Highlights 2023

A glimpse into some of our focus areas for 2023

Together for Sustainable Development

To achieve sustainable development and prosperity in developing countries and emerging economies, Swisscontact leverages the strengths of the private sector. Long-term partnerships with both global and local businesses allow us to implement market-oriented initiatives on the local level. These partnerships are also pivotal for the realisation of the United Nations’ 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. 

Swisscontact has always cultivated partnerships with companies and investors in order to tackle the challenges that private sector companies face. These include ensuring stability in value chains, investing in the local private sector, and training skilled labour.

In 2023, Swisscontact further strengthened its collaboration with the private sector, for example in the coffee sector, we have implemented the Stronger Coffee Initiative with global trading firm Louis Dreyfus Company (LDC). The objectives are to improve the livelihoods of coffee farmers in eight countries across Asia, Africa and Latin America; increase the production of certified low-CO2-emission coffee; and establish sustainable farming practices. 

It is only together that we can foster economic development sustainably.  

More on our collaboration with Louis Dreyfus Company: 
Indonesia: taking coffee farmer engagement to the next level

Rwanda: Vocational Training as a Cornerstone of Fair Income Distribution

The governments of Rwanda, Burundi, and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) have announced their most important national priorities. The development of a high-quality vocational education system geared toward the demands of potential employers is crucial to developing a healthy economy and fair income distribution. 

PROMOST (Promoting Market-Oriented Skills Training and Employment Creation in the Great Lakes Region), a programme financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), originally started in Rwanda and subsequently expanded to Burundi and the east of the DRC. It builds on our many years’ experience in vocational education, and targets growing numbers of young people in this region with the purpose of improving prospects for employment and income generation amongst the rural population.  

In Rwanda, PROMOST – financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation SDC – finished up successfully after 12 years. 19 037 disadvantaged people (40% of whom are women) obtained an education or further training. 8832 graduates found a job or started their own business, reflecting an average employment rate of 51%. We are especially proud of the fact that the Rwandan government now intends to adopt the dual, apprenticeship-based education system introduced by Swisscontact. 

More on PROMOST: Project Journey 2012 - 2023

Latin America: A Circular Economy with Swiss Expertise

In 2023, Swisscontact launched a project that revolutionises waste management in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia, and Cali in Colombia. It emulates the “circular economy” model, the purpose of which is to consume fewer raw materials and thus produce less waste. The project is financed by the City of Zurich, which is providing qualified technicians and expertise in project implementation. 

The cities of Cali and Santa Cruz de la Sierra face immense waste management challenges. Cali generates 1300 tonnes of waste daily, while Santa Cruz generates 500 tonnes, of which respectively 10 and 7 percent are recycled. The remainder ends up in overfilled landfills, causing considerable risks to health and the environment. 

An improved circular economy in both cities will help to overcome these challenges. By applying circular concepts, we foster sustainable production and consumption models that reduce overall waste and increase recycling rates. Furthermore, the project is creating new jobs while promoting resource efficiency and sustainability. 

The project is financed by the Swiss Federal Government and Geneva Canton, the Esperanza Foundation, Third Millennium Foundation, and other donors. It is part of Swisscontact’s Development Programme, which is co-financed by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). 

More on promoting circular economies: 
Strengthening Green Businesses in Bolivia to promote a Circular Economy

Project Case Studies

A Solid Foundation: Promoting Vocational Education in the Ukrainian Construction Sector
Since March 2020, Swisscontact has been supporting the construction sector in Ukraine, in order to train qualified technicians. EdUP (Public-Private Partnership to Improved Professional Education in Ukraine) is designed to align the private-sector led vocational education system to the needs of the labour market, upgrading the training of tradespeople in the construction industry to meet EU standards.
An entrepreneurial Vision for Niger’s Digital Future
Niger ranks among the world’s poorest countries. Despite the Sahel region’s interior harbouring valuable raw materials, the majority of the country’s gross domestic product is earned in agriculture and the informal sector. Approximately 80 percent of the population survives on subsistence agriculture, and nearly half of Nigeriens live in extreme poverty. The goal of Swisscontact’s local entrepreneurship promotion programme (PROMEL) is to improve collaboration with institutional partners and the private sector, improving access to markets for businesses, and creating income opportunities for women and young people through educational qualifications.
Results and Impact 2023
A sustainability strategy with a solid foundation 
Financial Statement 2023