While he knows almost all DAAD Offices worldwide, it was his first visit to the DAAD Office in Nairobi. Prof. Mukherjee took over the DAAD presidency in January 2020 after the retirement of his predecessor, Prof. Margret Wintermantel.
Despite his tight schedule in Nairobi as part of the delegation of the Federal President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, who was in Kenya on a state visit, it was an honor for the staff of the DAAD Regional Office for Africa that Prof. Mukherjee took time to meet with them.
Regional expertise, communication with the DAAD Head Office in Germany, but also newly established funding programmes to foster the exchange between Germany and Eastern Africa were at the centre of the discussions. Prof. Mukherjee came with an open mind for ideas and suggestions by the DAAD Nairobi staff members.
The DAAD Regional Offices in Nairobi is one of the oldest DAAD Offices. Since it was established in 1973, a large number of sustainable academic collaborations were initiated and nurtured. In recent years, within the framework of its Africa strategy, DAAD has intensified its support for the cooperation of German and African universities.
In 2018, beaten by South Africa just by a narrow margin, with 1.331 funding opportunities, Kenya was the second largest beneficiary of DAAD support in Subsaharan Africa: 254 German scholarship holders (students, scientists) were given the chance to come to Kenya for study or research purposes, while 1.063 Kenyans were funded to do the same in Germany. The total figure of 1.317 individuals is an increase by 240 compared to the previous year.
In 2018, 1.179 individuals from Subsaharan Africa were supported for a Master or PhD degree within the In-Country/ In-Region scholarship programme.