New markets for Namibian handicrafts

How a female entrepreneur from Germany came into contact with Namibian jewelry manufacturers thanks to

The initiative"Mine Stones" which GIZ is implementing as part of the project "Promotion of Business Advisory and Economic Transformation Services" in cooperation with the Namibian Ministry of Industrialisation and Trade (MIT) supports the production and export of semi-precious stone jewelry from Namibia. The aim is to provide Namibian small miners and the artists who make the jewelry, as well as their families, with a solid income. Thanks to, the project has now found a buyer in Germany.

Namibia is rich in natural resources, especially in semi-precious stones. However, these are often sold and exported without further processing and at low prices through various channels. Christina Pfandl coordinates the Business & Cooperation Desk of GIZ's Global Business Network Programme, which strengthens the relationship between German development cooperation and the private sector in Namibia and Europe. Christina Pfandl is therefore committed to fairer trade: "This includes, among other things, the distribution of semi-precious stones to Europe, if possible processed locally."

In order to find suitable buyers of the 100% African jewelry, Christina Pfandl, together with colleagues, published a business opportunity on and found an interested party within a few weeks: "In mid-October we had an interesting match with an entrepreneur from Germany. Her label BAGHI sells sustainable products from developing and emerging countries to the German retailer "Eine-Welt-Läden" and boutiques and contacted us via the platform."

The entrepreneur was looking for new products. Via she was able to contact GIZ in Namibia and get in touch with local producers. After a few conversations between the German company and the Namibian manufacturers the first exhibits were send to Germany to be presented to retailers at trade fairs. Customer requests are now being considered for the production of new pieces of jewelry. Delivery to shops in Germany is planned for the end of 2020.

A sample of the Namibian minestone jewlry (GIZ/Christina Pfandl, 2019) is a unique matchmaking platform that enabled the manufacturers, the German development cooperation in Namibia, as well as the entrepreneur to connect. "Through we came into contact with a very exciting and suitable company that we would not have been able to reach through traditional channels such as newsletters or Internet research," reports Christina Pfandl. In the last months she has therefore published more than 15 business opportunities in different sectors such as biomass, retail or even health care on

The Global Business Network Programme (GBN), which is funded by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), operates the Business & Cooperation Desks in selected African and Asian countries to strengthen the collaboration between the German development cooperation and the private sector.

Hero Image: Andreas Lange/GIZ, 2019

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