Contrary to international perception party assistance of German political foundations is not confined to the ‘partisan approach’, but displays a high variety of approaches; in particular they combine political party with civil society assistance. In fact, only about 20% of their efforts are devoted to party aid. Despite the foundation’s high degree of versatility in party aid they reveal a crucial weakness: none has a strategic concept to address the particular challenges of African political parties. However, this weakness is neither a problem of the German foundations nor is it confined to Africa; it rather seems to be a general one of party promoters and probably found in other continents as well.
Key words: German political foundations, promotion of democracy, political part y assistance, party aid in Africa, political parties.