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English Specials by Josef Göppel

German Energy partnerships with Africa

Göppel's proposal "Energy Partnerships with Africa" ​​will become an official project

Berlin, June 27, 2017 - There are hardly any power grids in the rural areas of Africa. Germany will therefore support the training of young solar entrepreneurs over the next five years and provide them with partnerships with German energy groups. Josef Göppel is volunteering in this project as Energy Officer of the BMZ for Africa. In 2016, he proposed a project to the minister as a result of his travels to Africa, focusing on craft training and business start-ups. Göppel wants to switch from aid projects to partnership management on equal terms. A central point is the access to electricity outside the grid connection.

Therefore, he proposed an energy partnership with Africa, which consists of three elements.

  1. Germany helps young Africans with a basic education in the electrical sector.
  2. The graduates are offered a start-up aid for starting a business. This will help them to develop the construction of decentralized electricity supply in their home regions.
  3. Upon request, young African businesses receive support in Germany, which is provided in the form of personal partnerships with German energy cooperatives, municipal utilities, ideological groups and parishes. A diverse network of personal contacts gives greater economic stability to economic activities! So living neighborhood becomes possible on an equal basis.

At the headquarters of the cooperative association at the Brandenburg Gate around 300 experts discussed the new approach at a congress.

Uganda's Energy Minister Irene Muloni described the urgent needs in her country. A mayor from Mozambique and a solar entrepreneur from Cameroon reported on their practical work. His final statement was: "For us, everything that comes from Germany is strong! It works."

You are cordially invited to contact Josef Göppel at info@goeppel.de with questions or ideas.


Curriculum Vitae

Josef Göppel was born on 16 August 1950 on a small farm in the Franconian village of Rauenzell near Ansbach. He grew up with a strong attachment to the land and became a forester. He worked as a forestry engineer for 28 years – mostly outdoors. Göppel is married and has four daughters.

In 1972, he became involved in the local politics of his home region. After eight years in the Bavarian State Parliament, he was  elected directly to the German Bundestag in 2002. All his political activities  focus on living and working in harmony with nature.

Göppel has been the head of the CSU’s environmental working group since 1991, and has played a significant role in shaping the party’s environmental platform. Within the party, he has a reputation as a sometimes difficult and persistent unconventional thinker. The media regard him as the green conscience of his party.

As a forestry engineer, in 1986 he founded the Landcare Association of Middle Franconia. His aim was to overcome the bitter divisions that existed at that time between environmentalists and farmers. The initiative became a success, and today there are 155 Landcare Associations in 14 German Länder, with equal representation of farmers, conservationists and local politicians. Göppel has been head of the German Association for Landcare since 1993.

In the mid-90s he joined the International Eco-Social Forum and worked on the Global Marshall Plan Initiative.

In 2005 he founded the Renewable Energies Network in the Middle Franconia region together with business representatives, craftspeople and scientists. In 2014 this led to the creation of the Franconia Regional Electricity cooperative, which aims to sell electricity directly to those in the immediate vicinity of the production sites.

He stood firmly by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015, when her generous policy of receiving Syrian refugees came under harsh criticism from the CDU and CSU.

A key cross-party initiative in the German Bundestag can be traced back to Göppel: members of government and opposition parties joined forces in the Future Forum on the Environment, where they made the case for more sustainable environmental policies.

In the Bundestag elections, Göppel’s personal votes have far surpassed the second votes for his party every time; in 2013, the figures stood at 53.3 percent to 47.6 percent.

An outsider’s view proves revealing – the following text appeared in the local press after an appearance at the Nürnberger Presseclub:

"Göppel is a true conservative. He wants nothing more than to preserve creation. The CSU Member of the Bundestag approaches politics through the lenses of his Christian faith and his long experience working with nature. He has been known to get on the wrong side of people, whether it be his fellow party members or supporters of conventional growth policies. He was the only member of the CSU to vote against generating electricity from nuclear power in Germany long before the start of the energy transition."

Political Career

•1972-2004 Herrieden town council
•1974-1994 Middle Franconia District Council
•since 1991 Chairman of the CSU environmental working group
•1986 founded the first Land Care Association
•1994-2002 Bavarian State Parliament
•since 1996 Ansbach county council
•since 2002 German Bundestag

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