A modern and traditional mix: GIZ supports smallholders and start-ups in Nigeria

Interview opportunity on GIZ’s work in Nigeria

It is election time in Nigeria: on 16 February 2019, Nigerians will vote for their future president. With more than 190 million inhabitants, Nigeria is the most populated country in Africa and has the continent’s largest economy. At the same time, more than two thirds of the population now live in poverty.

North-east Nigeria, where the terrorist group Boko Haram is active, is particularly affected by poverty, food insecurity and a lack of education and job prospects. Since 2009, more than two million people have fled the region within Nigeria. On behalf of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH is supporting an initiative by the Nigerian government to provide 2,400 children from the areas in the north-east of the country affected by Boko Haram with accommodation and education in boarding schools in other parts of the country. Some of these schoolchildren have been unable to attend school for several years. This initiative gives them access to an education and psychological support.

GIZ is also supporting people in Nigeria in earning a reliable income for themselves and their families. Since 2013, more than 400,000 people have benefited from higher incomes and food security thanks to a rice project. For example, smallholders have received training in modern farming methods, enabling them to boost the yields from their rice fields. They are also being trained in rice processing, which will increase the quality of the rice and allow them to obtain a higher price from commercial rice mills.

Young people, who often leave the agricultural regions to build a future for themselves in urban centres, are also receiving targeted support. With the Make IT in Africa project, GIZ has been supporting more than 30 digital start-ups in Nigeria with training courses and workshops and connecting them with investors and companies since January 2018. This allows them to develop their ideas and get their digital innovations ready for market.

In addition, GIZ supports the Nigerian government in developing its economy sustainably and ensuring that the population has a reliable, affordable and environmentally friendly energy supply.

The country director Thomas Kirsch will be available in the week beginning 11 February for telephone interviews relating to GIZ’s work in Nigeria. If you are interested, please contact the GIZ Press Office.