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Welcome to my internet presence

I am glad to introduce you to my work as a Member of Parliament for the constituency of Halle (Saale), Kabelsketal, Landsberg and Petersberg as well as to inform you about my work in the political Berlin. 

My background

ChildhoodEducation and professionFunctions and mandate in the BundestagLearn more

Childhood

I was born in Marsassoum, Senegal, in 1961. More than half a century later, in 2013, I became the first African-born black person to be elected to the German Bundestag.

As an orphan, I learned early on how important cohesion and solidarity are: My older sister took me into her family and raised me as her own son. I owe her a lot.


Education and profession

In my mid-20s, I received a scholarship to study in the former GDR. I studied chemistry at Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg and earned my doctorate in geoecology.

Afterwards, I worked professionally in various non-profit organizations in the field of education, youth policy, diversity and human rights. From 2011 to 2013, I worked as an officer in the Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs of Saxony-Anhalt. From 2009 to 2015, I was a city councilor in Halle (Saale).

In 2013, I became the first African-born black person to be elected to the German Bundestag. I owe this to my family and all the people who believe in me and support me. I also feel gratitude for one of the most responsible tasks that a democracy can offer at all: My mandate in the Bundestag.


Functions and mandate in the Bundestag

Photo: Simon Witte

During the 18th legislative period (2013-2017), I served as Vice Chair of the Commission for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid, as well as a member of the Commission for Education, Research and Technical Risk Assessment. I also served – and still serve – as member of the Board of Directors of the Federal Agency for Civic Education. Between October 2015 and December 2016, I led the major project of the Social Democratic Parliamentary Group (SPD) in the Bundestag: #NeuesMiteinander/ For a new ‚living together‘ – Germany as a host country. Within this framework, we developed – together with representatives from civil society, cultural sphere and politics – ideas for social cohesion in Germany. Furthermore, in 2016 I was a member of the working group on perspectives in „Law, Democracy and Participation“ of the SPD at the federal level and was therefore involved in the development of the governmental program.

For the 19th legislative period (since 2017), thanks to my membership in the Commission for Education, Research and Technical Risk Assessment, I was able to fully focus on the topic of equity, and in particular equal opportunities, in education.

In the areas of migration and integration, I have been actively involved in the negotiations within the coalition, while personally focusing – in addition to integration and asylum policy – on the law regulating immigration. Since March 2018, I have been a member of the Extended Bureau of the SPD parliamentary group, which elected me to the position of Integration Officer.

As a member of the delegation of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly and Vice-Chairman of the West Africa parliamentary group, I am always directly involved in international exchange and cooperation.

In the 20th Bundestag, which has been elected in 2021, I directly won my constituency of Halle with 28.8% of the votes in the first round. My parliamentary work is carried out in the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development, of which I am a regular member. I am also a member of the Subcommittee on Global Health and a substitute member of the Committee on International Climate and Energy Policy. During this legislative period, I am chairing the parliamentary group on West Africa and I am again a member of the Franco-German Parliamentary Assembly.


Learn more

I live in our wonderful Halle (Saale) with my wife and our two children. The city has been the center of my life since 1986 and I am very glad and thankful to be able to serve as a member of the Bundestag for Halle (Saale), Kabelsketal, Landsberg and Petersberg.

In my biography „Leben für die Demokratie – Mein Weg vom Senegal ins deutsche Parlament“, you can learn even more about me and my life path from Senegal to the Bundestag.


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