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Karamba Diaby hopes to become the first black member of the Bundestag this September. Diaby is campaigning under the slogan "Diversity Creates Values" for a seat in the German parliament which, if successful, would make him the country's first lawmaker of African origin.

Many miles away from his birthplace in Senegal, the 51-year-old with a PhD in geo-ecology has made his home in Halle, a city in formerly communist East Germany, and now wants to represent it at the federal level.

"I am Senegalese, it's true, but firstly I am German," Diaby told news agency AFP in an interview.

Third on the Social Democratic Party's (SPD) list of candidates for the region of Saxony-Anhalt, his chances of winning the hotly-contested seat for Halle in Germany's Bundestag lower house of parliament are seen by his party as good.

German voters go to the polls on September 22 when the centre-left Social Democrats will seek to unseat conservative Angela Merkel at the Chancellery after two terms at the helm of Europe's top economy.

Halle, with its 230,000-strong population, is grappling with an unemployment rate that, at 13 percent, is twice the national average. It is also viewed as a hotbed of far-right extremism.

The married father-of-two took German nationality 12 years ago after finding himself "by chance" in East Germany in 1985 as a student, having won a coveted scholarship to learn German and study chemistry in Leipzig.

One of his first political victories came when the detested Berlin Wall fell in November 1989.

Then, as the spokesman for foreign students at his university, he pushed for the situation of exchange students facing deportation with the disappearance of East Germany to be shored up.

Well before joining the Social Democrats in 2008, Diaby, who previously was also a spokesman for striking students in Dakar, says he had always "made justice the fight of his life".

"I would like to be judged on my competence and my experience rather than on the colour of my skin," he said, describing his political journey as a "progression".

Though he was physically attacked in 1991 because of his origins, Diaby, who is also a former president of the Federal Council of Immigrants, believes that today xenophobia no longer poses as big a problem in Germany as 20 years ago.

"East Germany has changed a lot," he said.

Nevertheless the far-right National Democratic Party of Germany has lawmakers in the eastern state assemblies of Saxony and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, and has secured a seat on Halle's city council.

Rüdiger Fikentscher, former head of the SPD's regional federation, said he recalled being won over by Diaby's experience which, he said, had always surmounted challenges "with flying colours".

"He has all the requisite qualities. He is kind, very intelligent, grasps things very quickly and above all, he's not looking to stand out," he said.

Diaby always walks around his home turf and is a well-known face locally.

"People stop me on every street corner and tell me their stories," he said. "That's part of my work."

His personable manner lends itself to campaigning as the Social Democrats gear up to try to win back the seat from the socialist The Left party which triumphantly took it in elections four years ago.

"Karamba's great strength is his easy contact with people," Thomas Stimpel, one of his campaign officials, said. "You put him in a room with people and 10 minutes later he knows everyone."

thelocal/AFP/mry

There is an African adage that says. “A toad does not run in the day without a predator chasing after it" The number of Stranded African Refugees in Hamburg and other parts of Germany is mind-boggling, and a classic example of something gone wrong somewhere.

Truly, something was after these refugees. A thing bigger and monster like chased them away from their comfort zone, they escaped death by the whisker but still, it got them injured somehow. Crushed their hope and aspiration-That was why they scattered all over Europe wandering about and looking for just shelters to put theirs heads, even if worst than where they lived before in the small oil rich Arab "albeit" geographically African country.

A land formerly inhabited by different tribes, governed by an ex-Colonel many of these stranded refugees once regarded as their master and Saviour. That was before he the master was brutally crushed to death by the some allies-who now refuses to find a lasting solution to settle the people their actions affected most.

Suffice to say, before the former regime in Libya was ousted and the subsequently killing of Maummar Gaddafi August, 2011. by combined forces led by NATO allied forces.Libya used to be a beehive of black African immigrants with majority working and earning good money from the oil rich country. A land some of the refugees stranded in Hamburg now vowed to return back, if the security situation were to be improved and stable as it used to be,before the monster bomb began to rain down.

Muammar Gaddafi, though, a brutal dictator and an autocratic who held power swayed for more than 40yrs in Libya was known for his magnanimity and Pan Africanism and United Arab views. He had many times in the past provided financial assistance to many of his neighbouring poor African states i.e. Niger-Republic others. During his regime, He not only allowed immigrants but equally encouraged black Africans immigrants from other African countries to come and work in Libya unlike what is known in other oil rich gulf states.

