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Ethics, Dialogue and Breakfast

Culture as the Thread in the Discussion

By Romi Löbhard (This news items was originally published in German by Augsburger Allgemeine)

Culture connects peoples. This was the main theme of the cultural-political 'white sausage breakfast', which the team of the Ammerserenade invited into the former Braunviehstall of the state estate Achselschwang. Dr. Thomas Goppel and the [Globethics.net Director] Obiora Ike discussed similarities between Africa, Germany and Europe.

Ike is a Catholic clergyman, vicar general of the Diocese Enugu (Nigeria), member of the Club of Rome, human rights activist, founder of several non-governmental organizations. He first held a flaming plea for the union of the peoples over music, art, culinary; ethics, aesthetics and history. Africa as the oldest continent and the origin of man played an important role in this process. A very important partner is Germany, which stands for quality.

On Goppel's question of connecting points for the development of common ideas, Ike explained that Africa has resources for the world. He gave examples of coffee, oil, cobalt. For the Catholic Church, Africa is like a lungs with ever-growing believers. At the top of the list was a good conversation climate, stressed the guest from Nigeria. Approaches for funding options? Here Ike is a central topic. "Education is the key." In Nigeria there are 60 per cent illiterate, which is the breeding ground for terrorism. Without education there is neither participation nor freedom.

"What contribution can the churches make?" The church showed the way, the Vicar General explained that she stood for love, respect, tolerance, openness. An exchange must take place, Ike said, with a view to the monastery of Andechs, where currently five monks live.

Cultural exchange or sporting activities bring friendships. Hope, however, is above all a matter of more education and investment. Financial support?

"Africans have everything," said Obiora Ike, "Africans do not need money from Europe." It is much more about the ability to help themselves. The Second World War had given African states independence, "but without preparation". Here, Germany is a duty. "We need personal profile, we need ethics, we need character." (Löbh)

Read the original article in German at Ausberger Allgemeine.