Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 1: keine Armut. Menschen halten sich an den Händen.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 10: Weniger Ungleichheiten. Ein = Zeichen mit Pfeilen nach oben, unten, links und rechts.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 11: Nachhaltige Städte und Gemeinden. Mehrere Gebäude.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 12: Nachhaltiger Konsum und Produktion. Ein Unendlichkeitssymbol.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 13: Maßnahmen zum Klimaschutz. Ein Auge, dessen Pupille eine Weltkugel ist.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 14: Leben unter Wasser. Ein Fisch schwimmt unter Wellen.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 15: Leben an Land. Ein Baum und Vögel.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 16: Frieden, Gerechtigkeit und starke Institutionen. Eine Taube und ein Richterhammer.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 17: Partnerschaften zur Erreichung der Ziele. Sich überlappende Kreise.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 2: Kein Hunger. Aus einer Schüssel steigt Dampf auf.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 3: Gesundheit und Wohlergehen. Linie eines EKGs, die in einem Herz endet.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 4: Hochwertige Bildung. Ein aufgeschlagenes Buch und ein Stift.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 5: Geschlechtergleichheit. Eine Kombination aus den Symbolen für Männlichkeit und Weiblichkeit, mit einem = Zeichen in der Mitte.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 6: Sauberes Wasser und Sanitäreinrichtungen. Ein mit Wasser gefülltes Glas.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 7: Bezahlbare und saubere Energie. Eine Sonne mit einem An-/Aus-Zeichen in der Mitte.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 8: Menschenwürdige Arbeit und Wirtschaftswachstum. Ein Balkendiagramm mit Pfeil nach oben.Grafik: Ziel für nachhaltige Entwicklung 9: Industrie, Innovation und Infrastruktur. Mehrere verschachtelte Würfel. Artboard 1

Diverse partnerships: the foundation of our work

Whether a telephone provider in Lesotho, the European Investment Bank or the African Union – our many and varied partners are fundamental to our work. Their different perspectives and strengths make projects effective on a lasting basis.

Planning projects together, learning with one another, combining strengths: partnerships enable GIZ to implement projects swiftly, in line with demand and adapted to each specific context. After all, complex challenges call for common solutions. This is just as true of the shortage of skilled workers in Germany as it is of green reconstruction in Ukraine, the fight against gender-based violence in Lesotho, or climate action in Peru and Kenya, which benefits us all worldwide. Only diverse partnerships give us the ability to achieve sustainable results and make effective use of resources. This is why we look for partners with the appropriate expertise for each project – whether multilateral organisations, other European implementing organisations, foundations, private businesses or research institutes. Thanks to our local networks, we bring people and organisations together and promote dialogue between our commissioning parties and partners, thereby uniting their interests.

Read on to find out what our partners say about how we cooperate in various fields – and why diverse perspectives and different strengths are particularly important:

Portrait photo: Bineta Diop

In 2024, the partnership between GIZ and the African Union will celebrate its twentieth anniversary. We asked Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace and Security, how she views the past few years and what her hopes are for the future.

To the interview
Portrait photo: Oleksandr Shkin

»Through the FELICITY partnership, GIZ can give our employees further training on energy efficiency and climate resilience standards that are vital to the modernisation of our infrastructure. At the same time, it opens up opportunities for us to get funding from the EIB to implement these types of projects. In the long term, it helps us to put reconstruction of our energy sector on a sustainable footing from the outset.«

Oleksandr Shkin,
Director of the Ukrainian Water Utilities Association ‘Ukrvodokanalecology,’ on the FELICITY II project
Photo: Ein Mann und eine Frau tragen ein großes Solarpaneel über ein Dach.
© Hassan Eslaeeh
We are implementing more and more projects as Team Europe, for instance with the Belgian implementing organisation Enabel in the African health and education sector.

