30 years of sequa


Gebhard Weiss

Managing Director sequa gGmbH

On 23 September 1991, sequa gGmbH was founded by resolution of the shareholders, German business membership organisations DIHT (today: DIHK) and ZDH, later joined by BDA (1994), BDI (2006) and GIZ (2010).

sequa took its first steps in turbulent times and, as a new organisation founded out of the private sector, it engaged in a variety of activities. But we were also new, e.g. to the contact persons in the ministries. In this ongoing learning and familiarisation process between "private" and "state" business, both sides have learned a lot over the past three decades, overcoming fundamental hurdles and constantly expanding the paths of good cooperation.

Today, we employ more than 100 people and our turnover will soon exceed the €50 million mark. We have professionalised and digitalised our structures and processes. Brochures turned into websites. Faxes, telexes and letters turned into emails, WhatsApp and Zoom.

What has remained? International cooperation is ingrained in our DNA and we feel that we are part of the private sector. We regard standstill as a step backwards, and we perceive making decisions, taking action and implementing our projects in a fast and rule-compliant manner as "sequa-like" conduct. Find out below, whether our partners share this view.

Comments on the 30th Anniversary

Jacqueline Groth

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Division 113

sequa has established itself as an important implementation partner of the Special Initiative on Training and Job Creation of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). With the special initiative, the BMZ specifically supports German, European and African companies and investors in their engagement in Africa. The aim is to create 100,000 quality jobs as well as 30,000 training places and to improve working conditions. The PartnerAfrica programme for chambers and associations in cooperation with companies, running since 2019, complements the employment-promoting approach in seven African partner countries, and thus makes a valuable contribution to the overall offer of the special initiative. We are pleased that with the introduction of key indicators for the promotion of employment we are also breaking new ground for standardized impact measurement together with sequa.

We have been working with sequa since 2016 within the framework of Vocational Training Partnerships (BSP), and thereby are jointly making a significant contribution in the context of development cooperation on education topics and the associated knowledge transfer, employment promotion and the establishment or further development of educational structures in the respective partner countries. We are very satisfied with the joint project implementation and its results. sequa provides competent and solution-oriented support at any time. We are very much looking forward to the further pleasant and very trustful cooperation.

Benjamin Prögel

Ausbildungsverbund Teltow e.V. - Vocational Training Center

Partnering with sequa for a grant from the EU has allowed us to expand our pilot programme to serve as many communities in three years as we would have been able to fund on our own over the course of 15 years. They brought their expertise in grant application, monitoring and reporting while appreciating our local knowledge and industry expertise as the local partner. Despite sequa being the lead applicant, we have worked as a partnership of equals, learning from and appreciating each other’s strengths.

Shem Garcia

Executive Director of Vivant Foundation, Inc.

As a former long-term expert (LTE), I am enthusiastic about the expertise of the project teams at sequa. After all, it is often necessary to make quick decisions on the use of the funds taking into consideration the optimal benefits for the project. Special thanks go to Anastasia Thulke, and – for short-term expert (STE) projects – to Jürgen Henkel and Jürgen Mähler for their commitment and trust in the customer partnership cooperation. I wish the sequa team another successful 30 years as a partner of the business community in development cooperation – with pragmatic, SME-oriented results!

Dirk Rönnecke

Former long-term expert

I´ve worked for the last ten years with sequa in Latin America and in West & Central Africa. What I appreciate the most is the delivery of services that are based on skills gap analysis and  match the local labour market and the private sector needs. Also, the twinning between business support organizations and private sector actors from Europe and third countries is  at the heart of sequa strategy ensuring long-term partnerships and sustainability of our initiatives.

Paolo Baldan

sequa gGmbH, Teamleader ARCHIPELAGO

Thanks to sequa and their chamber- and association partnership “Alianza Región”, the Chamber of Commerce of Medellín, together with other chambers in Antioquia, has been able to develop a very significant articulated work for the growth of competitiveness in the region during the last five years; generating an expertise that allowed us to implement new capacities in the chambers, from which we have effectively strengthened the associations and MSMEs in the coffee, cocoa and dairy sectors, and thus promote new jobs and improve the productivity and competitiveness of these sectors in Antioquia. We thank sequa as well as the Hannover Chamber of Commerce for providing their expertise and support.

Cámara de Comercio de Medellín para Antioquia

Congratulations on your 30th anniversary!
Birthdays are milestones that always remind us that time does not stand still. They are moments that make us cheerful and reflective at the same time. They give reason to look back and to look forward to the future with confidence.

sequa gGmbH and its team as a competent and reliable development organization has not only provided help for self-help in the export of vocational training, but it has also sustainably promoted the worldwide reputation and the necessity of vocational training as a partner in international cooperation.