Nonetheless, it wouldn’t be an overstatement to say since the fall of that regime Africa continent has suffered much lost, In terms of displaced immigrants to economic hardship and a dying prospect of united African perspective. Let it be known from that time till date, Close to 40 thousand Africans immigrant dependent on Libya economy that time had been displaced, misplaced and scattered all over the Europe with attendant consequences of illegal imprisonment, Death in the high sea and misplacement of identities.

However with the refugees crises looming in Hamburg without an end in site, one tend to ask what actually are the SPD Government waiting before deciding on what to do with these suffering people who deplorably has been living conspicuously outside in the space for few months. Although it seems the dimension of the crises has changed from Humanitarian to EU politics, otherwise quite unlike Germany the impasse has lasted more than expected.

So far there has been allot of speculation as to what the authorities in Hamburg intend doing, some are of the opinion they are not happy given the fact and revelation that Italian authorities granted the refugees resident permits, induced them with €500 each and asked them to travel to other European countries hence their financial and economic hardship.

The trajectory of the crises is that Italy and Germany are both members of the European Union. Facts is, resident permit issued in one EU countries can only be allowed a 3 month stay in another EU country but cannot be allowed a working permit according to the EU laws which recognises refuge point of entry as a place to settle first,Unless where EU citizenship applies.

Based on that, the Germany Government has therefore legitimately refused the stranded African refugees a working permit thereby rendering their over stay in Germany territory void. Even that, they the refugees understands their chances to live and work in Germany are slim, Reports had it they are putting up resistance to go back to Italy.

As the debate and discussion on how to handle their plight rages on, some critical questions are begging for answers like; Should they refused to go back to Italy, What happens next ? Will they be deported?. And if such decision are considered by German authorities, where will they be deported, to-Italy or Libya? What about the resident permit they are holding? Is that a pointer EU state has ran into political murky water of blame games as supposed to strict compliance to their treaty?

In the next weeks, month or so,All eyes will be on Germany and the rest of EU states to provide a lasting solution to the Libya-African Refugees Crises in Europe which regrettably came about as a result of NATO & US unilateral decision to topple Gaddafi´s Government without putting adequate mechanism in place to accommodate the inevitable casualty of regime change.

The world is patiently watching and hoping the consequences of the crises created in time, could be amended on time before it’s too late.

Adams Kennedy Chidi

 

Nearly half of all immigrants arriving in Germany are more highly skilled than their host country's residents, a study released on Friday revealed Forty-three percent of newly arrived foreigners aged between 15 and 65 boast a professional qualification in a trade; something only 26 percent of Germans have.


The study, conducted by labour market researcher Herbert Brücker for the Bertelsmann Foundation, points to high unemployment in other European countries pushing skilled workers to Germany.

Despite this, economists from the Institute for Employment Research (IAB) maintain that Germany still sees immigrants as less qualified than themselves. In actual fact, the face of the country's foreign population has, they said, radically changed over the last decade.

In 2012 alone, more than a million people arrived in Germany, the federal statistics office revealed. This is the highest amount since 1995 and among them, a large amount are highly qualified.

Areas of the country, like smaller towns, suffering from a lack of skilled tradesmen and vocationally qualified workers could look to Germany's newer residents for support, said the study.

“Germany needs more qualified immigrants more than ever,” said chairman at Bertelsmann Foundation Jörg Dräger, adding that that included those from non-EU countries.

DPA/The Local/jcw

This is for the students and those on welfare, who most people will generally say cannot invite people to Germany. Theoretically, you can still invite someone to Germany BUT the person has to be able to afford their stay here. Examples are students who are inviting their parents to attend their graduations or just coming to “check-up” on them.

For students, maybe the invitation letter won’t change much but for those on welfare the invitation letter can save the invitee the need to provide hotel reservations when applying for the visa in their home country. I assume the student doesn’t have a home large enough to accommodate visitors but if you do, then you can always include that bit of info for the embassy.

The invitee will either have to show bank statements in their home country to prove that they can afford their stay in Germany OR have a fixed bank account in a German bank where they are allowed to withdraw €150-€300 a day during their stay here.

mkenyaujerumani.de

Germany is the most popular country in the world, according to a poll released on Tuesday asking people to rate the positive and negative influence of 16 major nations.

