AfricAvenir International e.V.
AfricAvenir in Germany grew from the international activities of the AfricAvenir International Foundation in Douala, Cameroon and was founded in Berlin in the year 2000. Starting as a student group at the Free University of Berlin's Department for Political Science, it was officially registered as a non-profit and politically independent organisation in 2004 as AfricAvenir International e.V.
AfricAvenir stands for a self-confident, peaceful and prosperous Africa in a just world order. We advocate the equitable coexistence of all people, free from colonial or racist thinking, behaviour and power structures resulting therefrom. We support the pan-African values of the African Renaissance. We strive for a Europe which consciously recognises its past and present responsibility and actively reappraises it. We address injustice and campaign for reconciliation.
Our Mission: Reappraisal– Recognition – Exchanges
AfricAvenir International e.V. creates opportunities for the production and dissemination of knowledge from the perspective of Africans and migrants from the African Diaspora. Raising awareness and changing perspectives as suggested by the “critical whiteness approach” form the basis of our work. We offer interdisciplinary activities in the field of cultural and political education.
We advocate a (self-)critical reappraisal of African-European history and the overcoming of current power structures and (neo-)colonial patterns of behaviour in all fields, especially in politics, the economy, research, society and culture. We create spaces and public spheres to facilitate self-critical engagement with Europe’s colonial and imperial past and present. We follow a sincere and solidary policy of reconciliation in which we expose injustice and advocate reparations. Our goal is to correct the relations with Africa in such a way as to enable the people of the continent and its Diaspora to develop independently on all levels, and to create a framework in which Africa's resources benefit first and foremost the people in Africa themselves.
We contribute towards the Renaissance of the African continent. To this end we support the societies of Africa in their strive to develop their own forms of government and society, based on their own traditions, values and historical experiences and which serve the good of the majority of Africa's societies. Africa's development has been determined externally for far too long. In order to counter this dominant “white expertise” and the reproduction of paternalist and (neo-)colonialist power structures that follows, we create opportunities for African and Diaspora scientists, artists and political and cultural activists whose structurally underrepresented perspectives we systematically and consistently put at the heart of debates. We oppose the widely practised “speaking about Africa” by ”speaking with Africans and members of its Diaspora”. Our goal is to foster a solidary cooperation which respects and supports the priorities of the people in Africa and its Diaspora.
Intercultural dialogue, cooperation and direct exchanges are for us destination and journey at once. They are not one-way streets: listening, acknowledging and especially learning from African points of view form the basis of our work. Accordingly we strive for increased networking between people, organisations and institutions from Africa, the African Diaspora and Europe. With its different sections AfricAvenir International itself represents such networking and is part of a steadily growing larger network of cooperation partners. Using diverse event formats such as e.g. exhibitions, performances, conferences and dialogue forums we offer various educational platforms for exchange and networking which challenge the audience to learn from the perspectives of Africans and the African Diaspora.
Join AfricAvenir - Become a Member
You can choose between a regular membership and a sustaining membership:
- The annual membership fee for regular members is at least 50 € for natural and legal persons. Pupils, Students and people with no or low income benefit from a reduced membership fee of at least 20 €. We appreciate, if you decide to pay a higher membership fee. (Please fill in your individual contribution in the application form below!)
- The annual membership fee for sustaining members is at least 150 € for natural persons and at least 200 € for legal persons. You will receive a membership card, which entitles you to free tickets for all events organized by AfricAvenir International, Germany. Here too we appreciate, if you decide to pay a higher membership fee. (Please fill in your individual contribution in the application form below!) Sustaining members have no right to vote within the association’s institutions.
If you are interested in a membership, please print, fill out and sign the membership application form below and send it back tu us via Fax, Mail (attached scan) or normal Mail. (Our contact details are in the form.)
For further information, please contact us directly: info(at)africavenir.org, Tel: 0049 (0)30-26934764, mobile: 0049 (0)1577-5364539.
