Development cooperation in Nigeria

The above average economic growth in many countries of Subsaharan Africa over the last 10 years has been barely noticed, because it has, for the most part, been eaten up by persistently high population growth. The population of Africa will continue to grow from a full billion people today to around four billion by the end of the century. Furthermore, initially, only a growing small urban middle class will benefit from (economic) progress. The poorest of the poor in rural areas with their high birth rates (considered a kind of support for old age), low levels of education and poor health care will continue to be neglected by the authorities in Nigeria.

It is therefore indispensable, that sufficient jobs be created in farming and rural areas to give the young, dynamic and very enterprising population opportunities, they can take advantage of. In particular  agricultural value-added chains must be built up and extended in rural Nigeria. In that way, numerous sustainable jobs must be created, for example for small farmers, in indu-strial processing and production, in storage and transport logistics and in the Nigerian whole-sale and retail trade.

Every day, we all see in the media images, that reveal to us pressure levels, particularly on young men in Nigeria and Subsaharan Africa to migrate, embarking on the partly life threat-ening “journey” thru the Sahara and North Africa to Europe. Once in Europe, they realise, that for many reasons, here too, their economic prospects are very bleak, and they are often facing  deportation back to Nigeria and other home countries.

As we know, in an ideal situation, a motivated, well qualified young population does not seek its future far from home; on the contrary, they see potential for economic growth and prosperity close to home. If used properly, public and private aid contributions, including those from AFOS Foundation, serve not only

  • the practice of Christian solidarity, but also
  • to protect the poor from the pressure to migrate and from cruel, violent conflicts
  • to protect the poor from the pressure to migrate and from cruel, violent conflicts

However, the development funds must be used out of reach of currupt power elites, where supportive state created background conditions enable them, to be used judiciously, and where local enterprise initiatives enable them, to serve the good of the poor rural population in Nigeria, in particular. AFOS Foundation’s primary target group, the working poor along the agricul-tural value chain, promise the biggest sustainable dividend, including, ultimately, for the donor community, as well.


With our current and planned AFOS Foundation projects, we therefore concentrate on

  • the working poor – particularly young people in rural areas
  • the largest countries and economic areas of Subsahara Africa
  • our network of strong microfinance partners
  • the professional, ethically operating management of our partner organisations and
  • the cost saving use of modern communication technologies


As an entrepreneurial, Christian foundation, we believe, the biggest developmental leverage effect is achieved by a combination of

  • ensuring adequate nutrition by expanding farming along the value added chain(s)
  • vocational training and further training, together with the creation of sustainable prospects for young people and
  • affordable financial services for all (loans, savings, insurances, old-age systems)

Bernhard Vester, long-term expert for AFOS Foundation, Nigeria / Africa


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