Dr. Wilhelm Hofmeister is the new Chairman of the Board

We are pleased to welcome Dr Wilhelm Hofmeister as the new Chairman of the Board in our AFOS team. Dr Hofmeister looks back on around 35 years of professional experience with the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, for which he was country representative in Chile, Brazil, Singapore and Spain. He also headed the departments for Africa, the Middle East, Asia and Latin America.

From now on, Dr. Hofmeister will contribute his rich international expertise and his great commitment to international cooperation to the work of the AFOS Foundation.

With his election as Chairman on 9 June 2022, a fourth member was added to the AFOS Board. Dr Hildegard Stausberg, Norbert Weiß and Ana Puyalto continue their work as board members.

Together, we join forces and work on the strategic development of the AFOS Foundation for a world in which responsible sustainable entrepreneurship and qualified vocational training for young people become more a matter of course every day.

With sustainable sectors on the way to dual vocational training

After a little more than half a year, our Colombia project is making good progress. The two focus sectors of digitalisation and tourism hold enormous potential for local companies and at the same time promise many qualified training positions for young Colombians. The interest in needs-oriented, practical vocational training is higher than ever before. And so, since the beginning of the year, there has been a lively exchange in various clusters and forums of IT and tourism on the topic of dual vocational training. Together with our main partner, the Medellín Chamber of Commerce (CCMA), our team in Colombia first surveyed the needs of the individual companies. An awareness-raising workshop at the end of March was intended to familiarise interested companies in both sectors and the educational institutions involved with the dual system, to standardise ideas and concepts for it and to develop an initial roadmap for the near future with our project partners CCMA and SENA. Our project team received support from the Head of the Sustainability & Education Department of the German Chamber of Foreign Trade (AHK) in Bogotá, who is also the Director of the Dual University of Latin America. During the visit of Ana Puyalto (Finance Manager AFOS) and Daniela Tscherpel (Project Manager Colombia & Mexico) from the Cologne head office, existing connections to the local partners and relevant German actors such as the German Embassy and the AHK could be strengthened. The course has been set for a successful project: The first train-the-trainer courses are to start this summer so that the first trainees can start their dual training in the very near future, too.

Official launch of the Centro-Bajío-Occidente Business Alliance for Dual Education

In presence of the representatives of the participating Mexican states, the German Embassy and the Mexican business association COPARMEX, a Memorandum of Understanding of the Business Alliance for Dual Education was signed on 25th November 2021. The aim of the alliance is to pave the way to a qualified dual vocational training for a significant number of students and companies in the 5 participating states of Quéretaro, Guanajuato, San Luis Potosí, Aguascalientes and Jalisco. The AFOS Foundation was represented at this important event by its Chairman of the Board, Mrs. Dr. Hildegard Stausberg. Dr. Stausberg emphasised to the audience the great potential of the alliance for society but also for strengthening the economic region of Centro-Bajío-Occidente.

Kick-off in Ghana: Extracurricular Training in Data Science and Business Intelligence

At the University of Cape Coast, Ghana, the first module of the 20-week extracurricular training programme in Data Science and Business Intelligence started in July. The programme extends over two semesters and includes practical phases in companies in addition to the technical school training.

The DigiCAP training programme combines classroom phases in the FlexLab on campus and components of virtual learning. The training is explicitly practice-relevant and company-oriented. The learning is designed in a hybrid way and students can either participate directly in the teaching process in weekly classroom sessions or take part online via live streaming. The learning units are also recorded and are available to students at any time.

The trainings require a commitment of 12 hours per week from the participants. This includes interaction with the teachers in the FlexLab and on campus and self-study units.

To ensure compatibility with regular studies, the learning units take place at weekends and during lecture-free periods.

Press conference in Mexico: Signing of an agreement with the chambers of industry

In order for companies to improve their competitiveness and young people to find jobs that are fit for the future, the Confederation of Chambers of Industry of Jalisco (CCIJ) signed an agreement with the AFOS Foundation to promote dual training.

“This will benefit 960 companies in the Centro-Bajío-West region, working with Aguascalientes, Guanajuato and Querétaro through Coparmex in addition to Jalisco,” explained Enrique Rubio León, coordinator of the project in Jalisco.

The goals for Jalisco are to reach 192 companies that have jobs in dual programmes and 240 students who will participate in the project over the 3-year period.

In addition, a business association of dual education is to be established in Jalisco by the government, the academic sector and the business community. The dual education model creates benefits for students as well as for universities, companies and the state in general.

Gustavo Padilla Montes, Rector of the University Centre for Economic Management Sciences (Cucea) of the UdeG, explained that this is an ambitious plan for the country, which also reflects the commitment of the industrial sector of Jalisco, which is concerned about the social situation and economic growth. He stressed that the pandemic had brought with it the combination of face-to-face and virtual learning, and that the hybrid model had now finally arrived in everyday training.

AFOS focuses on business continuity and microinsurance in Nigeria

With the support of the BMZ through a new COVID-19 funding increase, we are now addressing the issues of business continuity and primary health care through microinsurance with our engagement in Nigeria.

Our aim here is to address business continuity issues for microfinance banks. We support micro-entrepreneurs in the informal sector who are exposed to health risks and urgently need health insurance and other basic insurance products, such as risk insurance for smallholder farmers.

The programme is part of a microfinance bank leadership training programme that involved 214 microfinance banks and a total of 348 participants. The programme consisted of two parts with four-day face-to-face trainings in Lagos, Ibadan, Owerri, Calabar and the Federal Capital Territory.