BACKUP Initiative: Supporting education with digital bridges

German BACKUP Initiative - Education in Africa (BACKUP Education)


The COVID-19 pandemic caused one of the world's most severe education crises. More than 90 per cent of pupils worldwide were affected by school closures during the first peak of the pandemic in April 2020.

Digitalisation and data technologies are crucial in African countries to bridge school closures and mitigate the impact of the pandemic. Yet lack of or unaffordable internet access, limited digital skills and the digital divide between urban and rural areas as well as between genders have so far constrained the use of digital solutions.


The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on education in the regions of eastern and southern Africa have been mitigated. Digital solutions improve the quality and continuity of educational services. holmes


The German BACKUP Initiative – Education in Africa supports African countries in implementing digital solutions to improve the quality and continuity of education, especially in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project is part of the EU action ‘Resilience to COVID-19 through Digitalisation’ (RESICODI). The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the European Union (EU) are jointly financing the action. In the context of the Team Europe approach, implementation is being carried out by the Belgian agency Enabel in the area of vocational training and health, and by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in the area of education.

The BACKUP Initiative's support comprises three pillars: technical and financial advice, support for regional networking and access to financial support. African ministries, national civil society organisations and regional networks can apply for funding for digital projects (demand-based funding).

The BACKUP Initiative, together with Enabel, forms a network for exchange and joint learning on digital solutions in education, training and healthcare.

Last update: February 2023

Additional information

GIZ Digitalisation

GIZ Education

GIZ Team Europe

GIZ Regional Cooperation

GIZ Africa