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#africaneuropeandesignsprint

5W What's Next

Design sprints and the exploration of real-life situations in one of Africa’s most exciting economic centers. Together with the Nairobi Design Institute (NDI) ,we set out on a journey, established key topics and worked together to develop prototypical product solutions, innovative services and complex business ideas.

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Nairobi

Design and the “design sprint” format form the basis of our approach to working in this East African economic hotspot. We use these tools to get a better grasp of real needs, to align these needs with business goals and ultimately as a “workshop” for generating solutions to complex challenges. We look for answers to questions relating to the opportunities available to companies seeking to succeed in this young, emerging and uniquely dynamic market. We also make an effort to network closely with local businesses.

Africa needs African solutions

If there’s one thing we’ve come to understand as regular visitors to Kenya and as experts in the creative industries, it’s that Africa needs African solutions. This applies in particular to companies from abroad looking to achieve economic success in the region.

Design as a bridge between cultures

We are convinced that design can act as a bridge between cultures. Designers understand each other very quickly, no matter where they come from. When we exchange our unique perspectives on design, it leads to solutions that are enriched by our diverse approaches. And, last but not least, design is an unusual context that provides the opportunity to reassess and reflect upon our own positions. In other words, inspiration and insight can be found right there on the street.

Networking & trainee program

In the course of our on-site networking, a trainee program was established for interested individuals. Chira Kiarie is the first graduate and fellow of the NDI, and he was invited to get to know the German perspective on design potential in a 6-month exchange program. Today he works at the Kenyan startup Twiga Foods as a UX Researcher. The Twiga App connects farmers and sellers with markets.

“Today’s Strategy with Africa is the roadmap to move forward and bring our partnership to the next level. Africa is the European Union’s natural partner and neighbor. Together we can build a more prosperous, more peaceful and more sustainable future for all.”

Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission (9 March 2020)

Without knowing it, our work formed a precursor to the Recommendations of the European Commission and the EAD, which contained practical suggestions on potential working relationships between the EU and Africa. These proposals build on a growing dynamism in the relationship between the EU and Africa. According to the Commission, the deepening of EU-African cooperation on the basis of joint interests and values will create the foundation for both sides to face global challenges and achieve common goals.


After gaining initial on-site experience, our next step is to join with the International Design Center Berlin (IDZ) and work with companies to create specific themes and devise prototypical solutions, regardless of whether the focus is on a new product, an innovative service or a complex business idea.

If you and/or your company are interested in taking advantage of the dynamic process described here, please contact whatsnext@fuenfwerken.com

I am looking forward to your questions.

Please contact Rolf Mehnert in Wiesbaden with regard to this project.

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