Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Bonn

Ministry Structure and organisation

The Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) does not have the usual substructure of government. For the execution of its projects it commissions what are known as implementing organisations. These organisations then work with executing agencies in the partner country concerned; those agencies are selected by the government of that country.

There are currently 1,158 people working at the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) in Germany. About half of the staff are located at the Ministry's main office in Bonn, with the other half located at the Berlin office. A certain number of BMZ staff are regularly seconded from the Ministry for a few years at a time to carry out development policy assignments in various parts of the world. The BMZ currently has around 130 posts abroad.


The BMZ is headed by Minister Svenja Schulze, two Parliamentary State Secretaries, Niels Annen and Bärbel Kofler and State Secretary Jochen Flasbarth (who has civil servant status).

The Directorates-General

The BMZ carries out a multitude of tasks. These include planning and programming German development cooperation, cooperating with civil society and the private sector, cooperating with partner countries and with multilateral organisations, and carrying out development information and education work.

The Ministry is divided into six directorates-general, which are responsible for the various tasks.

Ministry officials abroad

BMZ employees do not only work in Berlin and Bonn; the BMZ regularly seconds staff to work in its partner countries, at the European Union and in development banks and international organisations. Their role there is to coordinate development activities and to strengthen multilateral development policy respectively. Currently, some 130 BMZ staff are engaged in development work in postings abroad.

The BMZ seconds staff to the following embassies and consulates-general: Abidjan, Abuja, Accra, Addis Ababa, Algiers, Amman, Ankara, Antananarivo, Baghdad, Bamako, Beirut, Belgrade, Bogotá, Brasilia, Cairo, Chişinău [Kischinou], Cotonou, Dakar, Dar Es Salaam, Dhaka, Erbil, Freetown, Gaborone, Hanoi, Islamabad, Jakarta, Juba, Kabul, Kampala, Kathmandu, Khartoum, Kigali, Kinshasa, Kyiv, La Paz, Lilongwe, Lima, Lomé, Lusaka, Maputo, Mexico City, Nairobi, New Delhi, Niamey, Nouakchott, Ouagadougou, Phnom Penh, Pretoria, Pristina, Quito, Rabat, Ramallah, Tashkent, Tbilisi, Tirana, Tunis, Ulan-Bator, Vientiane, Windhoek, Yaoundé, Yerevan.

In addition, the BMZ also seconds staff to Germany’s permanent missions with international organisations or direct to international organisations such as the United Nations (in Geneva, New York and Rome), the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (in Paris) and the European Union (in Brussels).

The BMZ also has staff on the boards of the World Bank and of the African, Asian, Inter-American and Caribbean Development Banks. Furthermore, it exchanges staff with the European Investment Bank's “EIB Global” division (as at 2023).

Through its staff secondments to international organisations like the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the World Bank or to the European Union, the BMZ seeks to strengthen multilateral cooperation in the field development policy.

Exterior view of the German Parliament (Reichstag) in Berlin

Development policy in Parliament Internal link

The German Bundestag (Parliament) addresses development policy in various ways. These include debates on the fundamental principles of development policy, debates on topical issues or specific regions and the decisions taken by the Committee on Economic Cooperation and Development (AwZ) or other committees and bodies.

As at: 26/01/2024