We use cookies to optimize this website.
By using this website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies.    Learn more

History

60 Years of Promoting Economic Development
 

Anne-Marie Im Hof-Piguet
Anne-Marie Im Hof-Piguet
Dr. Hans Schindler
Dr. Hans Schindler

1959

The “Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation” is founded. Its first President is Dr. Hans Schindler and the first Executive Director Dr. Fritz Real.
Anne-Marie Im Hof-Piguet, one of the founders of the foundation and, together with the first president, a successful fundraiser.

In Chandigarh, India, the first vocational school in precision engineering is opened.

1962

Training facility in Chandigarh
Training facility in Chandigarh
Prime minister Nehru at the opening of the Indo-Swiss Training Centers.
Prime minister Nehru at the opening of the Indo-Swiss Training Centers.
Farm in Dahomey
Farm in Dahomey
Swiss cattle "Braunvieh" for Afrika
Swiss cattle "Braunvieh" for Afrika

1963

An agricultural training school is opened in Sékou (Dahomey, today Benin), as the foundation’s second project.

The first federal contract project in Gabès, Tunisia. The Governor of Gabès says 1971 to a Swisscontact representative:
"If this training centre did not exist, it would have to be created, as it shows us the real problems of our region, such as the lack of jobs. We in the developing countries must be put under pressure to achieve something."

Watch the video

1965

Apprentice in Gabès
Apprentice in Gabès
Opening of training facility in Gabès
Opening of training facility in Gabès
Swisscontact logo
Swisscontact logo
Robert Jenny
Robert Jenny

1971

Robert Jenny takes over management of the foundation, and the name is changed to Swisscontact.

The first project in Indonesia – a mechanics’ training school in Bandung – is launched; Indonesia would later become a key partner country.

1974

Training facility in Bandung
Training facility in Bandung
Dr. Max Gloor
Dr. Max Gloor
Apprentice of precision mechanics in Peru
Apprentice of precision mechanics in Peru

1978

Dr. Max Gloor becomes President after Giuseppe Bertola.

The Swisscontact Senior Expert Corps is founded. The experts support and advise small and medium-sized enterprises in developing countries and Eastern Europe on a voluntary basis.

1979

Swiss master cheese maker in Peru
Swiss master cheese maker in Peru
Swiss construction expert in Nepal
Swiss construction expert in Nepal
Training facility in Tunisia
Training facility in Tunisia
Peruvian scholarship holders in Switzerland
Peruvian scholarship holders in Switzerland

1979

Swisscontact yields great success after 20 years: 10 completed and eight ongoing projects; 3,500 trainee graduates and 2,000 in training; 26 million CHF donated by businesses; 14 million CHF in Swiss Federal grants; and 1 million CHF in community donations.

In Indonesia, a large project financed by the government is launched – the development of six technical schools for 5,000 students, as well as a teacher-training center.

1980

Apprentices handling the bench vice in PMS Politeknik Mekanik Swiss in Indonesia.
Apprentices handling the bench vice in PMS Politeknik Mekanik Swiss in Indonesia.
Training facilities in Indonesia
Training facilities in Indonesia
Entrepreneur in Costa Rica
Entrepreneur in Costa Rica
Mechanic in Costa Rica
Mechanic in Costa Rica

1981

The first business development project starts up in Costa Rica.

Dr. Thomas Bechtler becomes President of Swisscontact.

1987

Dr. Thomas Bechtler
Dr. Thomas Bechtler
Mechanic in Costa Rica
Mechanic in Costa Rica
Apprenticeship training in Albania
Apprenticeship training in Albania

1993

The first environmental project is launched in Costa Rica.
In Albania, Swisscontact makes its first foray into post-communist Eastern Europe.

Our training project in Vietnam is the first to focus on brief courses.

1994

Environmental projects in Asia
Environmental projects in Asia
Training centre for welding in Vietnam
Training centre for welding in Vietnam
Dr. Urs Egger
Dr. Urs Egger
Financial consulting in Ecuador
Financial consulting in Ecuador

1995

The first pure microfinance project is launched in Ecuador.
Dr. Urs Egger replaces Robert Jenny as Executive Director.

A new approach to SME development is tested in Peru and Ecuador and involves building for-profit business advisory centres.
The Swiss federal government tenders out new contracts.