Fifty-nine percent of the 26,000 people asked said they saw Germany as being a “mainly positive” global influence. This is an increase of three points from 2012, when Japan came out on top.

The outcome is three fewer points than last time Germany won, though. In 2011, 61 percent of the world saw it as a “mainly positive” influence.

Conducted with pollsters GlobeScan and PIPA for the BBC World Service, the poll showed that Germany was most popular in Ghana – where 84 percent of those asked considered it a positive influence.

Eighty-one percent of Germany's neighbours in France gave it the thumbs up, as did 76 percent of Austrians asked. Greece, which has been the subject of Germany's strict austerity plans, was the clear exception as the majority had negative feelings towards the country's power.

People in 25 countries worldwide were asked to rank 16 countries, as well as the European Union as a whole, as to whether they thought a nation had a “mainly positive” or “mainly negative” influence globally.

Iran came in at the bottom with 59 percent viewing it negatively. Following was Pakistan, with 55 percent, then North Korea with 55 percent. Following Germany came Canada and the UK with a joint 55 percent of “mainly positive” votes.

The EU struggled to get positive votes this year, as 49 percent said they saw it as having a good influence, worldwide. Germans seem, the BBC said, to have fallen out of love with it though as positive rating dropped by 14 points to 59 percent from 2012.

The Local/jcw

During the Career Fair, we had a speaker talk about being self-employed in Germany as a Kenyan. In Germany, we as Kenyans have continued to perpetuate a falasy that the only way you can do anything in Germany is by having German kids and/or getting married to a German.

Well the speaker spoke about her running a business, a single Kenyan woman and many tried to conclude the reason she was allowed to do her business was because she has German kids.Considering the aim of this blog is mainly to show that you can accomplish what you aim to achieve even with your Kenyan passport and with or without German children, I decided to check the “msema kweli” what the Germans call the Aufenthaltsgesetz.

 

1. Who is allowed to be self-employed in Germany?

- A foreigner who can prove:

There is a demand for the services/products you wish to provide to the German market- this will also depend on the academic qualifications of the applicant, the amount of financial capital set aside for the venture, the business idea, and the influence of that business of the job market
When this activity has positive effects on the German economy
When you can finance the business either from your own savings or through a credit from the bank
- A foreigner who studied in a German University or a University recognized by the German system. The new business should have something to do with what the person studied
- A foreigner, older than 45yrs old, can only get this visa if they have retirement benefits well taken care of.

- A foreigner whose business reciprocates benefits according to the international laws

2. The permit is issued for a maximum of 3yrs. After the 3yrs, the success of the business is checked and if it has fulfilled its objectives and been able to sustain the applicant and his/her family within that time then a Niederlassungserlaubnis (permanent residence permit) can be issued.

3. A foreigner, who has another visa and is self-employed as a side gig, can continue with running the business as long as they fulfil the requirements to maintain the first visa. In this case they don’t get the Niederlassungserlaubnis after 3yrs.

Still wondering if you can start a business while only having a Kenyan passport and without German kids? The answer is yes…..as long as you fulfil the criteria stated.

 

http://mkenyaujerumani.de

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According to a report that was sent out by the Panafrikanismus Forum Munich, it  seems racism and discrimination is alive and kicking in Munich.

There were shocking results of  spot tests on racism and discrimination in Munich nightclubs and discos!
Pursuant to a motion of the Council of Foreigners of the city of Munich, a test to determine the incidence of racism and discrimination in night clubs and discos was carried out on Friday 19th April 2013 and Saturday 20th April 2013.
Six council members and supporters from different cultural backgrounds, as well as the journalist Isabelle Hartmann from the “Bayerischer Rundfunk” visited 25 clubs and discos in Munich on both nights to conduct spot tests as to the admittance in these facilities.

The results of the spot tests were shocking.

The participants with African and Turkish origins gained access into only five of the total 25 night clubs and discos visited. It is noteworthy that the reasons given at all the facilities where access was denied were similar: “private event, for students only, for members or regular guests only or even – only with reservation”!

You can engage in their activities and learn about their other reports and events at: www.panafrikanismusforum.net
mkenyaujerumani.de

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