. However, it is taking longer than planned to set up this collective security system, primarily owing to a lack of financial resources. And the AU troops are also faced with major challenges in the actual implementation, in military operations. The complex conflict situations within the current crisis regions reveal the limitations of the AU involvement in security policy. The African Peace And Security Architecture is still dependent on international support.

In the EU as well, the Treaty of Lisbon takes into account the strengthening of transnational foreign affairs and security policy and achieved an institutional basis with the establishment of the Office of the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. The EU aims to position itself as a strategic partner in global security and peace issues and both effectively and sustainably avoid future external threats to European security through joint crisis and conflict management.

1.1 New institutions do not necessarily achieve operational politics. Which conceptional and structural difficulties result from the implementation of the APSA? Illustrate the problems using the involvement of the AU in Sudan as an example.

1.2 The APSA is planning the establishment of an African Standby Force (ASF) that will consist of regional brigades. Which challenges can be expected here? Outline and evaluate the regional orientation with regard to the deployment of African soldiers in the Congo and Somalia.

1.3 The EU is endeavouring to strengthen its foreign policy profile. To what extent can greater involvement in the resolution of African conflicts contribute towards this? Outline the potential and problems using the civilian-military EU operation in Somalia as an example.


Courtesy: Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung/bpb

CULLED FROM: The African Executive Issue 300



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