German Member of Parliament, Dr. Christoph Hoffmann in Mali
Dr. Christoph Hoffmann, Member of the German Parliament (Bundestag) had a four day visit to Mali last week on 20-24 September 2020. Dr. Hoffmann is the first German politician to visit the country after the Coup d’Etat on August 18th. As speaker for International Cooperation of the liberal Free Democratic Party (FDP) and member of the parliamentary commission for economic cooperation and development, Dr. Hoffmann has been following the political developments in West-Africa closely.
With the recent events in Mali, he saw the need for a personal fact finding mission that would allow him to better evaluate the political developments and get a more objective picture of the situation on the ground. In the four days of his mission in Bamako, Dr. Hoffmann met with several development organisations, some Malian civil society members, the ministerial administration, the UN led international stabilisation force as well as the West African Economic Community (ECOWAS); the latter playing a key role in the ongoing transitional process in Mali.
Dr. Hoffman also had various encounters with partners of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom (FNF), covering the human rights sector, women associations as well as young entrepreneurs from start–up businesses.
His visit at the headquarters of the liberal partner party and largest parliamentary opposition, Union pour la République et la Démocratie (URD), was a highlight of his stay. Organised by the FNF, Dr Hoffmann also met with representatives of the Africa Liberal Network as well as with the Malian Employers Association.
In his concluding press communication, Dr Hoffmann emphasised the “eye opening” character that the mission had given him. He saw Mali as having now the opportunity to restart into a better future. In this context he underlined the importance of accountability, rule of law and transparency for any functioning state. He highlighted the need for digital applications to create transparency in the public administration. Furthermore he acknowledged that German development policy should become more adaptable, focused and rigid. Instead of pouring funding into corrupt government agencies over decades, the support of private enterprise and entrepreneurs had been neglected for too long.