Goethe-Institut and GIZ sign cooperation agreement

The Goethe-Institut and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH are extending their current partnership. Johannes Ebert, Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, and Christoph Beier, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of GIZ, signed a cooperation agreement in Berlin on 14 March to this effect.

As Christoph Beier, Deputy Chairman of the Management Board of GIZ, explained, ‘Culture promotes social cohesion and the development of societies. It drives social change. It is for this very reason that a society’s cultural identity and traditions must be preserved and harnessed for development. GIZ incorporates this knowledge into its work. By supporting structures for cultural policy and the cultural and creative economy, we help our partners in industrialised, emerging and developing countries to make use of the creative, social and economic potential of cultural diversity. We are pleased to be able to address these challenges even more intently in the future in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut.’

The Secretary General of the Goethe-Institut, Johannes Ebert, echoed these sentiments: ‘Art, culture and education play a crucial role in the constitution of societies and are key factors in dealing with the current global and regional challenges. This realisation defines many aspects of the Goethe-Institut’s work. A number of our programmes help promote networking in the culture and education sector and improve the framework for developing knowledge societies in our host countries. The Goethe-Institut is familiar with the cultural scenes and actors in the countries. It has excellent contacts. Against this backdrop, we are pleased to be stepping up our cooperation with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit, especially in specific projects in the partner countries.’

The Goethe-Institut and GIZ already have a successful partnership. Examples of their collaboration include the Tahrir Lounge in Cairo, which provides a platform for supporters of Egypt’s reform movement, and the promotion of cultural societies in Africa. The cooperation agreement signed today is designed to provide a framework for existing and future joint projects. It is based on the consensus between the two organisations that cultural aspects are just as important for transformation processes as political, economic and social factors. Their common aim is therefore to cooperate more closely in future and to harness synergies and competences of international cooperation and foreign cultural and education policy more effectively.

Common areas of activity include strengthening the cultural infrastructure in the partner countries, including the increasingly important creative economy, sustainable urban development and support for the preservation of cultural heritage. Environmental policy and environmental education are other key areas of the planned cooperation. The services jointly offered include training and education measures for policy makers and civil society actors in the partner countries, as well as people active in the field of culture and the staff of public administrations and cultural institutions.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. It supports the German Government in international cooperation for sustainable development and in international education work. GIZ supports people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving living conditions.