Birgit Pickel is Director-General for Africa in the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. She has more than 20 years of experience in development policy and cooperation, including 11 years in management positions. Her regional focus is on West‐ and Southern Africa, thematic focus is on global health, governance, and sustainable economic development, including skills development, civil society, civic engagement, and international volunteering. Mrs. Pickel has lived and worked in the USA, South Africa, Zambia, and Yemen, and short‐term missions to Benin, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Cameroon, and Bangladesh. She has an MA in Political Science and a postgraduate certificate in Development Studies.