ʻShaping futures through employment’: a focus on job prospects in Africa

GIZ’s business volume increased by around seven per cent in 2017

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is committed to improving the living conditions of millions of women, men and children across the globe. ʻFor people to have a good quality of life in their home countries, they need education for their children, training opportunities for young people and an income with which to feed themselves and their families. On behalf of the German Government, we are committed to promoting development and employment,’ said Tanja Gönner, Chair of the GIZ Management Board, at the company’s annual press conference. ʻBecause employment shapes futures.’ 

The growing importance of international cooperation is also reflected in GIZ’s business figures: in 2017, the company’s business volume increased by almost seven per cent to around EUR 2.6 billion. Commissions were received from the German Government, the European Union (EU) and other national governments. The main commissioning party was the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). 

GIZ’s work has a focus on Africa. ʻThe German Government is investing in targeted measures to improve people’s prospects in their home countries, with the emphasis on education, training and employment. Having a secure income enables people to stay in their country,’ said Martin Jäger, State Secretary in BMZ and Chair of the GIZ Supervisory Board. ʻBMZ counts on GIZ, as a reliable partner with extensive experience in many African countries, to carry out our work.’ One way that GIZ is striving to create more and better jobs in North Africa and the Middle East is through a BMZ special initiative. In the last three years, GIZ has boosted job prospects for more than 100,000 people and improved the lives of entire families. GIZ’s work benefits more than 450,000 people in total.

Cooperation with the private sector also plays an important role. For example, GIZ works with private enterprises to improve the cultivation of cocoa, cashew nuts, cotton and rice in 14 African countries, which benefits 10 million people. The largest financial contribution to these projects, which GIZ implements on behalf of BMZ, is from private-sector partners such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and companies such as Kraft Heinz Foods, Intersnack and Olam.

GIZ’s work focuses on three main themes: displacement and migration, security and stabilisation, and climate and energy. A third of GIZ’s projects are related to climate change. Since late 2017, GIZ has also been working on behalf of the Green Climate Fund (GCF), which was established by 194 countries to provide funding for climate projects in developing countries. GIZ’s first project for GCF is designed to make the supply of drinking water in the tri-island state of Grenada more resilient to the effects of climate change, and this is set to benefit more than 100,000 people.

85,000 jobs for refugees and people in host communities

Another important aspect of GIZ’s work is supporting refugees and host communities. On behalf of the German Government and in cooperation with KfW, GIZ has supported the creation of around 85,000 jobs through cash-for-work initiatives in the countries neighbouring Syria. These jobs give refugees and local people a fast source of income. ʻThis allows us to provide assistance quickly and directly on the ground,’ said Gönner. ʻIn international cooperation, it is important to be flexible, while also laying the groundwork for long-term structural development.’

In 2017, the volume of work commissioned by BMZ increased by EUR 215 million, or 11 per cent, to around EUR 2.1 billion. This figure includes additional funds provided in the form of cofinancing by third parties such as the EU, foreign governments and foundations. The combined volume of the EU’s cofinancing contributions and direct commissions made it GIZ’s second largest commissioning party, with funds totalling around EUR 290 million, a rise of roughly 24 per cent. Commissions from other German ministries grew year-on-year by EUR 15 million, or five per cent, to EUR 330 million. At the end of 2017, GIZ had 19,506 staff in 120 countries, an increase of 1,246 compared to 2016. Almost 70 per cent of staff were from the countries in which the company works. 

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. We support the German Government in the field of international cooperation for sustainable development. We are also engaged in international education activities around the globe. Through our work, we assist people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving living conditions.

GIZ’s Integrated Company Report, with further information, facts and figures, is available at https://reporting.giz.de/2017/


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