Global Business Network (GBN) Programme – Your Partner for Development Cooperation

Project description

Title: Global Business Network (GBN) programme
Commissioned by: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Country: Cambodia, Côte d’Ivoire, Ethiopia, Namibia, Rwanda (with responsibility for Uganda) and Senegal
Overall term: 2017 to 2020



A properly functioning economy is a key prerequisite for a country’s development: economic growth creates jobs, improves people’s incomes and drives innovation. For this reason, the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda provides for the active involvement of the private sector in the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). This includes local enterprises in the partner countries alongside German and European companies, as cooperation with international economic partners is often the key to success. To ensure that economic development really contributes to the achievement of the SDGs, however, the economy must grow in a sustainable manner and development must benefit the entire population and not damage either nature or the climate. In all of this, companies can benefit from the expertise offered by development cooperation. 


Cooperation relationships between local enterprises and institutions in selected partner countries and German and European companies and institutions have improved. 


The Global Business Network (GBN) programme, funded by BMZ, is a global project that combines entrepreneurial spirit with sustainable economic and social activity. To this end, the project sets up Business & Cooperation Desks in selected countries in Africa and Asia where there previously were no offices of German Chambers of Commerce Abroad (AHKs) or Delegations of German Industry and Commerce. There is huge potential for cooperation with German industry and commerce in these countries. The Business & Cooperation Desks are integrated into the GIZ offices and are managed by GBN coordinators. These coordinators work closely with the relevant regional AHKs and, where possible, with bilateral business associations. The division of responsibilities between the GBN coordinators and the AHKs’ regional coordinators is an important component of the programme.

The GBN coordinators provide the following core services: 

For companies:  

  • They provide information and advice to local, German and European companies on the funding, financing and cooperation services available as part of development cooperation.
  • They support the ideas of local and German enterprises and help them to develop and implement specific projects based on these ideas.
  • They build networks between actors from the private sector and development cooperation, for example by organising events on a regular basis.

For GIZ projects:

  • They support development cooperation projects in establishing contacts with companies and developing project approaches. In this regard, they provide targeted advice on current developments and instruments relating to cooperation with the private sector.
  • They are available as points of contact for enquiries from companies and can put them in touch with the AHK network in the relevant region, if necessary.
  • They link the sector-specific and regional expertise offered by development cooperation with the needs of the private sector. 

There are currently three GBN coordinators working in Business & Cooperation Desks: in Ethiopia, Rwanda (with responsibility for Uganda) and Cambodia. Desks are also planned in Namibia, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. The sectors where the Desks place particular emphasis are food production, energy and renewables, water, medical technology, and information and communication technology.

The GBN programme forms a global cooperation network together with the development cooperation scouts (EZ-Scouts) and ExperTS. The development cooperation scouts act as development policy advisors on behalf of BMZ in business associations, regional associations, Chambers of Commerce and Industry and Chambers of Skilled Crafts in Germany, and also in foundation organisations in cooperation with Engagement Global. The ExperTS programme provides advice to local, German and European companies on development policy issues at German Chambers of Commerce Abroad and Delegations of German Industry and Commerce in around 30 countries.

Grafik GBN

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