Campus Kottenforst officially opened: Bonn-Röttgen now home to GIZ training for experts in global sustainable development

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH today officially opened its new training centre in Bonn-Röttgen. Also known as ‘Campus Kottenforst’, the centre prepares experts and managers in international cooperation for their professional roles.

Addressing around 100 guests at the launch, Chair of the GIZ Management Board Tanja Gönner said, ‘The architectural design of the Campus Kottenforst building and its purpose both signal openness and exchange. And we believe that this is particularly important right now. Individuals from different organisations and countries will be coming together here and benefiting from excellent preparation for their role working for change around the world.’

Situated near Kottenforst forest on the outskirts of Bonn, the new campus formerly housed the Andreas-Hermes-Akademie. GIZ acquired the property in 2013 and, since then, the existing buildings have been refurbished and a new building has been added.

Dr Joachim Stamp, Deputy State Premier of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia (NRW) and NRW’s Minister for Children, Families, Refugees and Integration said, ‘On behalf of the government of North Rhine-Westphalia, I would like to congratulate you on this wonderful new campus. I’m particularly pleased to see that GIZ is expanding its activities. Development cooperation is going to be even more vital in future as we work to combat the causes of displacement. Campus Kottenforst represents a clear commitment to Bonn as Germany’s sustainability and development cooperation capital, an area in which GIZ is a key partner for North Rhine-Westphalia.’

In its new home, GIZ’s Academy for International Cooperation (AIZ) provides demand-oriented initial and continuing training for the company’s own employees and for the staff of a wide range of international cooperation organisations. One of its core services is preparing experts and advisors for assignments in emerging economies and developing countries.

Friedrich Kitschelt, State Secretary in the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board, added, ‘Campus Kottenforst – as a gateway to the world, so to speak – is the central learning workshop for German development cooperation and we are delighted that the staff of 30 development cooperation organisations can now come to Bonn and take advantage of such excellent facilities as they prepare for their crucial work abroad.’

Impressed by the new Academy building, Bonn’s Mayor Ashok Sridharan said, ‘GIZ’s Campus Kottenforst is a real asset for Röttgen and for Bonn in its role as Germany’s international cooperation hub. And with the new campus, GIZ is also underscoring its growing presence in Bonn.’

GIZ Managing Director Hans-Joachim Preuß presented the new building and explained the Academy’s learning concept. ‘Campus Kottenforst symbolises the future of learning: open, flexible and transparent. In this inspiring environment, individuals can meet, share and network – activities that are a key part of AIZ’s learning concept. We know that people not only learn on their own but also – and especially – through exchange with colleagues,’ he said.

The new building has been constructed to the latest environmental standards and in line with the Gold Certificate awarded by the German Sustainable Building Council (DGNB). The new, two-storey wood and glass building was designed by Waechter + Waechter Architekten BDA and houses multi-purpose training rooms and AIZ’s award-winning learning stations, along with an interactive learning circuit that raises awareness of international cooperation issues. The existing buildings house accommodation and offices while the family apartments and childcare facilities enable participants to bring their families when they come for training. GIZ has invested a total of EUR 32.3 million in Röttgen. In the next few months, the company will be hosting an open day for local residents at Campus Kottenforst.

With its Meander Building on Bonn’s Friedrich-Ebert-Allee, which already houses around 500 GIZ staff, and a new office building with space for another 900 employees scheduled to open in 2020, GIZ is sending out a clear signal affirming Bonn’s status as a major hub for international cooperation.