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Germany supports energy and climate protection in South Africa


Wind turbine

21.11.2014 |

Thomas Silberhorn, Parliamentary State Secretary to the Federal Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, today concluded agreements on German-South African development cooperation for the next two years. The BMZ has announced 72.5 million euros for cooperation programmes in the fields of energy and climate, HIV prevention and governance.

Silberhorn recognised the cooperation with South Africa as a successful example of how industrialised countries and emerging economies can work together to help address global challenges. "South Africa has set itself ambitious goals for climate action and has been implementing them at a rapid pace over the last three years. Germany is making crucial contributions in terms of expertise on environmental and energy-related technologies."

Since 2011, South Africa has invested more than 8.5 billion euros in expanding renewable energies. The BMZ is, for instance, contributing technological expertise on connecting wind parks and solar power plants to the grid and advising municipalities on dealing expeditiously with local approval procedures. In addition, the BMZ is helping to finance innovative investment projects such as the first concentrated solar power plant in Africa, which is to constantly feed enough energy into the grid by 2018 to supply 200,000 households. Since 2008, the BMZ has made more than 500 million euros available for cooperation in the priority area of energy and climate.

In addition, the BMZ and South Africa's Ministry of Finance have agreed to define vocational education and training as a new priority area of cooperation. This is to help improve young South Africans' opportunities in the labour market and create more employment opportunities in the green economy. Silberhorn also visited a vocational training centre near Johannesburg. There are plans to make vocational training at the centre more practice-oriented for future electricians and installers of environmental technology systems, including through cooperation with German companies.

The Binational Commission has agreed on a joint country strategy for development cooperation between Germany and South Africa for 2015-2020. The Binational Commission was launched after a visit by the then South African President, Nelson Mandela, to Germany in 1996. It is aimed at establishing a long-term strategic partnership between the two countries.

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