New KAS research assistant Petida Chomphoo introduces herself

My name is Petida Chomphoo and I am pleased to introduce myself as the new Research Assistant of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation (KAS) in Johannesburg. Currently I am a master student of International Management in Fulda and I will graduate by completing my research stay in Johannesburg. Previously I concluded my bachelor's degree in business administration with a focus on tourism.

As a member of the district council and a member of the Christian-Democratic Party (CDU) and its youth organisation Young Union (JU) for many years I have always been close to the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung and its political educational mission. I am convinced that political education as well as Christian-democratic values can contribute to the political, social, economic and ecological improvement of a country.

Due to my academic background, sustainable economic development is at the center of my interests. The emerging nation of South Africa is characterized by structures of an industrialised country and at the same time of a developing country. Therefore South Africa is a highly interesting field of research that will subject to future political and economic changes. Having already gained my first business experience in Tanzania, I became aware of the topic of foreign trade and the trade policy of African countries. Through KAS I have the opportunity to conduct independent research on the South African-German trade relations. I would like to do research on the development of the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) regarding sustainable, environmental and fair trade policy aspects from which benefit both South Africa as well as the European Union. At present, South African-European trade relations are of utmost importance to the South African economy. 38.5 percent of South Africa's external trade is due to relations with the EU. Within the EU, Germany is one of the most important trading partners. Regarding these developments I would like to investigate whether goals of regional integration, economic growth and poverty alleviation had been achieved.

In addition to that the KAS offers me the opportunity to get to know the work of political education. I will assist in the organisation and planning of political education activities as well as independently carry out a project. I will have the opportunity to lecture in the 12th grade of the German International School Johannesburg (DSJ) on the German political structures, the German youth organisations of political parties and the work as a district council member. In the following discussion we compare the situation to South Africa putting political participation on activism of the young generation in the focus. I am particularly pleased about this task and challenge and hope fill the young people with enthusiasm for politics and to achieve a mutual exchange of experiences.

I am looking forward to the future work and the opportunity to get an insight into the South African political system and the culture as well as to make a personal contribution to the work of the KAS.


Republic of South Africa, January 22, 2018