Green infrastructure: jointly planned from the beginning

An urban water utility company would like to modernise its sewage treatment plants to make them energy efficient and climate friendly. The needs are great, and the plans are in place. But where will the money come from? To speed up the rollout of climate-positive projects like this, the International Climate Initiative (IKI) commissioned GIZ and the European Investment Bank (EIB) to combine their strengths. From the very beginning, a team of GIZ and EIB staff sit down with city representatives to plan the measures that the cities will implement and what requirements they need to meet to obtain a loan from the EIB. In this way, GIZ’s technical expertise and local presence is combined with the EIB’s financial strength – a model that is now used in 12 cities around the world.

Photo: Sieben junge Frauen und zwei junge Männer in Krankenhauskitteln posieren für ein Gruppenbild.
Students at Baliuag University celebrate their graduation.
© Baliuag University
Photo: Zwei junge Frauen stehen in einem Krankenhausflur neben einem Monitor.
© GIZ / Tristan Vostry

Find out here how Ayona Jose and Jyothy Pattath Shaiju came to Germany as nurses from the Indian state of Kerala and learn more about how GIZ supports skilled workers around the world to improve their employment prospects.

Learn more
Portrait photo: Patricia Bustos-Laguna

»Three of our nursing faculty were sent to University Hospital Bonn. The additional knowledge and skills that the faculty acquired in their one-month study stay not only benefits the Global Skills Partnerships programme participants but will improve nursing instruction in the university.«

Patricia Bustos-Lagunda,
President of Baliuag University, on the training partnership between Germany and the Philippines
© Philippine Association of Colleges and Universities

Training partnerships: all stakeholders around one table

At Baliuag University in the Philippines, student nurses can be trained in preparation for the German job market even while studying for their degree. Together with University Hospital Bonn, Baliuag University has structured its curriculum so that the qualification can be quickly recognised in Germany. GIZ develops and coordinates this cross-border training partnership on behalf of the German Federal Ministry of Health and the Bertelsmann Foundation, bringing together employers from the German private sector, universities in Germany and abroad and the participating governments. As a result, student nurses receive the training, language courses and visa that they need for fair and safe labour migration to Germany.

Portrait photo: Andreas Wolter

»Cooperation with Indigenous peoples such as the Shipibo-Konibo-Xetebo in the Amazon region helps us to understand better what impacts our economic activities and supply chains have. They use their knowledge – which in some cases goes back centuries – and locally adapted methods of resource use to preserve the rainforest, and at the same time contribute to global efforts to combat climate change.«

Andreas Wolter,
Mayor of the City of Cologne, on the partnership with Yarinacocha
© public

Learning with one another: municipal partnerships

Partners since 2017 – something that the municipality of Yarinacocha in Peru and the city of Cologne in Germany can be proud of. In 2022, GIZ also seconded a development worker to Yarinacocha for two years to support the Peruvian municipality and civil society stakeholders in looking at issues such as electromobility, solar energy and wastewater disposal. In this way, while working on a small scale the municipalities are doing their bit for the bigger picture: biodiversity conservation, climate action and environmental protection. It also provides German municipalities with fresh inspiration for their own development. To date, GIZ has supported city partnerships like this on behalf of the German Development Ministry (BMZ) in 21 countries.

Photo: Ein Mann in Warnweste geht an einer Reihe Solarpaneele entlang.
Solar-powered mini-grids ensure the supply of electricity to refugees and host communities in Kenya.
© James Ochweri
Portrait photo: Caroline van Buren

»Our cooperation with GIZ in Kenya enables us to address multiple challenges simultaneously and at different levels: providing displaced people with essential services while at the same time promoting green entrepreneurship in the host communities, building climate-resilient infrastructure with the mini-grids and also supporting local governance systems for the socio-economic inclusion of refugees.«

Caroline Van Buren,
UNHCR Kenya, on the complementary cooperation between the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and GIZ.
© Caroline Van Buren
Photo: Zwei Frauen mit Kopftüchern sitzen an einem Tisch und lernen gemeinsam
© GIZ / 2022 Ali Saltan

Learn how GIZ operates at the interface between peace and development together with other partners in Türkiye, South Sudan and Iraq.

