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Language enables human beings to communicate ideas, intentions and emotions to others of the same language system thus facilitating personal discovery and development, and the participation in society by way of sharing experiences in the social, political, and cultural spheres of life. Critical thinking and ethical judgement can also be developed through language. It enables the individual to co-determine the development of a democratic society and be jointly responsible for it.

 As German is the mother tongue of more than 100 million people living mostly in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and border areas with France, the Netherlands and Denmark, the teaching of German as a Foreign language gives the learners access to realities in these areas, thereby broadening their horizons. Through meaningful inter-relationship with other subjects, such as Geography and History, more effective learner appreciation of such topics as international relationships, education for environmental awareness, health, gender issues and global peace can be attained.

 Through the teaching of German, the learners’ perceptions and concepts of life and the world are enriched and respect and acceptance of themselves and people of other language communities are promoted. At the same time, the learners are enabled to critically compare the way of life in German-speaking countries with their own and utilise the insights gained to reduce prejudices against others. This exposure fosters national and global peace.

 Of the 100 million German-speaking people, the larger proportion live in the Federal Republic of Germany, which is a nation friendly to Kenya and plays an important role as a trade partner and as a donor country within the European Union. Cultural, political and economic intergovernmental agreements between the two nations have attracted a number of German companies and investors to Kenya. Kenya is a popular travel destination for numerous Germans and is the most significant centre in East Africa for international exchange in many areas, such as education, culture, economy, health and technological and environmental development. International and German aid organisations and cultural institutions such as the U.N., DED (German Development Service), GTZ (German Technical Co-operation), DAAD (German Academic Exchange Service), to mention but a few, have their African headquarters in Nairobi; the Goethe-Institut Inter Nationes in Nairobi is the biggest surviving branch in the region.

 German universities and other institutions of higher learning on the other hand, have been attracting Kenyan students from various levels of education and fields of interest. Through the contact between the two cultures, partnerships with German and Austrian towns and schools have continuously been maintained for many years.