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Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit
Abbreviation GIZ
Formation January 1, 2011 (2011-01-01)
Type governmental
Legal status gGmbH
Purpose/focus Development aid agency
Location Bonn and Eschborn, Germany
Executive director Tanja Gönner
Staff 17,185

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH (German Society for International Cooperation) or GIZ is an international enterprise owned by the German Federal Government, operating in many fields across more than 130 countries. It primarily works with states, state agencies, and the private sector. Its headquarters are located in Bonn and Eschborn, Germany.[1]

On 1 January 2011, the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit GmbH was established through a merger of the three German organisations Deutscher Entwicklungsdienst (DED), Deutsche Gesellschaft für Technische Zusammenarbeit (GTZ), and Internationale Weiterbildung und Entwicklung (inWEnt).[2]


The GIZ mainly operates on behalf of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Further clients are other departments of the government, international donors like the European Union, World Bank or the United Nations, partner countries and the private sector. The cooperation with private enterprises is an emerging field, promoted under the name of sustainable development. The GIZ is set up with International Services (IS) and the Public Private Partnership (PPP)[3] in this area.

Human rights complaints

The GIZ has been criticized on various occasions for being engaged with or for funding projects and programmes that are violating the human rights of the actual people living in the countries. In March 2013, it was criticized by human rights groups for its engagement with Namibia's Land Reform programmes and policies,[4] that are violating the rights of indigenous peoples as outlined in the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, by dispossessing Himba people and Zemba off their traditional lands and territories.[5][6]

Facts and figures

With a turnover of 2.1 billion in 2012, some € 1.87 billion came from projects and programmes for public clients, such as the BMZ, other German federal ministries or the EU. Roughly 90% percent of GIZ's turnover was under contracts from the German Federal Government. The GIZ made 18.7 percent (€ 230 million) in 2012 from contracts from other clients such as financing institutions or private sector companies. € 956 million of its turnover have been channeled through to third-party-consultancies.

As of 2012, GIZ has about 16,229 employees working in more than 130 countries, including about 1,900 at its head offices in Eschborn (near Frankfurt am Main) and Bonn. About 70% of its staff are local employees in the partner countries.[7]

Fields of activity

GIZ claims to work on a public-benefit basis.

The GIZ main activities in foreign developing countries are focusing on sustainable development and resource management:[8]

  • Economic Development and Employment (including services such as vocational training, economic policy advice, financial systems development or private sector promotion)
  • Government, Democracy and Poverty Reduction (including services and working fields such as development-oriented emergency aid, peace building and crisis prevention, governance, sustainable urban development or structural poverty reduction)
  • Education, Health and Social Security (including working fields such as education, development-oriented drug control, promotion of children and young people or HIV/AIDS prevention)
  • Environment and Infrastructure (including activities such as waste, energy and water management, natural resource management, transport and mobility, implementing international environmental regimes or environmental policy, climate change-related capacity building[9])
  • Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (including services such as coastal zone management, land management, market-oriented farming and food systems, policy advice on agriculture and rural development or securing livelihoods in marginal rural areas)

All surpluses generated by GIZ are channeled back into its own international cooperation projects for sustainable development.

See also


External links

  • (German)
  • (English)

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