1996

Successful entrepreneur in Ecuador
Successful entrepreneur in Ecuador
Promoting SMEs in Peru
Promoting SMEs in Peru
Vocational education in Mali
Vocational education in Mali

1998

The first SDC tenders won by Swisscontact: skills development in Mali and financial services in Ecuador.

Dr. Hanspeter Ming becomes President.

1999

Dr. Hanspeter Ming
Dr. Hanspeter Ming
Training facility in Tansania
Training facility in Tansania
Monitoring air quality in Bolivia
Monitoring air quality in Bolivia
Vehicle inspection in Bolivia
Vehicle inspection in Bolivia

2000

Clean air projects – which introduced lead-free petrol in the entire region – are closed out in Central America.
Swisscontact wins global project financing and grows rapidly.

In East Africa, Swisscontact begins supporting commercial banks in their efforts to introduce and develop financial services.

2003

Financial service in Kenya
Financial service in Kenya
Community savings and lending groups in Kenya
Community savings and lending groups in Kenya
Short-time training in Indonesia
Short-time training in Indonesia
Peter Grüschow
Peter Grüschow

2005

In Sri Lanka and Indonesia, Swisscontact helps in economic reconstruction after the Boxing Day tsunami.
Peter Grüschow becomes President. Swisscontact Germany is founded.

Swisscontact North America is founded in the USA for fundraising and acquisition.

2008

Certification for Cacao farmers in Indonesia.
Certification for Cacao farmers in Indonesia.
Training tourism in Flores.
Training tourism in Flores.
Vocational training in Bénin
Vocational training in Bénin
Market development in Bangladesh
Market development in Bangladesh

2009

Swisscontact celebrates its 50th anniversary, implementing more than 100 projects in 23 countries.

Samuel Bon becomes CEO.

2011

Samuel Bon
Samuel Bon
Energy efficient brick production in South Africa
Energy efficient brick production in South Africa
e-waste recycling in Bolivia
e-waste recycling in Bolivia
Heinrich M. Lanz
Heinrich M. Lanz

2012

Heinrich M. Lanz becomes President.
As part of the Momentum for Change initiative, the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) names the EELA energy efficiency programme as a reference project.

In Kakuma, Kenya, work starts on developing basic qualifications for youth in and around Africa’s largest refugee camp. Swisscontact Germany is sold to employees as part of a management buyout and becomes "Fair Ventures".

2013

Tailor in Kakuma
Tailor in Kakuma
Vocational school in Ruanda
Vocational school in Ruanda
Sustainable construction in Peru.
Sustainable construction in Peru.
Tourism promotion in Peru
Tourism promotion in Peru

2016

Swisscontact has been working in Peru since 1966. Peru is the first country in which Swisscontact has been implementing development projects continuously for 50 years.

Swisscontact’s pioneering market development work in Bangladesh approaches its end after 17 years. Over the entire course of the Katalyst project, Swisscontact was able to assist a total 4.7 million smallholder farm businesses and SMEs, integrating them more closely into the market.

2017

Farmer in Bangladesh
Farmer in Bangladesh
Sustainable fish farming in Bangladesh
Sustainable fish farming in Bangladesh
Enterprise promotion in Macedonia
Enterprise promotion in Macedonia
New markets for farmers in Bangladesh
New markets for farmers in Bangladesh

2017

Swisscontact begins implementing the Swiss Import Promotion Programme (SIPPO). The project work is implemented simultaneously in several countries.

After 12 years the major programme for vocational training promotion ends successfully.
More than 60 000 persons completed a vocational training.

2018

Vocational education and training in Mali
Vocational education and training in Mali
The new Zuckerbergs in Eastern Europe
The new Zuckerbergs in Eastern Europe
Educational offensive in Cambodia
Educational offensive in Cambodia

2018

123 projects in 34 countries and seven regions with 1,400 employees and 100 million CHF turnover.

The archive photos on this website were kindly provided by the Archives of Contemporary History.

Swisscontact
Swiss Foundation for Technical Cooperation
Hardturmstrasse 123
CH-8005 Zurich

Tel. +41 44 454 17 17
Fax +41 44 454 17 97
E-Mail info@STOP-SPAM.swisscontact.org