Mr. Thurnhofer will retire from development cooperation at the end of this month.
Ambassador Rey, thanked Mr. Thurnhofer for his relentless, hard work and commitment at the helm of the SDC over the last four years. During this period, especially after the end of the Regional Programme in 2022, Mr. Thurnhofer spearheaded the development of a new cooperation programme for Zimbabwe and Zambia.
The new cooperation programme places emphasis on job creation, support to private sector and climate change. It also addresses the strengthening of health and food systems, as well as integrative value chains.
A new focus that Mr. Thurnhofer also spearheaded is the field of accountable, participatory and inclusive governance that seeks to achieve more integrated, systemic and sustainable change and better mutual social accountability in development cooperation.
"Under Mr. Thurnhofer’s leadership, the SDC expanded its activities considerably across the areas of private sector engagement, climate change adaption and arts and culture in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region and more recently in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Mr. Thurnhofer leaves behind him an Agency that is solid, administratively sound and accountable and therefore fit for purpose to play its role in the development of both Zimbabwe and Zambia," said Ambassador Rey.
Mr. Thurnhofer is replaced by Mr. Stefano Berti who is already in the country.