FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

26 February 2013

Gambia: Two Gambian Media Excecutives Visit Germany

During their visit to Germany the two media executives, Mr Pap Saine and Mr Sam Sarr, had a discussion in Berlin with Ms. Elke Tiedt, Desk Officer, Division 602 Cultural and Media Relations with Africa, Asia, Australia, the Pacific, Latin America, the Caribbean

at the invitation of the Directorate-General for Culture and Communication.

They also visited Friedrich Ebert Foundation at their office in Berlin where they had a discussion with Mr. Sergio Grassi, Desk Officer Sub Saharan Africa and Coordinator Media, International Division.

He dilated on the work of the foundation including their media projects in Africa; the relationship between media and democracy.

The Friedrich Ebert Foundation is one of six political foundations in Germany. According to Mr Grassi, although associated with the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD) it is independent of it. It is Germany's oldest organization promoting democracy, political education, and students of outstanding intellectual abilities and personality. Established in 1925 as the political legacy of Friedrich Ebert, Germany's first democratically elected President and today headquartered in Bonn and Berlin, it runs offices and projects in over 100 countries. In West Africa, FES has seven country offices. Beyond their work at the national level, the national offices jointly work on three major issues on the regional level: Economic and Social Policy, Security Policy and Electoral Processes.

The two media executives also visited another foundation, Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS), at the office in Berlin where they had a discussion with Ms. Martina Wisser, Coordinator external presentation and media. She gave information about the KAS and explained the concept and motivation of its international media-programmes.

The Konrad Adenauer Foundation is a political party foundation associated with the centre-right Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the political party in power. The foundation was established in 1955 and its headquarters are located in Sankt Augustin near Bonn and in Berlin. It was named after Konrad Adenauer, the first chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany. With more than 70 offices abroad and projects in over 120 countries, the KAS pursues democracy, the rule of law and a social market economy. To foster peace and freedom the KAS encourages a continuous dialogue at the national and international levels as well as the exchange between cultures and religions. Apart from the field offices the KAS operates with three regional programmes south of the Sahara: media, constitutional state and political dialogue.

The visitors also had a roundtable discussion at the Goethe Insitut in Berlin with the following participants:

Prof. Dr. Susanne Gehrmann, Humboldt-Universitat zu Berlin, Section of African Studies, African Literatures and Cultures and students and Ms. Usha Adjamah, Project Coordinator Taradoxes of sustainability, AfricAvenir International e.V. The moderator was Mr. Nicolai Roschert, Chairman of the Board of Management, AfricAvenir International e.V. The topic of discussion was the media in The Gambia.

The Humboldt University of Berlin was founded in 1810. It offers young people from Germany and around the world more than 250 study programmes in a wide range of fields. More than 30,000 students are currently enrolled at Berlin's oldest university, 13.3% of which come from abroad. The staff members of the Seminar on African studies teach and do research in the fields of African history, African linguistics, African literature and culture as well as on an interdisciplinary.

AfricAvenir is a non-governmental and non-profit organisation engaging in political education and information dissemination both in Africa and in Europe. It's main section was founded in Douala, Cameroon, by Prince Kum' a Ndumbe III in 1985 while the German section was founded in 2000 during his exile in Berlin, Germany. Since 2007 AfricAvenir is also present in Windhoek, Namibia and in 2012 another section was founded in Cotonou/Calavi, Benin.

The duo also visited the BVZ Berliner Zeitungsdruck GmbH Printing plant in Berlin where they were received by Mr. Steffen Helmschrott, Managing Director. The plant prints 300 million newspapers every year, including Berliner Zeitung and Berliner Kurier. They are among the city's largest circulation daily newspapers. The company was founded in 1946. Apart from printing three daily newspapers, one of which has a circulation of 1.3 million, it prints up 50 weeklies, monthlies and quarterlies.

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