Download Forms & Information
Team & Structure
AfricAvenir in Berlin would still have to called a rather "small" NGO with around 100 members. However, when it comes to activities and visibility, we are not that small anymore, also the volume of our yearly budget which in average is between 80.000 - 100.000 € (public funding, donations, other income) is not that of a "small" NGO. This is possible through a very active operational unit comprising a (voluntary) managing board and vocational project coordinators (who actually sit in the office), supported by max. two interns. In addition, we have a number of active members and volunteers who meet every two weeks to discuss the next activities and distribute tasks.
Ibou Coulibaly Diop
Born and raised in Sagatta (Senegal), Ibou Coulibaly Diop studied Frenh Philology and German as a Foreign Language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache) at the Technische Universität in Berlin. Since 2011, he is the Chair Person of Sunugaal e.V., an association of the senegalese diaspora in Germany and founding member of Offene Tür e.V. An open and communicative person, Ibou has since his school years been dedicated to cultural exchange and has been active in several associations in Senegal and Germany. As Sunugaal's chair person, he has been working closely with AfricAvenir for several years before joining the association as a member in 2014 and being elected to its Board shortly after.
Christel Gbaguidi (Observer)
Gbenakpon E. Christel Gbaguidi is an internationally committed actor, theatre education practitioner (M.A.), director as well as founding director of the westafrican socio-cultural NGO Arts Vagabonds Rézo Afrik Bénin. After studying Law for two years at the University of Abomey-Calavi in Benin, he completed a training as actor at Ecole Internationale du Théâtre du Bénin (EITB) under the leadership of Alougbine Dine and at Centre de Formation et de Recherche en Arts Vivants (CFRAV) lead by Jean Pierre Guingane in Burkina Faso. After working nine years as an actor, he successfully completed his studies of Theater Education Practice at Technische Universität in Berlin. Chrsitel is a member of AfricAvenir since 2013 and was voted into the Board as an Observer in July 2014.
Mareike Heller (Observer)
After a high school year in South Africa, Mareike Heller started studying Social Sciences in Berlin and Paris. Her academic work focusses on the influence of colonial history on european societies, anti-racism, migration and postcolonial social movements in Europe. Following her internship at AfricAvenir, Mareike Heller became a member in 2011. Since 2013 she is an observing member of the Board and coordinates the project "Decolonial Objections against the Humboldt Forum".
Born and raised in Ghana, Lawrence Oduro-Sarpong lives in Berlin since 1992 and studied German as a Foreign Language (Deutsch als Fremdsprache). He then completed several trainings and qualifications, e.g. Mediation, "Managing Diversity", Change Management & Leadership as well as Anti-Bias (unlearning discrimination) and Process Moderation by Arnold Mindell. Since many years, he works as an expert on Intercultural and Diversity Competence, Conflict Management and Critical Whiteness. He is an active member of AfricAvenir since 2008 and has been on the Board since 2012.
Nicolai Röschert (Deputy Chair Person)
Nicolai Röschert studied political science in Berlin and Paris. Having experienced the teaching of Prof. Kum'a Ndumbe III., the founder of AfricAvenir, he joined the organisation as a member in 2005. After graduation, he worked for three years as a DED (now GIZ) development professional in the field of democracy and civil society promotion in Benin. In his primary occupation he works both as a political advisor for a German Member of Parliament in the Committee for Economic Cooperation and Development, and as a freelance trainer and assessor in the field of development cooperation. Since 2010 Nicolai acts as the co-chairperson of the German section of AfricAvenir where he focuses mainly on the cross-cutting theme "alternative development paths" (Projects of "Social Movements in Africa (2011), Thomas Sankara (since 2012) and "Paradoxes of Sustainability"(2012/13), Post-2015-Agenda (2014/15)).
Jörg Rüdiger (Observer)
Jörg Rüdiger, member of AfricAvenir since June 2012 and assessor in the managing board, has earned a lot of practical as well as international experience with regard to the planning and realisation of decentral regenerative energy-projects and development cooperation in Burkina Faso and other African countries. He contributes this specific and important knowledge to AfricAvenir’s work in the fields of environment, ressources and sustainability as well as inter-cultural work. Apart from this, he acts as internal contact person for questions concerning IT.
