CAS - Course programme

SA1: Intercultural competence

This first subject area sets the stage by equipping the participants with tools, which allow them to consciously develop their intercultural competence throughout the study program. It imparts established definitions and theories of intercultural competence as well as specific African approaches to it. The participants will engage in a critical analysis of different models for culture and will discuss theoretical essentials and practical issues of intercultural communication. They will reflect on their own experience with intercultural interaction and communication, and build the skills, attitudes and knowledge needed to develop context-related solutions and approaches in an international working environment.

The participants will

•    know how culture impacts perception, communication and work

•    have a better understanding of their own approaches to intercultural interaction

•    be able to consciously develop their intercultural competence

SA2: What is Africa?

This subject area focuses on key developments necessary to understand how the African continent came to be what it is. These are historical in nature and bear on the structuring effects of Africa’s diverse relations to the Atlantic and Indian Oceans and across the Sahara as well as colonial rule, decolonization and independence. Participants will be acquainted with the enabling and constraining role of such historical factors on African societies and individuals. The main objective is to equip participants with analytical skills that enable them to appreciate Africa’s current challenges and potential in ways, which do not sever the continent from the history that produced it. The subject area also considers the role of languages and the arts for within African societies. It lays the groundwork for a balanced and critical engagement with representations and perceptions of Africa in media and academic reports, public discussion and the arts.

The participants will

•    know the crucial historical processes that produced African states and societies

•    develop analytical skills to appreciate Africa’s current challenges and potential

•    be able to critically and factually engage with media and academic reports on Africa and with African arts

SA3: State and society

This subject area highlights the political, social and cultural parameters of professional engagement with Africa. The focus is on issues of statehood and the nature of its relationship to society, interest groups, the international development apparatus and cultural traditions. Further core themes are the public sphere, particularly the media and the arts, as well as religion. The subject area examines, on the one hand, features that make Africa unique, but on the other hand emphasises dynamics and structures that the continent shares with the rest of the world. It provides participants with the analytical resources to appreciate the contexts of action in their own professional environment. Participants develop the ability to efficiently mobilise potential, confront problems and generate solutions in ways which are fully cognisant of African initiative.

The participants will

•    appreciate the structural and cultural characteristics of their own professional environment

•    be able to critically assess media and art products in an African context

•    efficiently mobilise potential in the contexts of action in their own professional environment

•    confront problems and evaluate solutions in ways fully cognisant of African initiative

SA4: Resources and potential

This subject area deals with Africa’s social, natural and economic resources and potential. It investigates the reasons why the continent does not seem to have made the best out of its enormous mineral, agricultural and energy resources. At the same time, it explores the ways in which Africa’s potential can be (and, lately, has been) drawn upon. To accomplish this, the course takes a look at key economic and social areas — namely trade, agriculture, food security, entrepreneurship, health and education — and, through an in-depth analysis of the stakes involved, challenges participants to see Africa’s resources and potential in a new light. Participants develop an awareness concerning the factors that constrain the full exploitation of these resources as well as a framework to assess the quality of the prescriptions that are expected to help Africa live up to its potential.

The participants will

•    appreciate the continent's natural, social and economic resources and potential

•    appraise the factors that constrain the full exploitation of these resources

•    be able to evaluate and develop strategies to deploy such potential

SA5: Africa and the world

This subject area appraises the different ways in which Africa presently engages with the world. The core themes include African regional economic and political organisations, Africa’s participation in international organisations, trade and financial relations and migration out of, into and within Africa. Participants will develop a sense of how Africa is coming into its own in the context of globalisation, and the extent to which the continent’s multiple engagements are seen by Africans simultaneously as constraints, risks and chances to be seized. The subject area equips participants with a solid knowledge of the dynamics and structures of international relations. The participants will be in a position to appreciate the wider dimension of the opportunities arising for Africa and the economic and political actors seeking to take advantage of them.

The participants will

•    know the dynamics and structures of international relations

•    analyse the opportunities and constraints arising from the various political and economic engagements

•    recognise the significant economic and political actors

SA6: Intercultural management

This subject area focuses on the challenges and opportunities that are characteristic for collaboration, management and leadership in an intercultural context. It imparts context-related solutions and approaches in the fields of international human resources management, conflict prevention and resolution, negotiation and mediation, as well as accountability and corruption. The participants will share and discuss their experience against the backdrop of the knowledge built during the study programme. The ultimate aim is that the participants develop skills and strategies that allow them to perform more efficiently in their own working environment.

The participants will

•    understand the opportunities and challenges associated with working in an international and intercultural environment

•    appraise solutions and approaches in the fields of human resources management, negotiation, mediation, as well as compliance and accountability

•    be equipped with practical skills and strategies for performing more efficiently in their own working environment

CAS project

During the course, participants develop and implement a project according to their individual interests and professional requirements. The form of the CAS project is up to the individual: participants may write a paper discussing theoretical foundations, apply their knowledge and skills to a practical challenge they face in their work, or elaborate tools and solutions for a concrete problem set in their professional environment.

The participants will

•    apply the knowledge and skills they have developed to a practical challenge, a particular problem set or a theoretical question

•    deepen their knowledge and skills in areas relevant for their professional environment

•    benefit from concrete solutions elaborated within the frame of the project