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50th anniversary wishes

by Dirk Niebel
Minister Dirk Niebel in Winterveldt, South Africa, in June

Minister Dirk Niebel in Winterveldt, South Africa, in June

E+Z has been in circulation for 50 years. The magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary at the same time as a large number of African nations that all gained independence in 1960, the year that the magazine was started. A coincidence? Hardly. E+Z is actually one year older than Germany’s Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), which funds the publication and where it is read with great interest every month – read, let me make it clear, after publication. The ministry does not influence the work of the independent editorial office.

Since I took ­office almost one year ago, I too have been reading E+Z regularly. The magazine presents current debates about development cooperation theory in a succinct and clear way that serves the needs of practitioners with full agendas and very little time. D+C/E+Z uses practical examples from all around the world to show what effects development cooperation can have, but it also discusses fundamental criticism of development cooperation.

Just looking back at the last few editions, I see that the magazine has already accomplished what the new coalition pledged to achieve in terms of greater cooperation among the implementing agencies. In D+C/E+Z, staff members from GTZ, InWEnt, DED and KfW Entwicklungsbank publish their views alongside academics and NGO activists. In E+Z, the experts from the various German agencies of technical cooperation have found a common forum and, thanks to D+C, they also share the same international stage. The articles reflect a wide range of diverging views, instruments and fields of work. Over the last fifty years, E+Z has suc­ceeded in achieving what we are now seeking to do in reforming technical co­operation: we want to safeguard the diversity of instruments, topics and views, but to organise these efforts in one institution in order to streamline and improve cooperation and make it more transparent for our partners.

D+C/E+Z is an open platform. It is expertise that matters, not hierarchical ranking. The July edition, for example, included contributions by Hans-Jürgen Beerfeltz, State Secretary at BMZ, and by D+C/E+Z intern Andrea Herbst. It is the content that counts, and not the author’s title. That is a convincing approach.

D+C/E+Z gives contributors from our partner countries an opportunity to make their voices heard in the German-speaking world. The numerous congratulations from abroad in the special German-language jubilee edition prove that this maga­zine contributes to the international exchange of views, and that it is firmly established in the international development community.

With that in mind, I wish E+Z and its English counterpart D+C continuing success, passionate authors and a wide readership in Germany and abroad.