Siemens joins German government’s IT alliance

Siemens has committed to joining the German development ministry’s IT alliance. The alliance comprises leading German and European businesses, associations, and research institutes, and aims to support young entrepreneurs and businesses from developing countries to modernize their domestic economies and create innovative solutions for development issues. Since January 2017, it has supported digital start-ups in Western and Eastern Africa.

The IT alliance was created through the Marshall Plan with Africa, which provides a framework for increased private investments and job opportunities in African countries.

Press release – BMZ (in German)


German government presents action plan to reach 50% sustainable clothing by 2020

The German government has presented a plan, including 1500 actions for the development minister, to increase the share of sustainably produced textiles. Together with businesses, the government aims to increase the share to 50% by 2020. Germany is member of the Alliance for Sustainable Clothing, which brings together more than 150 stakeholders from businesses, trade unions, NGOs, and government, covering a large share of the German market for clothing. The alliance was founded by Development Minister, Gerd Müller, in 2014.  

Press release - BMZ (in German)


German development ministry commits additional €100 million to support development in Mosul, Iraq

The German Development Minister, Gerd Müller, has pledged to contribute an additional €100 million to support the city of Mosul, Iraq, which was recently freed from ISIL. Müller announced that the funding would mainly be used to speed up reconstruction of housing, water and electricity infrastructure, improve education facilities, and strengthen the provision of health services.

According to Funke Mediengruppe, an important media company in Germany, Germany has so far invested €50 million to support reconstruction in the region and improve the situation for refugees. 

News report – Die Zeit online (in German)


German development ministry and DGB agree on partnership to strengthen labor rights

Development Minister Gerd Müller and the president of the German Trade Union Confederation (DGB), Reiner Hoffmann, have signed an agreement creating a partnership to improve labor rights in developing and emerging countries. The agreement is centered on the commitment to support trade unions in partner countries through personnel secondments. These secondments of trained unionists specifically aim at advising unions in partner countries and supporting them in improving their influence on negotiations to ensure living wages.

The program will initially be focused on organizations in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Myanmar, and Pakistan. The Ministry will support the training and education efforts by the unions and seek to incorporate the union’s concerns in Germany’s overall development policy.

Press release – BMZ (in German)


IDDRI releases working paper on NGO mobilization around SDGs in France and Germany

A new comparative study of the French think tank Institute for Sustainable Development and International Relations (IDDRI) details the possibilities and challenges faced by NGOs involved in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development in France and in Germany. Entitled “How do NGOs mobilize around the SDGs and what are the ways forward? A French-German comparison”, the paper addresses several issues, including NGOs' relationship with the public and private sectors, the level of mobilization around the SDGs, and the courses of action taken by organizations in both countries. It also identifies possible ways forward for the relevant actors. 

Working paper – IDDRI

France Germany

Germany, France, and the EU launch the ‘Alliance for the Sahel’

Together with the European Commission, the German and French governments have launched the ‘Alliance for the Sahel’. Pushed for by French President Macron, the new initiative identifies the Sahel as a core strategic area and plans to pioneer an integrated approach to address development and security challenges in the region. It aims to guarantee “security and stabilization in the short term; and development in the middle to long term”.

Regarding development, the Alliance will focus on:

  • poverty eradication
  • developing of rural areas
  • youth education and employment
  • improvement of energy infrastructure
  • governance strengthening

The Alliance also announced the establishment of advisory centers for migration in Africa to support returned refugees in domestic job markets. Other institutional partners include the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and UNDP.

Feature story – European Union External Action

Press kit – Elysee (in French)

Press release – BMZ (in German)

EU France Germany

German parties commit to ambitious ODA funding increases in campaign manifestos

Political parties in Germany have released their campaign manifestos for the upcoming federal election in September. The two major parties, the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Conservatives (CDU/CSU), have both committed to significant funding increases for Germany’s official development assistance (ODA) budget, promised to work to reach the 0.7%/GNI goal, and called for support of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement. However, they differ in how to achieve the 0.7% goal: The Conservatives state that for every additional euro spent on defense, they would spend a euro on development until the 0.7% goal is reached, while the SPD suggests spending 1.5 for every additional euro spent on defense. The SPD also seeks to achieve the 0.7% goal without including domestic refugees costs  which drove Germany to reach the UN goal in 2016 for the first time.

Opposition parties, the Greens and the Left, have likewise called for significant ODA funding increases in their manifestos. However, they also emphasize more funding to multilateral organizations and stronger civil engagement at the international level.

Campaign manifesto - SPD (in German)

Campaign manifesto - CDU/CSU (in German)

Campaign manifesto - The Greens (in German)

Campaign manifesto - The Left (in German)


German development minister presents initiative for access to green and decentralized energy in Africa

At a conference with the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (DGRV), Development Minister Gerd Müller  presented a new initiative for access to green and decentralized energy in Africa. With this effort, the Minister hopes to contribute to low-carbon economic development in African partner countries. As one element of the initiative, Müller announced to support the founding of at least 100 decentralized energy partnerships, bringing together citizens and local governments in Germany with African partners.

The initiative makes concrete a set of reform ideas for the energy sector outlined in the ‘Marshall Plan with Africa’ and aims to build on the knowledge and experience of German energy cooperatives.  

Press release - BMZ


German cities join international movement to meet climate commitments

More than 7,400 cities from developed and developing countries have committed to the new 'Global Covenant of Mayors for Climate & Energy'. The initiative seeks to spur greater local efforts to combat climate change and to work together to keep the climate commitments made by former US President Barack Obama. The Covenant comes as a reaction to current President Trump’s decision to leave the Paris Agreement, and is supported by 61 German cities including Berlin, Hamburg, and many smaller cities.

News article - The Guardian


German development ministry strengthens partnership with Olympic Sports Confederation

German Development Minister, Gerd Müller, and the president of the German Olympic Sports Confederation (DOSB), Alfons Hörmann, have signed an agreement to strengthen their partnership on development policy issues. The new agreement builds on an existing cooperation at the intersection of sports and development, but extends the effort to new countries - mainly in Africa - to new disciplines such as athletics, and to the integration of refugees in recipient countries such as Turkey.

Germany is involved in various sports projects in partner countries (mainly through GIZ and local NGOs), which link sports with development issues like health and education.

Press release - BMZ