Dr. Pierrette

The Greens/EFA | MEPs

Dr. Pierrette Herzberger-Fofana was elected to the European Parliament on 26 May 2019 as a candidate of Bündnis 90/Die Grünen and has since been campaigning for a democratic, humane Europe as an MEP. She is First Vice-Chair of the Committee on Development (DEVE) and the Delegation for Relations with the Pan-African Parliament (DPAP), Co-President of the European Parliament's Anti-Racism and Diversity Intergroup (ARDI) and a member of the Delegation to the Cariforum-EU Parliamentary Committee (DCAR), where 'Cariforum' stands for the countries of the Caribbean region. She is also a substitute on the Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) and the Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality (FEMM), and a substitute on the Delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP), where ACP stands for African, Caribbean and Pacific countries.

About my goals and visions

As a Black woman, as a politician, as a teacher, as a mother, and as an activist, I work and live to make equal human relationships, dialogue, and collaboration possible wherever it is not yet possible. Where relationships, dialogues and collaboration are fulfilled at eye level, the vision of a society free from violence, discrimination, right-wing populism and racism and steeped in true equality of opportunity through education is also fulfilled. 

You don't fly towards visions either, you target them and then single-mindedly do one thing at a time.

The next concrete steps are to work on making institutions more diverse in every respect, i.e. to encourage selection processes for job appointments to change accordingly.
In addition, the topic of colonialism and its many forms and effects must be included in curricula, thus giving future generations the opportunity to deal with their respective historical heritage in a reflective manner.
Discourses of many kinds must also be open to generations that are declared - often unspoken - as either 'still immature' or 'immature again'. Young as well as old people need to participate in the decision-making processes of society as a whole, in visions, in life.

I am wholeheartedly committed to this in the interests of Europe and world peace.


Academic career

  • State Examination in Teaching Romance and German Studies University of Trier
  • Doctor of Philosophy of the Friedrich-Alexander-University of Erlangen Dissertation "L'image de la femme dans la littérature francophone d'Afrique subsaharienne
  • Magister Artium M.A.(Romance Studies-Germanic Studies) University of Trier Master thesis "Le rôle de la langue française par rapport aux langues nationales au Sénégal".
  • Maîtrise en Sociologie allemande Paris-Sorbonne Facharbeit Deutsch als Fremdsprache für Kinder ausländischer Arbeitnehmer*innen in Deutschland
  • Licence en Sociologie Allemand, Paris-Sorbonne
  • Study of Romance Studies-Germanic Studies-Sociolinguistics

Professional career

  • Gynaecological teacher at the Ohm-Gynamsium Erlangen
  • Lecturer at FAU, University of Bayreuth, FH Nuremberg and FH Munich
  • Research Assistant for Romance Languages and Literature and Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU)
  • Lecturer at the Language Centre of the Friedrich-Alexander-University Erlangen
  • Research assistant for Romance languages and literature at the University of Trier
  • Lecturer for French at the Euro-Sprachschule TrierGymnasium teacher in Erlangen for French (ret.)


  • Kwanzaa Award from "Africa-Network" for my book "Ecrivains Africains et Identités culturelles", Evanston (USA) 1992
  • Knight of the National Order of Merit/"Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite" of the Republic of Senegal, Dakar 1998
  • Grand State Prize of the President of the Republic of Senegal for Research and Science/"Grand Prix du Président de la République du Sénégal pour les Sciences"
    for my book "Die Frauenliteratur französischsprachiger Länder Schwarzafrikas", Dakar 2003
  • Award as "Pilgrim of Gorée"/"Pèlerin de Gorée", Gorée 2004
  • Helene Weber Prize of the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs for my commitment to integration and against violence against women, Berlin 2009
  • Honorary certificate of the Bavarian Ministry of Education for 25 years of service at public schools in Bavaria, Munich 2010
  • Honorary certificate of the Bavarian Ministry of Justice as honorary judge (Schöffin) from 2003 to 2013, Munich 2013
  • Certificate of high appreciation from the Addis Ababa-basedInter-African Committee (IAC/CI-AF) (umbrella organization of African organizations combating customs affecting the health and well-being of girls and women), Addis Ababa 2014.
  • African Women Award, Nana Yaa Asantewa "for her immense contribution in the African German relations through her work in the area of "Civic Engagement", Hamburg 2014
  • African Women in Europe Award (AWE), Geneva 2015
  • Women for Women Award, Esselingen 2016
  • African Living Legend Award for political commitment, Hamburg 2016
  • Women of Excellence of the magazine "Sonne", Munich 2017

I was born in Bamako (Mali) on March 20, 1949, the daughter of a pharmacist and lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy in Dakar (Senegal), originally from Guinea-Conakry, and a Cape Verdean mother, and grew up in Dakar. After my studies in Paris, Munich and Trier and a doctoral degree at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg, I worked as a research assistant, lecturer and associate lecturer at various Bavarian universities and most recently as a secondary school teacher in Erlangen. My research and numerous publications have dealt with African culture and literature, migration and integration, and the diaspora in Europe, among other topics. In 2003, for my revised doctoral thesis on the female literature of French-speaking countries in sub-Saharan Africa, I was the first and so far only woman to be awarded the Senegalese President's State Prize for Research and Science.

As a city councilor in Erlangen (2005 - 2019), I promoted and changed integration policies locally and was committed to the empowerment of girls and women, with a special focus on senior women, single mothers, migrant women and Black women from the diaspora, as well as against violence against women, discrimination and racism. From 2007 to 2014, I was involved with the Juvenile Court as a juror. In 2009 I co-founded the "International Weeks against Racism" in Erlangen and in 2013 I was the initiator of "School without Racism" of the Ohm-Gymnasium Erlangen. In 2015, I established the "Black History Weeks", an annual event in the framework of the UN Decade for People of African Descent (2015-2024), for which I conceived and realized e.g. the exhibition "Hidden Heroines and Heroes of the Transatlantic Slave Trade" in 2016 and the exhibition "Women from Africa and the Diaspora" in 2018.

In 2009, I was awarded the "Helene Weber Prize" of the Federal Ministry for Senior Citizens, Families, Women and Youth by the then Federal Minister for Family Affairs, now EU President, Dr. Ursula von der Leyen, for my commitment as a local politician.

From 2014 to 2019, I was a board member of "DaMigra", the umbrella organization of migrant women's organizations in Germany, and of "FORWARD Germany, Foundation for Women's Health Research and Development e.V.", an association that campaigns for the abolition of female genital mutilation. As a founding member of the "Migrantinnen-Netzwerk Bayern", the "Helene Weber Netzwerk" and the "Vereinigung der Mandatsträger*innen afrikanischer Abstammung", I was particularly active in promoting the political participation of migrant women.

On the topic of female genital mutilation, I spoke in New York in 2013 before the UN Commission on the Status of Women, in 2015 at the Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, and in 2018 in New York at the Commission on the Status of Women as a member of the German government delegation to the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women.