Merck and GIZ cooperate in Africa

Participants of the lab of tomorrow jointly develop business ideas to improve the access to medical treatment in Kenya.

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Merck yesterday made good on a pledge to work together to develop business ideas and get effective projects up and running, with Christoph Beier from GIZ and Kai Beckmann from Merck signing a Memorandum of Understanding and agreeing a two-year partnership at the lab of tomorrow.

Held from 17 to 19 May 2016, it was the third lab of tomorrow organised by GIZ and the first in partnership with Merck. Each of these three-day workshops focuses on a particular issue in a developing country. This time, it was all about the use of intelligent logistics solutions to improve access to medication and diagnostics in Kenya. To this end, the 100 or so European entrepreneurs and Kenyan experts came up with a range of relevant solutions which also constituted profitable business ideas for entrepreneurs keen to invest in the country’s development.

‘We want to work together to boost Africa’s innovative capacity,’ said Christoph Beier, Vice-Chair of GIZ’s Management Board, in Darmstadt on Thursday. ‘This includes running more labs of tomorrow on the issue of health together with Merck. In keeping with the Sustainable Development Goals, this partnership seeks to share expertise, technologies and financial resources, thereby helping to improve health care provision in Africa. Consequently, these kinds of partnerships are tremendously important to us.’

Kai Beckmann, member of the Executive Board and Chief Administration Officer of Merck, was also thrilled with the agreement: ‘It is our common goal to work with German and local partners to develop and implement digital models in Africa. One of our objectives is to establish better links between patients, doctors, medical professionals and researchers, and ensure that they have relevant information more readily at their fingertips.’

Günter Nooke, Commissioner for Africa at the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and the German Chancellor’s Personal Representative for Africa, had the following to say at the end of the three-day event in Darmstadt: ‘We intend to use our strategic partnership for a digital Africa to bring together German and European enterprises and German development cooperation actors. There is a significant degree of overlap between our interests, those of the enterprises and those of our partner countries. We can achieve better and more sustainable results by working together.’

An event organised by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and Merck on behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ).

The Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is a federal enterprise with worldwide operations. It supports the German Government in the fields of international cooperation for sustainable development and international education. Through its work, it assists people and societies in shaping their own futures and improving living conditions.

Further information

lab 3: Access to medicines and diagnostics in Kenya