Business development in Africa

Seth took his first big step when he left Kumasi in Ghana to go to England, where he studied international business management at the University of West London. Now he is back in Ghana working as a consultant and business developer for clients in the oil, gas and mining industries.

A network from which both sides profit

Seth, like many young talented people in the region, would probably never have found out about us – nor we about him – were it not for the “Afrika kommt!” (Africa’s coming) initiative, a project organized by the international development company GIZ that gives young managers from Sub-Saharan Africa the opportunity to gather practical experience at German companies on a one-year scholarship program. The aim is to build an international network from which both sides profit.

For companies like ours looking to grow strongly in the African market in the coming years, the project is an ideal opportunity to build a network of talented young professionals and raise our profile in Africa as an attractive employer. This year alone, more than 3,200 up-and-coming talents have applied for an internship with a German company under the “Afrika kommt!” initiative – young, dedicated professionals like Seth who have a very good understanding of their region and are already well-connected there.

Invaluable local expertise for business development

Candidates from 20 countries – from A for Angola to U for Uganda – traveled to Nairobi, Kenya for the selection seminar. Seth was one of them. And like many of his fellow applicants, he impressed us with his commitment, ambition and optimism. It was obvious from the spirit at the seminar that the candidates were from an emerging region: Their motivation for the project was almost boundless.

Following a crash course in German and his first management seminars, Seth will be starting an eight-month internship with thyssenkrupp in November. In particular, the idea is that he will support our Industrial Solutions business area in developing business in Sub-Saharan Africa and hopefully continue to work for us after the end of the program – in his home country of Ghana. He would not be the first: Yusuf Tijani, a former “Afrika kommt!” scholarship holder, now works for thyssenkrupp in Nigeria as a business development engineer.

thyssenkrupp is not the only company that sees “Afrika kommt!” as an outstanding opportunity to work with young professionals to gain a foothold in an emerging continent: Other participants include Bayer, Commerzbank, Continental, Merck, SAP and Volkswagen. In total, 16 companies are involved with “Afrika kommt!”, which is now in its fifth year.

photos: copyright GIZ
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