Keep it up – there is still a lot to do!

Alfons Tentrup

Former Haver & Boecker OHG

In 2001, the World Bank Group created the Business Association Knowledge Network. With an already impressive track record within the field, SEQUA and the Confederation of Danish Industry were natural corner stones. We have since then collaborated formally and informally with SEQUA on numerous occasions. A collaboration that have benefited from SEQUAs knowledge, openess and not least wish to always do better

Peter Helk

Danish Industries

One would think that with today’s technical possibilities it would be easy to find new suppliers and customers in other countries. In reality, however, this is time-consuming and personnel intensive. IPD offers ideal networking opportunities in a wide range of sectors, enabling to establish new and secure trade relationships with emerging and developing countries in the timber sector, among others.

Nils Olaf Petersen

GD Holz

Sequa’s KVP (Business Membership Organisation Partnerships) and BBP (Vocational Education and Training Partnerships) approach is kind of a classic in the cooperation with the business community. It is an approach that has been constantly further developed and that gives organisations the freedom to act in a market-oriented and creative way. This consistency is beneficial and goal-oriented and it ensures professionalism for and with the partners in the respective countries. It is an appeal to increasingly connect the classic with projects of other organisations.

Dr. Stephan Kunz

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH

It has been a great experience working with sequa. I really appreciate their tireless efforts to get our vocational training partnership project between the Sauti Kuu Foundation and Handwerskammer Hannover off the ground. Together we were able to define clear project goals and set our targets realistically within the framework of a network of very strong and committed partners and stakeholders from all relevant sectors. With the sequa team, we have established a solid project foundation to ensure that we provide vocational training to rural youth in Kenya, while establishing the skilled trades as a realistic option for financial security and prosperity.

Auma Obama

Sauti Kuu Foundation

As a district crafts association, we offer new perspectives to development cooperation – from the practice for the practice. This gives us direct access to the partners in our target countries. We speak a similar language, we have comparable structures and we meet each other at eye level. This added value for development cooperation can clearly be seen­ – in young people being more practically trained, in solid association structures and in the improvement in perceptions of the craft sector among our partners in South Africa, Mozambique, Jordan and Morocco.

Frank Tischner

Steinfurt-Warendorf District Guild of Craftsmen

With pride and great satisfaction I look back on almost 25 years of intensive cooperation with sequa in numerous projects all over the world. Together with sequa, also the International Department of the Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft (bbw, Bavarian industry's education) has grown. In close and trusting cooperation, we have developed successful projects whose results are still visible after more than 20 years and which, together with the local partners, could often be transferred sustainably to other countries.

Torsten Schultheß

Bildungswerk der Bayerischen Wirtschaft Int. Bereich Hof

The Chamber of Crafts for Eastern Thuringia has been successfully cooperating with sequa gGmbH in the field of internationalisation in vocational training for more than 10 years. As a mobility consultant, I particularly appreciate the expertise, flexibility and reliability of the staff team. We congratulate sequa on its 30th anniversary and look forward to the continuation of the goal-oriented, trusting and pleasant cooperation.

Andreas Jörk

Danish Industries

We thank sequa gGmbH for its participation alongside Coparmex Jalisco in different international cooperation projects, such as:

•    Al-invest 5.0; transferring methodologies such as “Núcleos Sectoriales”.
•    CREEA, educación en acción para la cohesión social e inserción laboral de jóvenes de México; as partners of the project and generating a follow up for the fulfillment of indicadors.

We recognize his collaboration with the business sector and his excellent project management, which has led him to be an international benchmark for Coparmex Jalisco.

¡Congratulations on your 30th anniversary!

Virgina Romero Jiménez

Coparmex Jalisco / Proyecto CREEA

For the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Tegucigalpa, Honduras, the support of the German Private Sector through sequa, means a before and after for the organization, since the organizational strengthening support allowed a diagnosis as a starting point for a strategic approach to professionalize, energize and install capabilities for the construction of a differentiated portfolio of services ensuring quality, relevance and a focus on sustainability.

The project allowed for the first time to have a strategic plan, which allowed the identification of the central axes to focus the operation, for the first time the documentation of processes, conformation of the structure and implementation of a quality management system.

Focusing on internal strengthening initially allowed the preparation to strengthen a portfolio of sustainable services, moving from the stage of manual to virtual processes, with the support of Sequa obtaining a quality certificate under ISO:9001 at that time version 2008 and now we already have the 2015 version. Sustainable support and implementation process, recognition of the international cooperation of the capacities to execute training, labor intermediation, entrepreneurship and business development projects.

