German-African museums programme

DAAD, the Federal Foreign Office and the Museum of Natural History launch an international education programme for museum managers

On the occasion of the second Martin Roth Symposium, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier recently announced a new educational programme in Berlin: advanced training for young managers of African museums is the subject of a pilot project which the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) is launching together with the Federal Foreign Office (AA). Academic management of the project is in the hands of the Leibniz Institute for Evolution and Biodiversity Research “Museum für Naturkunde” in Berlin. Close collaboration is planned with other museums in Germany and Africa as well as with German universities.

Museumsbesucher

The main element is a compact, virtual advanced training programme, which is to be followed by a period of attendance at German museums to observe management operations. In this way, a selection of young managers from various museums in Africa will be familiarised with current management issues and concepts, issues relating to social impact and responsibility, the contextualisation of content and also practical matters relating to museums as institutions. 

“Museums contribute in various ways to the transfer of knowledge to society by broadening the visitors’ horizon. For this reason, we are very pleased to be able to offer future museum managers from African countries a compact, academically oriented advanced training programme under this pilot project in collaboration with the Federal Foreign Office. Our aim is to help strengthen the wide-ranging connections between museums in Germany and those on the African continent – and in future to also expand these internationally,” said DAAD President Prof. Dr. Joybrato Mukherjee. 

The Federal Foreign Office is currently establishing an “Agency for International Museum Cooperation” which is behind this pilot project, and other federal ministries are involved, too. Close cooperation with leading museums in Germany in a wide variety of fields aims to initiate international projects and build networks. The museums also have a key role to play in the run-up to the pilot programme: it is they who identify and nominate potential participants through existing connections with institutions in Africa. In the medium term, this will lay the foundation for the new agency’s international network by establishing strong personal connections with key institutions abroad.