Horst Köhler

Born in 1943, Horst Köhler studied economics and subsequently worked and graduated at the Institute for Applied Economics in Tübingen.  In 1990, he became Secretary of State in the German Federal Ministry of Finance. In 2000, he moved to Washington, D.C., to take on a position as Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). In that position, he campaigned for increased IMF engagement in Africa.

On 23 May 2004, the German Federal Assembly elected Horst Köhler as the 9th German President of the Federal Republic of Germany.

Köhler primarily committed himself to globalisation efforts with reliable rules and a genuine partnership with the African continent. On 31 May 2010, he resigned from office. In 2012, the Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, appointed him a member of the ‘High Level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda’.

From 2016 to 2017, Horst Köhler and Kofi Annan led a special panel of the African Development Bank, whose function it is to advise the bank on the implementation of its strategies. In August 2017, UN Secretary General António Guterres appointed him ‘Special Envoy to Western Sahara’. He still continues to work as an honorary professor at the University of Tübingen.

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All contributions by Horst Köhler

To a new partnership

To a new partnership

By Horst Köhler

You could say that Europe and Africa are a community with a common destiny ... or simply: great partners. This is how former German President Horst Köhler looks at it and insists: Take advantage of opportunities!

A new culture of cooperation with Africa

A new culture of cooperation with Africa

By Horst Köhler

Africa’s biggest challenge – and its greatest opportunity – is its young people. The most important question is: to what weapon will Africa’s young people turn – the polling booth or the gun?