Global Perspectives | Salon | 6. February 2020

Digitalisation – The driving force behind Africa’s development

As part of the event series "Business as Part of the Solution"

After a decade of rapid urbanisation and strong regional economic growth, Africa’s potential for dynamic economic development is clearly visible and digitalisation can make a significant contribution to a sustainable economy. Young African entrepreneurs have been developing innovative digital solutions for challenges in various areas for years – in medical care, agriculture, resource management or mobility concepts. The examples are as diverse as they are promising. With the help of new technologies, new economic sectors are opening up and traditional economic fields are being revolutionised. Digitalisation allows leapfrogging, but great opportunities do not come without risks.

Prof. Dr Dirk Messner, the internationally renowned sustainability researcher and President of the Federal Environment Agency, together with his colleagues on the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU), has written the much-acclaimed study “Our Common Digital Future” on the developments of digitalisation. With him we would like to discuss the foundations of sustainable global development and to examine the question of where there is potential for German companies to establish ties and invest.

Dr Dirk Aßmann is responsible for the digitalisation strategy at the GIZ. From him we want to know how digitisation is reflected in the practice of international cooperation.

We are pleased to host this salon in the premises of our partner, Planet Labs Germany GmbH. Planet maps the whole world via satellite data day after day. This way, changes in urban development and especially in the environment can be monitored in real time. The satellites offer great potential for development and an important basis for decision-making. Martin Polak from Planet will tell us what this looks like in practice.


  • Dr Dirk Aßmann, Head of Sectoral Department Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)
  • Prof. Dr Dirk Messner, President Federal Environment Agency
  • Martin Polak, Director Business Development Planet Labs GmbH


  • Dr Ingrid Hamm, Co-Founder and CEO Global Perspectives Initiative

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Event Location:
Kurfürstendamm 22
10719 Berlin


BDI The Voice of German Industry 

BMZ Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development 

Planet Labs

Contact Person:
Judith Ramadan, Project Management

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