Training with more than 15.000 Smallholder Farmers in Nigeria

In 2022, we were able to train more than 15.000 smallholder farmers in Nigeria as part of our AGRAR project. In the first phase of the project, we have already reached 30.000 smallholders. By the end of 2023, we want to have reached more than 60,000 smallholder farmers with our measures.

Our AGRAR project in Nigeria

AGRAR focuses on three key areas of development: (1) development of sustainable agronomic practices, (2) corporate governance related to agricultural production, and (3) effective cooperative formation. These measures lead to improved agricultural practices, the creation of rural prosperity and productive synergies within the ecosystem and value chain.

Our program to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers is part of the planned measures of the AFOS INGO AGRAR Phase II project (March 2021 to December 2024). The aim is to build capacity of smallholder farmers in Nigeria through a training programme on good agricultural practices and farm management. These are mainly the value chains of the production of cereals and pulses, poultry, aquaculture, cashews and cassava. The skills of smallholders are being expanded in order to achieve higher yields and thus higher incomes.

AFOS Nigeria signs AHK agreement for TVET courses

In order to achieve these goals, cooperation with local stakeholders is essential. We are therefore very pleased that AFOS Nigeria concluded a cooperation agreement with the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria in December 2022. The aim of the cooperation is to adapt our educational offers – the Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and the work of an Agricultural Training Centre (ATC) initiated by AFOS – to national and international certification standards.

AFOS Nigeria signs AHK agreement

Trainees will receive certificates with global relevance in the future

Through this cooperation, the parties involved have the opportunity to actively exchange ideas and adapt their curricula accordingly. It allows the development and implementation of joint processes for the adaptation of the AFOS TVET programme and the ATC offering. Valuable learning processes at various levels are made possible. In the future, smallholder farmers in Nigeria will have the opportunity to acquire certificates with global relevance.

The AFOS Foundation wants to work with national and international institutions to align and compare their program offerings. At the same time, AFOS promotes the provision of training at the highest level as part of its AGRAR ll project in Nigeria.


1500 EU organic certifications issued in Zimbabwe

Our project Organics4Zim trained a total of 3,000 smallholder and wild plant collector families for EU certification of organic products in 2022 with the local partner Organic Farming Academy (OFA).

1,500 of the participants were already successfully certified by external inspectors from ECOCERT in November 2022 and can now export their products.

Meanwhile, interest has also been expressed from Zimbabwe’s neighbouring countries to participate in the project. In February 2023, for example, OFA will for the first time conduct a training course for employees of a private company in South Africa.

It is with great pleasure that we observe that ecological sustainability is gaining importance in more and more companies!

Dr. Wilhelm Hofmeister is the new CEO

We are pleased to welcome Dr. Wilhelm Hofmeister as the new CEO of our AFOS team. Dr. Hofmeister can look back on around 35 years of professional experience at the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, for which he worked as 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, the AFOS Board was expanded by a fourth member. Dr. Hildegard Stausberg, Norbert Weiß and Ana Puyalto will continue their work as members of the Executive Board.

Together we are working together on the strategic development of the AFOS Foundation for a world in which responsible sustainable entrepreneurship and qualified vocational training are becoming increasingly commonplace for young people.

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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.