The Southern African Bursary


In cooperation with the Federal Government, the former Federal President Mr. Horst Köhler has established the Partnership with Africa initiative. A group of reform-minded African Heads of State and Government have accepted his invitation to discuss the relationship between the countries of Africa and the industrialized nations with some 25 representatives of civil society and the political and business communities of Africa and Germany at two conferences in Bonn and Accra.

'What I want to do is raise awareness that we are all part of the human family, that we inhabit one and the same world and are all dependent upon one another. And yes, there is a moral dimension, too, I want to highlight the need for a global ethic. I believe we need to discuss issues of social justice more and more in a global and not merely in a national context.'

Interview given by former Federal President Mr. Horst Köhler to the weekly DIE ZEIT, issue 42, 13 October 2005.

IJP Southern African Journalists' Programme tries to achieve the same goals. Deepening the dialogue between Africa and Germany and establishing real partnership between the countries of Africa and the industrialized nations in Europe.

Programme Description

International Journalists' Programmes (IJP) offer a bursary to up to six young Southern African (SADC-Member States: Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Lesotho, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe + Kenia) and up to five young German journalists. For two months the Southern African delegates will have the chance to work in Germany. They will be integrated into the day-to-day journalism of their host newsroom while also researching stories for their home media.

It is assumed that all candidates have a strong command of the English language. German language abilities are an advantage but are not mandatory.

The Southern African-German Journalists' Programme is a multiyear effort to shape an integrated understanding of the other country and region and to foster relations between Africa and Germany. It has been offered as a response to concerns about an increasing political and cultural detachment between Africa and Europe. The bursary is intended to enable young journalists to gain valuable insights into the political, economical, cultural as well as the social fabric of the host country.

The bursary is named in honour of the former Federal President Horst Köhler and his exemplary dedication to the intensification of German-African relations.

For all selected IJP fellows the programme starts with an introductory conference. This will allow the participants from Southern Africa to familiarise themselves with the host country. After that they will work for several weeks with media houses before going out to undertake individual research within Germany. Applicants are asked to submit their preferences for the newspaper, radio or TV station or news agency they would like to work with. The possible location will be chosen by the IJP organisers in dialogue with each delegate. It is expected that former and new participants assist one another with regard to accommodation and contacts.

Mode of Payment

The Southern African delegates receive a fixed payment of 3,000 Euro. This is expected to cover most of their travel, accommodation and living expenses. No further payments will be made: delegates are expected to use their own funds for any further costs. Payment for their work with the host media is not envisaged. To receive the full grant participants are obliged to write a report of at least three pages and provide copies of their published journalistic work after returning home.


All journalists from Southern Africa (SADC Member States and Kenia) between the age of 25 and 40 who regularly work for a media organisation can apply.

1. Enclose a CV with a passport photograph.

Write a 800 word essay addressing the following topics:

  • Why you would like to work in Germany
  • What you expect from IJP and what you think you can contribute to it?
  • What are the 3 research topics you want to pursue during the fellowship?
  • What role you expect to play at your home media in the future?
  • How you will spend the bursary?

3. Include a one-page resume detailing your education and work experience, your standard of German and English (copies of certificates/ e.g. Goethe Institut/Toefel), plus 2 copies of articles written by you (TV and radio journalists must type up their reports since no audio or video tapes can be considered)

4. A journalistic reference from your editor or head of department is required (freelancers should submit a reference from a senior journalist). It should also guarantee your leave of absence for the duration of the program.

Applicants are asked to send the application documents (E-Mail) not before November 27th and until March 1st to the following address:


Through its foreign programmes, IJP support journalists in two ways: It provides access to new career horizons for participants. Secondly, it promotes Germany abroad and contributes to more differentiated reporting of foreign affairs in the German media. At the same time, IJP foster professional and personal contacts amongst journalists. This is the aim of IJP's alumni network. More than 2,700 journalists have taken part in IJP programmes since 1988.

The world-wide IJP alumni network is unique. Many former delegates of IJP programmes now work as foreign editors or hold other leading positions in the international media industry. Exchange of ideas between them and participants of more recent IJP programmes is an important aim of IJP alumni activities. Regular IJP alumni events and newsletters keep all former participants up to date on the programmes and on colleagues with whom they have in many cases developed very good personal contacts and become friends. Meetings such as regular (annual) alumni dinners as well as informal events such as picnics, brunches and boat trips are all part of IJP alumni reunion activities.

Partner Media

MISA - Media Institute for Southern Africa

Media organisations in Southern Africa which have contributed in the past include:

Dem. Republic of Kongo: Radio Nationale Congolaise
Malawi: Zodiak Broadcasting Station (ZBS)
Lesotho: Public Eye Newspaper
Mocambique: Radio Mocambique
Sambia: The Post Newspaper, Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation
South Africa: SABC, e-tv, The Star, Business Day, Business Report, Sunday Times, Cape Argus, Cape Times, Democracy Radio Idasa etc.
Zimbabwe: Zimonline News Agency

German media organisations which have contributed in the past include: ARD-Aktuell, Associated Press, Deutsche Welle, Deutschlandradio, Elmshorner Nachrichten, Financial Times Deutschland, Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntags Zeitung, Frankfurter Rundschau, Handelsblatt, N24, RBB, RTL, Stuttgarter Nachrichten, Tagesspiegel, die tageszeitung, Welt am Sonntag etc.

Programme Partners

Like all IJP programmes, the South-African-German Journalists' Programme, relies year after year on moral and financial support from the public and private sectors.

The patron of the Southern African Bursary is the incumbent German Ambassador in the Republic of South Africa:
Martin Schäfer

The main sponsor is the Federal Foreign Office.

IJP thanks all sponsors and partners for supporting and trusting in the South African-German Journalists' Programme.