Learn more

Combined strengths: more power for refugees worldwide

More than 11,000 residents of the Kalobeyei refugee camp in Kenya have access to green electricity. This is made possible by a solar mini-grid that supplies households, businesses, schools and hospitals within the camp. GIZ cooperates closely with UNHCR and the local government in Kenya on behalf of the German Development Ministry to reduce the pressure on humanitarian aid and build lasting structures. While UNHCR has direct access to the refugees, GIZ uses its wide-ranging network to support partner institutions with long-term energy legislation and plans. In this way, humanitarian and development approaches are linked together with bilateral and multilateral approaches, making joint projects particularly effective and sustainable. Around the world, more than 550,000 refugees and residents of host communities have already benefited from the partnership between GIZ and UNHCR.

Local partners: sharing responsibility

Violence against women is a problem for society as a whole. It can only be solved if actors from all areas of society work together. In Southern Africa, GIZ brings them under one umbrella to develop effective solutions jointly.

Begoña Castro Vázquez is standing in front of a big poster at the GIZ Office in South Africa. ‘No actors in society can prevent gender-based violence effectively on their own’ is printed there in multi-coloured lettering, setting out the identity of the Partnerships for Prevention (PfP) programme. Begoña manages the programme, which implements measures countering violence against women and girls in Southern Africa. The approach involves bringing different actors together – ranging from civil society to local businesses, multilateral organisations and figures from the worlds of politics and the media – and combining their resources, their expertise and their ideas.

Partnerships for Prevention

Auftraggeber German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Cofinanced by the Ford Foundation
Location South Africa, Lesotho, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Namibia (since 2023)
Term 2017 to 2025
Photo: Zwei Frauen blicken gemeinsam auf ein Smartphone.
The Vodacom Lesotho Foundation enables women to use the app without paying for data.


flagship projects combating violence against women and girls are implemented by the programme in Southern Africa.

Around 100

partners work together in Southern Africa under this programme.

One of the flagship projects is the Nokaneng app in Lesotho. Since 2019, women affected by violence have been able to use the app to find help and information. The women can learn about their rights, ask questions and – especially important – call for help in case of an emergency. If they own a basic phone rather than a smartphone, there is also a text-message-based version of the app. Lesotho’s Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation was involved in developing the app from the very start of the project and offers it as a public service. Because many women in Lesotho do not have the money for costly Internet contracts, the telephone provider Vodacom also came on board. It enables the app to run without using data, and therefore also at no cost to the users. ‘When GIZ approached us with the idea for the app, we were immediately enthusiastic,’ says Pinki Manong, Project Manager at the Vodacom Lesotho Foundation. ‘We have already worked together successfully in other projects and our goal is always to support our partners, especially when it comes to such important social problems.’

The non-governmental organisation (NGO) She-Hive Association deals with day-to-day support for the app and provides the content for it. She-Hive was founded by and for women who have experienced domestic or gender-based violence. Co-founder Mamolise Harris and her fellow staff members have been advising and supporting women in Lesotho for many years, and have also been contributing their expertise to the Nokaneng app since 2019.

Photo: Eine Hand hält ein Smartphone. Auf dem Bildschirm ist die Oberfläche der Nokaneng-App zu sehen.
Victims of violence can call for help using the Nokaneng app.
Portrait photo: Mamolise Harris.

»We founded She-Hive in 2012 and since then we have supported many women who have been victims of violence. When we started working with GIZ, we were able to take part in a number of capacity-building workshops. That was very helpful and the kind of support we need.«

Mamolise Harris, Co-founder of the NGO She-Hive
© Mamolise Harris
Photo: Zwei Hände halten ein Smartphone und einen Flyer.


men and women have already been reached by the programme

She-Hive was the perfect partner for the Partnerships for Prevention programme because the NGO works with professional social workers and counsellors. They are available as contact persons for the women who seek help via the app. The cooperation between GIZ and She-Hive does more than just improve the app. Both organisations have been able to expand their networks and share knowledge – for instance on conducting dialogue between different generations. She-Hive also puts this new knowledge to use in its other projects.

