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Photo: Three women sit on high stools. Behind them on the walls, monitors display the message ‘Women going digital’.
© AHK São Paulo

Brazil and Mozambique: going digital

GIZ supports women and helps them enter the IT sector.

Graphic: GIZ: SDG 4 Quality education
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 5 Gender equality
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 8 Decent work and economic growth
Graphic: GIZ: SDG 17 Partnerships for the goals

Women in Brazil often have to make do with jobs in the informal sector with no security of any sort. But that is all in the past for Marina Bueno from São Paulo. The 24-year-old was invited to take part in the Women going Digital upskilling course on the basis of her social position and her grasp of English. Since then a lot has happened for the engineering student. ‘Thanks to the course, I can do a paid internship. I’m working on an industrial automation project.’

Women going Digital is a cooperative venture involving GIZ, the German Chambers of Commerce in São Paulo and Maputo and the ExperTS programme. Since Portuguese is spoken in both Brazil and Mozambique, the same e-learning content can be used in the two countries. The German Chambers of Commerce in the partner countries established contact with the participating companies SAP, GFT and Siemens. In Mozambique, the Centro Cultural Moçambicano-Alemão – a German-Mozambican culture centre which is the official cooperation partner of the Goethe-Institut – is also on board. The cooperation arrangement benefits all sides. Participants receive access to well-paid, future-proof jobs, while companies that are often desperately looking for IT specialists get the skilled staff they need.

A complete success – despite the pandemic

The interest in the first phase in 2020 was enormous: 1,000 women aged between 18 and 55 applied. 90 were selected in Brazil, while 10 participated in Mozambique. All course modules were held online as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The advantage was that the women were able to fit their seminars into their everyday routines as it suited them best. They acquired skills in data processing, e-commerce, cloud computing and SAP. Certificates were awarded to everyone who successfully completed the course.

Jobs in the IT sector often do not require staff to be at a specific location, allowing work to continue even during the pandemic, which is a huge benefit for course graduates. Marina Bueno is convinced of the value of her training. ‘It provided me with an ideal bridge to my internship, which offers me good prospects.’ Although for a time she had to manage her university degree parallel to the course and the internship, she feels that it was well worthwhile.

To open up good prospects like these for even more women, the training course is to be continued and expanded. It will remain part of the services offered by the German-Brazilian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in São Paulo. The documents have already been translated from Portuguese to Spanish. In future, women in Peru and Argentina will also be able to go digital. And the Delegation of German Industry and Commerce in Nigeria has also expressed an interest.

Nobody expected such positive feedback from all sides involved. Our partner companies were fully invested in offering participants an extensive programme. Course graduates were delighted and thanked us for the valuable qualification they obtained. Some actually found a job before the end of the course. Women going Digital is a truly successful project.

Portrait photo: Bernd dos Santos Mayer
Bernd dos Santos MayerIntegrated expert at the German-Brazilian Chamber
of Commerce and Industry São Paulo (© GIZ)


The ‘ExperTS’ work as integrated experts in German Chambers of Commerce Abroad. In about 30 developing countries and emerging economies, they advise German, European and local businesses on development issues. The experts and managers from Germany and other EU countries are placed with local employers by the Centre for International Migration and Development (CIM). At the start of 2021, the ExperTS programme merged with four other projects and became the Business Scouts for Development programme.

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