After an internship in Kenya, Stefan Skupien became a member of AfricAvenir in 2005. Since then he participated in various projects and also focused on Africa academically. His research in political science, sociology and philosophy culminated in a Ph.D. on West African constitution-making, elaborating on the the ambivalent interpretations of constitutions and law especially in the Ghanian discourse. Inspired by the many projects and especially by AfricAvenir's outspoken guests on one hand and his teaching experience on the other, Stefan would like to continuously strengthen the ties between academy and AfricAvenir. Since 2013 he is acting as a member of the Board.
Judith Strohm (Treasurer)
Judith Strohm has studied political science in Berlin, Paris and Québec (Canada). Since 2006 she acts as a member of the managing board of AfricAvenir in varying positions: As the first appointed Executive Director of our organisation she has created new administrative structures for our office between 2010 and 2012. Since 2012 she is back on the managing board and has been elected into the position of treasurer. She states: “The voluntary work at AfricAvenir enables me to get in-depth knowledge on topical political issues from different and distinctive perspectives. This does not happen theoretically, but practically in a direct exchange with our guests coming from the field of science, arts or civil society. These encounters are extremely enriching, informative and insipiring.” In her full-time salaried profession Judith Strohm works at Deutsche Kinder und Jugendstiftung (DKJS).
Eric Van Grasdorff (Chair Person)
Born and raised in Dakar, Senegal during the first ten years of his life, Eric Van Grasdorff studied Political Sience at the Free University of Berlin where in 2000 he met Prof. Kum'a Ndumbe III, the founder of AfricAvenir. Convinced by its vision and mission, he was one of the founding members of the German chapter of AfricAvenir and has since been its (unsalaried) chair person. In his professional career he worked for Heinrich-Böll-Foundation and Oxfam before joining the Embassy of the Republic of South Africa in Berlin as an Event Manager. Eric Van Grasdorff has published his diploma thesis "African Renaissance and Discourse Ownership in the Information Age" and edited several AfricAvenir publications ("200 Years Later..." (2008), "50 Jahre afrikanische Un-Abhängigkeiten" (2010), "Widerstand, Revolutionen, Renaissance" (2013)).
Internship & Voluntary Year within AfricAvenir in Berlin
Through educational and cultural projects, events and publications AfricAvenir advocates the creation of structures which allow an equal partnership between Africa and Europe. In this context, AfricAvenir offers (unfortunately unpaid!) internships in the field of cultural / project management. An internship at AfricAvenir provides an introduction to the versatile everyday life of a progressive NGO with a diverse and dedicated team.
AfricAvenir operates through a very active operational unit comprising a (voluntary) managing board and vocational project coordinators. Interns are entrusted a responsible part of the daily (office) work of the association: they support the coordinators in the conception and execution of cultural and educational events, take care of our guests and speakers, help with the content management of our website and get an insight into the administration of an NGO. Though the AfricAvenir Board legally acts as the employer, interns are coached and supervised by our project coordinators.
The minimum duration of an internship is three (3) months and the minimum working hours are 20 hours/week.
Applications (also unsolicited incl. Motivation Letter and CV) should be sent to: info(at)africavenir.org
- Advanced University Studies in the fields of cultural sciences, social sciences or humanities
- Some experiences in organizing events
- Good research skills
- Interest in the relationship between Africa and Europe, especially in African perspectives and issues such as African Renaissance, Critical Whiteness etc.
- Independent, responsible and precise work and attitude
- Good computer skills (Required: Word, Excel; Desirable: Typo3 or other CMS)
- Very good knowledge of spoken and written German
- Good command of English and knowledge of French desirable
- Support of current events through research, solicitation of quotations and booking of event venues, taking care and accompanying speakers and guests, maintaining databases and distributors
- Draft texts for Flyers / Newsletters / applications etc.
- Translation of texts into English and French
- Communication with partners (cultural institutions, schools, embassies)
- Support in Accounting and Controlling
- Support of bi-weekly meetings (every second Tuesday at 19h)