Securing long-term project success

Insights into local contexts and location-specific expertise, such as that provided by She-Hive, Vodacom and the other partners in Lesotho, are among the most important success factors for impactful projects. Only through direct dialogue with people on site can customised projects be effective and succeed. Begoña is also convinced that this is the case: ‘In Lesotho, for example, our partners pointed out to us that people are more likely to consume audio and video content than pure text. This is why we joined forces with She-Hive and media partners to produce videos and radio soaps about the issues in the app, thereby reaching a wider audience.’

For Begoña there is another important reason why projects need appropriate partnerships in order to be successful over the long term: namely because in that way stakeholders from different areas of society assume responsibility for project activities on equal footing and are also able to continue pursuing these activities independently well into the future. This has proven to be the case with the Nokaneng app: the Ministry of Gender and Youth, Sports and Recreation has since officially adopted the app and uses it to offer its own preventive measures. Because the various partners have been collaborating ever since the app was first developed, the ministry was able to acquire the knowledge it needs to deal with all of the organisational and technical aspects.

And because gender-based violence, like all major challenges, is not confined to national borders, Nokaneng will soon be supporting women in other countries as well. The first is Namibia: ‘There is no doubt that we can benefit from our experience setting up the app in Lesotho, but in the end the app has to work in the local context. In Namibia, for example, there are 23 official languages, in Lesotho only two,’ explains Begoña, setting out the challenge they face. But she is convinced that the app will also be a success in Namibia – thanks to joint cooperation with local partners.

Portrait photo: Begoña Castro Vazquez

»As GIZ, we plan projects from the outset in such a way that we will withdraw from them at some point, and the project partners will then continue to run them as independently as possible. In order for this to succeed, we have to design projects together with our partners from the very first idea and take on board the ideas of all those involved. Then it has the chance of sustainable success.«

Begoña Castro Vázquez,
Manager of the Partnerships for Prevention programme at GIZ South Africa
© DashPhotography Design
Portrait photo: Bineta Diop

»Africa as a strong global actor and partner«

Interview with Bineta Diop, Special Envoy of the Chairperson of the African Union Commission on Women, Peace and Security

How do partnerships with countries and organisations outside Africa contribute to the AU’s strategic goals and initiatives?

As the African Union, we have set out clear ideas and guidelines in Agenda 2063 on how the African continent should develop in the coming decades. These strategic goals can only be achieved through joint efforts. We see a lot of overlap between our goals and those of many of our international partners. They also want to protect the climate and promote a sustainable African economy that creates jobs. This holds a lot of potential for cooperation. The partnerships with other countries or organisations serve as a platform to reinforce political relations and to promote ways in which we can achieve common goals and interests. Whether this involves politics, business, agriculture or society, it is particularly important to us that people are at the centre of all partnerships.

How can international organisations such as GIZ support the AU in establishing permanent structures?

The partnership between the AU and GIZ has a great scope. Together, we have developed norms and standards to better institutionalise gender equality. As a result, many AU member states, AU organs and civil society organisations have enacted additional laws and policies at national and regional levels to promote gender equality. This demonstrates how we are working together to break down structural barriers and discriminatory practices across Africa, while creating opportunities for women. In this way, we improve their access to opportunities, resources and services.

The partnership between GIZ and the African Union is celebrating its twentieth anniversary in 2024. In this context, can you highlight a particularly successful collaboration and its long-term impact?

Notably, with the support of GIZ, more than 8,000 kilometres of ill-defined borderlines have been legally delimitated and physically marked with border pillars leading to reduced conflict over natural resources and crime in Africa. International organisations such as GIZ are important partners for such projects. They enable us to implement programmes and projects at continental, national and regional levels. The partnerships strengthen our institutional capacities and thus make a significant contribution to the AU’s regional peace and security initiatives. Our goal remains to create robust and sustainable structures for peace and security across the continent.

What would you like to see in the future of the partnership between the AU and GIZ?

The international community should see Africa as a strong, united, and influential global actor and partner. Our goal is for the African Union to play its legitimate role in the global economy and to bring African positions and interests to international negotiations. With regard to GIZ, I hope that we will continue to work well and closely together, realise our vision of Agenda 2063, especially advancing the women, peace and security agenda, and thus creating positive changes across continents and national borders.