The installed capacities that the project with Sequa now supports projects that ensure compliance with the axes of business policy, public-private partnerships, member service and social responsibility programs, for this, the project allowed us to have a CRM, ERP, BSC.

After the project, we are the largest, most representative, sustainable and most influential Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Honduras.

Karla Ruiz


The cooperation with sequa is indispensable for us in order to implement mobility projects for trainers and trainees. sequa advises and supports their partners competently and confidently, and is always committed. This good cooperation is also always a motivation to carry out such projects.
We sincerely congratulate sequa gGmbH on 30 years and wish them all the best in the future.

Bernd Langbein

Support Association for Theater and Event Technicians Berlin

Lucia De Carlo

Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, Division 110

Private-sector involvement is an important pillar of German development cooperation. As a ministry, we see organisations of the business community and their commitment to vocational training worldwide as one of the great success models "Made in Germany". Through sequa, we mobilise the know-how of German chambers and associations to create sustainable and broad-based growth in our partner countries. We are pleased to have sequa as a competent and reliable partner at our side. sequa combines the expertise of the German business community and the know-how relating to development cooperation in one organisation. This is unique in Germany! We are particularly proud that more than half of sequa's projects are implemented with funds from the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Gregor Wolf

Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA)

The Federation of German Wholesale, Foreign Trade and Services (BGA) and sequa have a long-standing, close and extremely invigorating partnership aiming at strengthening international trade structures with developing countries in a concrete and practice-oriented way. Based on the BGA's idea of reinforcing the promotion of imports from developing countries, we were able to jointly launch the Import Promotion Desk, and to turn it into an internationally sought-after instrument. This commitment is supplemented by further joint activities, for example in the area of qualification of suppliers within the framework of the Partners for Africa projects and, not least, in the promotion of private-sector structures in the countries of origin. In view of the complexity of the bureaucratic requirements in these projects, sequa's support is indispensable in all process-related matters.

With our partnership programmes KVP/BBP/PA, funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, we bring together the interests of German economy and development cooperation, and we are able to build on existing knowledge. It is the initiative of the business organisations and the programme aiming at sustainably strengthening the structures in our partner countries that allow me, as a sequa employee, to pursue a demand-oriented and meaningful work. I am particularly pleased about the diversity of our projects and partners as well as the possibility to flexibly make adjustments to new developments. For me, sequa stands for a trusting and cooperative interaction between the employees and with our project partners.

Nawal Schmitz

sequa gGmbH

The cause is still greater than the institution.
After 30 years of consultancy association, I am delighted to see sequa holding the course.

Eckhard Schlehberger

SA Ideas

Flexible – Open – Solution-oriented. This is how I have known sequa for more than 20 years as a professional manager, long-term expert, consultant and moderator. sequa yesterday, today and tomorrow: sequa connects through a worldwide network, transforms through the development of change competence, shapes through the use of room for manoeuvre.

Barbara Heimberger

OE hoch 3

The Import Promotion Desk (IPD) matches verified and trusted companies, you can rely on that. Thus, IPD creates the basis for professional discussions and efficient negotiations with producers. This is an important support especially in these difficult times, when traveling and sourcing is not possible.

Peter van Cauwenberghe


With the help of the expertise of the Import Promotion Desk (IPD), we have succeeded in setting the course for the future. With the conversion to organic farming, we have already achieved a significant increase in our exports to Europe. Here, the IPD advised us and provided valuable contacts. We have concluded first supply contracts with European importers, and further business deals are in the pipeline.

Abdel-Shafy Hemida

Logistic Nuts

With the help of the Import Promotion Desk (IPD) programme, we have been able to massively increase the visibility of our company and our products. We are now recognised in the European market as a Demeter-certified partner. In summary, our current strong market position is not even remotely comparable to the company situation before the IPD programme. The support from the IPD has paid off many times.

Sadok Saidi

Beni Ghreb Sarl

I am happy and grateful that I have been working for sequa since 1993. In this long time, I have also been able to experience the ups and downs. I still find the concept of the Business Membership Organisation Partnerships ingenious. It is not only the transfer of know-how that impresses me, but also the many personal connections that have come about as a result and that have endured for decades. Every now and then I ask what has become of the projects, and whether the ideas of the time will be continued. Of course, not everything works out, but it is amazing to see that certain measures initiated at the time are still being practiced many years after the end of the project.

sequa has developed fabulously and has always succeeded in finding enthusiastic and committed employees. Of course, this is only possible if the spirit is right. This is the impression I get every time I visit Alexanderstraße. There can be no standing still – the KVP+BBP programmes also need to be developed further and there is a lot of potential. I’m very pleased about that.

Wolfgang Dürig