Global Business Network (GBN) Programme

Project description

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



A well-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.


Funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Global Business Network (GBN) Programme is a global project that combines entrepreneurship with sustainable economic and social engagement. For this purpose, the project is setting up Business & Cooperation Desks in selected countries in Africa and Asia. The focus is on countries, which are not yet covered by German foreign trade institutions. The desks are integrated into the GIZ offices and are looked after by the GBN-Coordinators. They work closely with the regionally responsible AHKs and, where possible, with bilateral trade associations. The division of labour between the GBN-Coordinators and the AHK Regional Coordinators is an important part of the programme.

The GBN-Coordinators provide the following core services: 

For companies:  

  • Providing information, advice and guidance for local, German and European businesses on how to cooperate with development cooperation.
  • Supporting new approaches and ideas of local, German and European businesses and develop them into projects.
  • Building sustainable networks between the private sector and development cooperation. 

For GIZ projects:

  • Providing individual advice and guidance to the GIZ projects in the six countries on new approaches and instruments regarding private sector cooperation.
  • Support the projects with handling inquiries from the private sector and establish contact to the AHK-Network.
  • Utilise know-how and regional expertise of the development cooperation for private sector initiatives.

There are six GBN-Coordinators working at Business & Cooperation Desks: in Ethiopia, Côte d’Ivoire, Namibia, Rwanda (with responsibility for Uganda), Senegal and Cambodia.  Special attention is paid to developing relevant industries, such as food processing, energy, water, renewable energies, medical technology, as well as information and communication technology.

The GBN Programme works closely with the programmes EZ-Scouts and ExperTS. The EZ-Scouts act as development policy advisors on behalf of BMZ in chambers, organisations and associations in German industry, 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_Englisch