Working with the private sector for sustainable impact

Project description

Title: Centre for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS)
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO)
Country: South Africa
Partner: Private sector actors, civil society, development finance institutions, biotrade expert or trade organisations and various government departments
Overall term: 2014 to 2023

South Africa. An Energy Efficiency Accord is signed in Kenya. © GIZ


South Africa is regarded as the economic powerhouse of Africa. Nevertheless, the country faces enormous challenges, including low economic growth rates, rising unemployment, increasing inequality and natural resource depletion. The welfare of the country depends on a growing economy, social development, natural resource security and private sector success. Partnerships between all stakeholders are vital to achieve prosperity and sustainable impacts. Together with enterprises, innovative solutions must be co-created to move towards a growing and inclusive economy.


The private sector in sub-Saharan Africa contributes towards sustainable development by adopting responsible business practices.


The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in South Africa established the Center for Cooperation with the Private Sector (CCPS) to coordinate its strategy for working with the private sector. As an umbrella body it brings together four regional and global programmes that promote private sector cooperation:

  • Employment for Sustainable Development in Africa (E4D): E4D SA partners with the private sector and other stakeholders to create smart, sustainable solutions for economic development. It promotes micro- and small business development, enhances skills and employability and supports inclusive value chains. 
  • The Natural Resources Stewardship Programme (NatuReS): NatuReS facilitates partnerships between the public- and private sector and civil society, promoting collective action to protect and manage natural resources while safeguarding investments in key economic zones, creating and securing jobs, boosting awareness of natural resource stewardship, and fostering sustainable development by embedding knowledge around stewardship into key institutions so they can drive policy and practice.
  • The Access Benefit Sharing Capacity Development Initiative (ABS Compliant Biotrade in Southern Africa) (ABioSA): ABioSA, funded by the Swiss State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO) and implemented by GIZ, is a multi-donor funded programme aimed at creating a high-growth jobs-rich and innovative biotrade sector that complies with international and domestic ABS regulations. It supports sustainable development goals and contributes to the livelihoods of rural people and the productive use of South(ern) Africa’s plant biodiversity. 
  • BioInnovation Africa - Equitable Benefit-sharing for the Conservation of Biodiversity: BioInnovation Africa, in collaboration with the ABS Capacity Development Initiative (ABS), aims to strengthen European-African partnerships for biodiversity-based innovations and products with equitable benefit-sharing for conservation and sustainable use of biodiversity. It seeks to support the private sector to enter into sustainable and mutually beneficial partnerships based on high ethical, social and environmental standards.
South Africa. Recruits from the Ghana Police College take part in an anti-corruption training course. © GIZ


In South Africa, E4D is involved in eight partnerships, one of which is with Vodacom, supporting smallholder farmers to enter agricultural supply chains through a cloud-based web and mobile software solution offered free to approx. 16 000 farmers. It will link farmers with agribusinesses and provide information and services on sustainable farming practices. E4D’s partnership with Creative Contracts is piloting an innovative employment contracting approach using comic-style contracts to replace long, legalese employment contracts. To date, over 3,800 such contracts were signed.

NatuReS is involved in five main partnerships in South Africa. In its first year, it modelled water security impact on the economy. It also supported the development of standard operating procedures to ensure water security in 27 industrial parks and 16 special economic zones. In the uMhlathuze Water Stewardship Partnership (UWASP) a circular economy project turning waste fibre into mulch has been piloted. NatuReS also institutionalised dam management knowledge within a range of stakeholders in uMhlathuze to build resilience in water resource management. 

The ABioSA programme has provided financial assistance to ten Southern African Biotrade Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Business Support Organisations (BSOs) to promote innovation and growth. An additional 21 SMEs and cooperatives with existing products who are either already ABS compliant or on target to become compliant within the project lifetime are participating in a technical assistance/capacity development (TA/CD) programme. The purpose of the TA/CD programme is to prepare the SMEs to become investment ready and to access further funding.

Additional information