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Do you know Africa? Our book tips.


Many Europeans think of Africa in terms of poverty, underdevelopment and the need for development aid; corruption, conflict and instability; hunger and disease. These associations are often characterised by stereotypes, which are not least caused by reporting in the electronic media. When Africa appears on the news, it is often in connection with bad news.


You can guess that such an image cannot do justice to a very diverse continent with different cultures, traditions, landscapes and ways of life. From an economic perspective, there are no commitments worldwide that are not associated with risks. What is so striking about our relationship with Africa, however, is this strong focus on the potentially negative, which seems to completely suppress the positive aspects.


If you want to get a better - and more positive - picture of Africa, you would be well advised to broaden your horizons by taking a look at a book or two. Today we are giving you three reading tips which, in our view, not only provide in-depth, well-founded and balanced insights, but also offer incentives to take a closer look at our neighbouring continent.


Africa First! The agenda for our common future

In this book, business journalist Daniel Schönwitz and entrepreneur Martin Schoeller shed light on the "opportunity of the century to end poverty". The two authors outline their vision of a common economic area between Europe and Africa based on a genuine partnership of equals and the social market economy system. Schönwitz and Schoeller provide the figures and arguments that demonstrate the continent's potential and at the same time highlight the greatest risk of leaving the field to totalitarian regimes. The prerequisite for successful cooperation is not development aid, but investment.


The reorganisation of the world: the rise of emerging economies and the arrogance of the West

Business journalist and Africa expert Christian Hiller von Gaertringen entitled his first book "Afrika ist das neue Asien" (Africa is the new Asia). In his latest work, he analyses the rise of emerging countries and the changing global power structure. Hiller analyses the growing importance of countries such as China, India and Brazil and argues that the West must rethink its dominance and arrogance. He poses the question of a fairer world order and calls for a reorientation of Western politics and thinking to meet the challenges and opportunities of globalisation. The book offers insights into the shifting geopolitical balance and argues in favour of respectful cooperation between the different regions of the world.


The struggle continues

While the two previously discussed books focus on the economic or political aspect, Joe Chiallo provides a very personal perspective. He looks at the people of both continents through the eyes of someone who grew up in Africa and Germany. The book tells of growing up between two cultures, of influences and experiences from which the former cultural manager and current cultural senator of Berlin derives his political and social visions. He describes Africa as a new creative superpower and calls on Germany and Europe to adopt a new mindset for a relationship that produces many winners on both sides. This is in contrast to the status quo, in which people in the global North benefit on a broad scale from low commodity prices, for example, while in the South it is usually only a class of kleptocrats who reap the profits.


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