The latest political development of great importance in Tanzania was the election of Samia Suluhu Hassan in March 2021. She is the country’s first Muslim president and currently the only female head of state in all of Africa. “Mama Samia”, as she is commonly known, has pursued ambitious goals, such as the revitalization of the Tanzanian democracy or (like her predecessor John Magufuli) the fight against corruption. Global Bridges organized a video conference on what the future holds for Tanzania: How will “Mama Samia” deal with the political legacy of her rather autocratic predecessor? And as a Zanzibari Muslim, can she lead a largely Christian country without conflict between ethnic and religious communities? The guest-speakers were H.E. Ambassador Regine Heß from the German Embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and the CEO of Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania, Sanjay Rughani. The conference was moderated by Professor Dr. Edward G. Krubasik, former Siemens Central Board Member and ex-President of the German Physical Society.
Following the re-entry of the USA into the Paris Climate Agreement and the climate policy developments in recent years, the topic of an efficient implementation of the climate goals is one of great interest. Global Bridges organised a video symposium with Professor Dr. Klaus Töpfer, longstanding Federal Environment Minister of Germany as well as founding director and former executive director at the Institute for Advanced Sustainability Studies (IASS) in Potsdam. Sigmar Gabriel, also a former Environment Minister and former Vice Chancellor and current Chairman of Atlantik-Brücke e.V., and Cem Özdemir, Member of the German Bundestag for Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen and Chairman of the Committee on Transport and Digital Infrastructure, took part as discussants. The symposium was moderated by Professor Dr. Friedbert Pflüger, Managing Partner at Bingmann Pflüger International GmbH and Global Bridges member. On behalf of Global Bridges, Dr. Beate Lindemann, executive chairwoman of the association took part. More than 100 members and young leader alumni had registered their participation.
In the autumn of 2021, Germany will have a new federal government that will have to face the socio-economic problems of our time with innovative solutions. These include obsolescence, unsuitable income taxation and digitisation. On May 18, 2021, Dr. Daniel Stelter, founder of the forum beyond the obvious, which specialises in strategy and macroeconomics, and Professor Dr. Achim Truger, Professor of Socioeconomics at the University of Duisburg-Essen and a member of the Advisory Council for the assessment of macroeconomic development, discussed these and other topics. The discussion was moderated by Professor Dr. Henrik Müller, professor for economic journalism at the TU Dortmund. On Global Bridges’ side, Dr. Beate Lindemann and Dr. Hans Albrecht, the executive chairwoman and the chairman of the board, respectively, took part, just as more than 50 members of the association.
The safety of maritime trade routes is an important issue, especially for countries like Germany, whose economies are largely based on their merchant fleets. For this reason, Global Bridges organised a video symposium on April 21, 2021. The following speakers were invited: Rear Admiral Jürgen zur Mühlen, current Head of Operations in the Naval Command as well as former Force Commander of Operation Atalanta, and Irina Haesler, Head of Maritime Security Policy and the EU Representation of the Association of German Shipowners (VDR).
The symposium was moderated by Dr. Sarah Kirchberger, who, in addition to her activities as Head of the Strategic Development in the Asia-Pacific Department at the Institute for Security Policy at the University of Kiel (ISPK) and Vice President of the German Maritime Institute (DMI), is also a board member at Global Bridges. On behalf of Global Bridges, Dr. Beate Lindemann, executive chairwoman of the association, and more than 30 members took part in the symposium.
Dr. Claudia Winterstein welcomed all participants of the video conference. She then delivered her welcoming address and a brief introduction. She stated that “nearly 200 million tonnes of municipal waste are generated on the African continent annually”, with Ghana generating 1 million. Of this, only 2-5% is recycled. In Ghana, 23% also ends up in the sea. The waste collection rate is only 55% all over the African continent.
Dr. Winterstein briefly introduced all the guest speakers before handing over to the moderator; Samuel Boakye Opoku, Founder of Start.Up Lounge Africa, which is building an online platform, Kutana Africa, to provide African startups the opportunity to be visible and connect with other startups and SMEs across Africa.
March 25, 2021
The China Institute for International Strategic Studies and Global Bridges continue their respectful exchange based on the trust that was built between the two institution over many years. A panel of high-profile speakers from the diplomatic corps, military leadership and the business community discussed the relationship between the United States, Europe, and China at the beginning of the Presidency of Joe Biden.
March 8, 2021
Due to their importance for the continued existence of humankind, saving the oceans was the topic of the video conference on March 8th. Climate change, plastic waste and overfishing have severely affected this ecosystem in recent years. Plastic waste in particular is a problem in this regard, as it breaks down into smaller and smaller particles instead of decomposing, thus spreading itself further and further; it can only be broken down very slowly. The guest speaker Gesine Meißner, chair of the national committee for the UN Decade of Marine Research for Sustainable Development, former EU parliamentarian and member of the EU initiative “Mission Starfish 2030” was invited by Global Bridges to answer questions and discuss possible solutions. Susanne Stampf Gräfin Sedlitzky, an author, journalist and TV producer, moderated the event.
March 5, 2021
The German-Chinese Video Symposium was held to discuss the recently signed EU-China Comprehensive Agreement on Investment (CAI), in particular its benefits and shortcomings when it comes to the issue of European market access in China. Since the EU’s relationship with China has become a more controversial topic in the wake of a more cooperative US administration, all in attendance underlined the need for a symposium with experts on the topic.
February 25, 2021
In order to gain insights into the work of the European Union, we had planned to travel to Brussels last year. Unfortunately, due to the Corona pandemic, the trip had to be postponed and we zoomed to Brussels once again. As Germany took over the EU Council Presidency, Global Bridges hosted a videoconference with David McAllister in June 2020, who gave us a presentation on the challenges of the German EU Council Presidency. On February 25, 2021, we had the chance to take stock of the past six months with Dr. Katarina Barley, member of the European Parliament since 2019 and its Vice President. The event was moderated by our member Dr. Daniel W. Bloemers.
December 14, 2020
Indonesia was one of our destinations for Study Trips in 2020, however, due to the pandemic it had to be postponed and we could not visit the southeast Asian country. Thanks to our newly established format “We zoom there”, we were at least able to travel to Indonesia virtually. It was a pleasure for us to welcome the German Ambassador to Indonesia, Dr. Peter Schoof, and Monica Tanuhandaru, Executive Director at the Environmental Bamboo Foundation and expert on the field of Indonesian development politics, to our video conference on Indonesia. The event was moderated by our member of the advisory board, Dr. Peter Strüven.