Entering new markets with the project development programme (PDP) in sub-Saharan Africa

Project description

Title: Project development programme (PDP) in sub-Saharan Africa III
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) as part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative
Overall term: 2015 to 2018

Project Development Programme (PDP) East Africa. Solar power installation on Lamu Island, Kenya. © GIZ


In emerging economies and developing nations, the need for energy is growing by leaps and bounds, calling for immediate investments in energy supply. At the same time, there is great potential for renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions in these markets of the future. Steadily falling technology costs are increasingly making renewables a financially interesting alternative to conventional energy sources. Sub-Saharan Africa offers prospects as a major market for Germany companies. Against the background of Germany’s worldwide reputation as a pioneer in developing renewable energy, they offer services and products that provide high-quality, reliable, innovative and comprehensive solutions adapted to local conditions.
Entering new markets is risky for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), particularly in developing and emerging countries. Despite the considerable potential for renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions in sub-Saharan African and South-East Asia, actual markets are still in their infancy in these regions. Foreign companies wishing to gain a foothold in these countries need local partners, initial in-country reference projects and perseverance.


German companies avail themselves of support from the Project Development Programme (PDP) as an important step toward entering markets in developing and emerging economies on a lasting basis. Renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions made in Germany are becoming more widespread in the participating countries.


GIZ’s Project Development Programme (PDP) supports German companies as they explore new markets that are promising but still difficult and barely developed. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi) and as part of the German Energy Solutions Initiative, PDP advises companies during the various phases of market positioning and project development. It assists with the transfer of technology and know-how and supports sustainable market structures, thereby promoting the dissemination of renewable energies and energy-efficient solutions.

These activities are designed taking into account the foreign trade promotion options already available in the countries concerned and the market opportunities emerging for German companies.
PDP engages in lively sector dialogue, initiating or intensifying bilateral business partnerships through delegations and information and trade events. Enterprises need reliable local partners in order to enter African and South-East Asian markets. PDP also helps to set up and install reference projects, keeps German companies informed of calls for tender and provides advice on these if required.

In the target countries, potential customers of German technology and services attend workshops with representatives of German companies, whose training programmes for local technicians and stakeholders nurture customer relations and trust at an early stage. PDP has organised working groups to discuss innovative cost-effective business models for current conditions and ideas on how to minimise transaction costs and risks.

Kenya. Construction of solar panels in Mombasa. © GIZ

Alongside GIZ’s bilateral projects, the programme offers advice about technical issues such as grid codes and bidding standards, with the aim of creating a more enabling environment in the target countries in the long term.
PDP backs the private sector as the motor for investments in sustainable energy supply and supports the development of sustainable markets for cutting-edge German technology.