Michel Bernhardt

Michel Bernhardt is Head of Project at GIZ for “Scaling Digital Agriculture Innovations through Start-ups” (SAIS) as well as Deputy Head of Program of the “GIZ Fund for International Agricultural Research” (FIA). He is also Chair of the “Strategic Impact, Monitoring and Evaluation Committee” (SIMEC) of the CGIAR.


Michel brings more than 10 years of professional experience in international development and innovation management. For GIZ, in addition to his current positions, he worked in the field of emergency and transitional aid in Afghanistan. Already during his studies, he did extensive travels and research stays in the MENA and Central Asia region (Morocco, Egypt, Yemen, Iran, Tajikistan).


Michel holds a Master’s degree from the University of Leipzig and a Bachelors’ degree from the University of Hamburg in the field of Middle Eastern Studies, focusing on global commodity and staple trade, wheat in particular, as well as connected issues of agricultural and rural development. Upon joining GIZ, he has put a strong focus on Innovation Theory and Management as well as the potential of Disruptive Innovations for International Development and the achievement of the SDGs.


With his idea to create a Silicon Valley for Africa, Michel was able to create the SAIS Project, commissioned by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and implemented by GIZ, which is in operation since January 2019.

Back to overview

All contributions by Michel Bernhardt

Silicon Valley for Africa’s agricultural start-ups

Silicon Valley for Africa’s agricultural start-ups

A contribution by Michel Bernhardt (GIZ)

The project “Scaling digital agriculture innovations through start-ups” (SAIS) supports Africans going into business in the agricultural and food sector in scaling their digital innovations and thus reaching out to a larger number of users.

Read more