Slide Nadia Collection 19 1 scaled Slide Da kein Partnerfoto vorhanden evtl das Slide Lab photos 31b

Slide Nadia Collection 19 1 scaled Slide Da kein Partnerfoto vorhanden evtl das Slide Lab photos 31b



The regional programme University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa (HKP) supports networking of German and African university hospitals

The German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funds the programme University and Hospital Partnerships in Africa which supports partnership projects between some of the most renowned university hospitals in Africa and in Germany. These institutions play a central role in the education and training of health professionals, as well as in the development and sharing of medical knowledge. They contribute to innovations in healthcare and are centres of international excellence in the fields of global health, antimicrobial resistance (AMR), tuberculosis (TB), gynaecological oncology, internal medicine and mother-child health.

HKP About 01 1 scaled

One role of HKP is to enable experts from partner institutions to exchange their knowledge and experience on a regular basis. German experts, for example, visit university or teaching hospitals in Africa, while African experts visit the German partner institutions. During the daily work, these international colleagues accompany one another, sharing their knowledge and experience. In addition, they work together to optimise processes in African hospitals, procure equipment, update curricula, and conduct operational research. This joint learning promotes and strengthens long-term partnerships that will continue well after the project is finished.



After a year of preparation
and matchmaking the
13 partnerships launched their
projects in January 2020.



After a year of preparation
and matchmaking the 13 partnerships launched their projects in January 2020.

African and German partner institutions face similar challenges, particularly in the field of global health. That is why HKP fosters personal partnerships between international colleagues to work across borders on innovative solutions. In the current phase (2019 to 2021), for example, HKP is supporting the establishment of networks that focus on AMR, TB, and cervical cancer. 

Digital solutions contribute to more effective and efficient healthcare in Africa 

With the potential to bring medical resources to places where they are otherwise difficult to obtain, digital innovations can help close critical gaps in healthcare. Specifically in Africa, digital solutions can contribute to improving healthcare where there is a lack of medical staff and infrastructure – particularly when the burden of disease is rising. In addition to long-standing threats from infectious diseases and mother-child mortality, the continent is facing a rise in chronic disease and global health risks, such as AMR and pandemics. Digital solutions can support healthcare during the entire patient pathway, from prevention to diagnosis, and support the monitoring of therapy compliance as well as the development of surveillance systems.

In this perspective , BMZ has been supporting the regional programme HKP since 2019 with funds from the “Digital Africa” initiative. All partnerships develop and implement digital solutions as part of their projects, e.g. to improve communication between laboratories, medical staff and patients. Laboratory results, which were previously recorded on paper and often got lost before reaching staff or patients, will then be recorded and communicated digitally. Furthermore, people in remote rural areas will have access to diagnostics and continuous treatment. Thanks to e-learning, large groups of health workers can be trained and educated on a regular basis, even in peripheral health facilities. In order to develop the best digital solution for a local context, and to implement it in everyday clinical practice, university hospitals work together with IT companies from Africa, Asia and Germany. The sustainability of innovations and interoperability with existing digital systems are supported by cooperation with the respective health ministries, taking national eHealth strategies into account.

Involving the private sector in partnerships

HKP also supports public-private collaborations. Some of the partnerships between university hospitals receive additional support through both funding and technical expertise from private sector companies. It is a win-win-win situation for the partnerships, GIZ and the companies: the partnerships benefit from the support of both a development agency and a company with cutting-edge technical competence; GIZ leverages private funds through the public money from BMZ, and the enterprises extend their presence in the African healthcare market. GIZ, as the organisation implementing this programme on behalf of BMZ, conducts rigorous ethical and transparency screenings of its private-sector partners, making sure that the company works with the highest compliance to standards and that the project respects market competition, quality and sustainability.

HKP About 02 1 scaled

Women in digital health

Among medical staff, there are proportionately more women than men. However, the majority of management positions in the global health and research sectors are held by men. Germany and Africa are no exception. Women are also underrepresented in IT, and are therefore less likely to be involved in the development and implementation of innovative digital solutions in the health sector.

To compensate for this situation, HKP partnerships are strongly focused on the following:

Pfeil rechts dunkelblau at least 50 % of the people taking part in the training courses should be women, 


Pfeil rechts dunkelblau female doctoral students receive special support within the framework of the projects, 


Pfeil rechts dunkelblau women assume leadership and responsibility for the projects in Germany and Africa

At least


of the people taking part in the training courses should be women

Furthermore, new opportunities have been opened up for African women through cooperation with the EU-funded project ‘Empowering Women in Health Innovation (WE Health)’, which aims to involve women in digital innovations in the health sector and to stimulate entrepreneurial activities.

ESTHER Logo engl RGB

HKP is a member of the ESTHER Alliance

BMZ co-funds the ESTHER Alliance, a network of governmental and non-governmental organisations that support and implement institutional healthcare partnerships. The alliance offers a platform for the exchange of knowledge and experience on international partnerships. HKP has been chairing the ESTHER Alliance since 2019.