The Ambassador launches the Danida Tanzania Alumni Network
On the 22nd of June under the late afternoon sun in his garden in Dar es Salaam Ambassador to Tanzania, Einar H. Jensen, officially launched the Danida Tanzania Alumni Network.
By Josias S. Juliussen
“A network is wonderful. I hope you will find an excellent way forward to keep this network alive, benefit from it, connect with others, carry out relevant activities and so on. Make sure you speak to people you haven’t met before and maybe new contacts will be established tonight. I wish this network the best of my luck,” Einar H. Jensen, Ambassador to Tanzania, said in his opening speech at the launch of Danida Tanzania Alumni Network.
The launch was organized by Danida Fellowship Centre, a coordinating group of Danida alumni and The Danish Embassy in Tanzania. The latter had made it a priority to invite relevant Danish businesses and organisations such as Maersk and COWI to meet the Tanzanian alumni who all have a strong connection to Denmark through their studies or training. This connection was emphasised by the Ambassador as a great opportunity for networking and knowledge-sharing and something that can benefit the continued and improved collaboration between the two countries.
Plans for the future of the network are being made during the workshop session / photo: Josias Juliussen
The event was a mixture of speeches, networking and a workshop session where plans for the future of the network and activities herein were made. The alumni were divided into three different sector groups (Health, Environment & Climate and Agriculture & Business) to create activities and initiatives benefiting the network. These three sectors are correspondingly among the main focus areas of the development cooperation between Denmark and Tanzania.
The Denmark-Tanzania Connection
Since 1963 and to this day Tanzania is one of the most important partners in the Danish development cooperation and has received more than 14 billion DKK in support. Research and capacity building have always been a constant factor within the Danish-Tanzanian relationship. More than 2000 Tanzanians have pursued Master’s or PhD degrees or completed qualifying courses for processionals supported by Danida Fellowship Centre. The Ambassador highlighted the strong connection between the two countries and thanked the Danida alumni and Danish stakeholders for attending the launch making way for new measures of collaborating also within the private sector.
Danida alumni and Danish companies and organisations at the launch at the Ambassador's residence in Dar es Salaam / Photo: Josias Juliussen
“Some of you work in the same fields as the companies present here tonight, which is one of the reasons why they are also invited to this event. Some of you work within renewable energy an area Denmark excel in particularly when it comes to wind energy.” Einar H. Jensen said in his speech.
Green growth is one of the strategic goals Denmark is assisting the Tanzanian government in realising through a focus on results within e.g. the health sector, human rights and agriculture. Areas of expertise many of the Danida alumni are involved in. One of these experts is Aida Kiang. She holds an MBA from Copenhagen Business School and is a renewable energy expert working for amongst others Windlab. She told with great enthusiasm about her strong ties to Denmark merging Mellemfolkeligt Samvirke with ActionAid and her time studying in Copenhagen and how these experiences collectively have brought great value to her current work and life.
(From the left) Danida alumni Aloyce Gervas, Chairman of the Holland Tanzania Alumni Network Deogratias Mbona and Danida Alumni Aida Kiangi / Photo: Josias Juliussen
Another speaker at the launch who has benefitted from the strong cooperation between Denmark and Tanzania supported by Danida Fellowship Centre is Aloyce Gervas. He is a Ph.D. student at Roskilde University and also one of the promising young Africans handpicked for the Mandela Washington Fellows – a flagship project of former US president Barrack Obama that promotes and encourages African Youth Leadership.
The Tanzanian network is the latest of a series of local Danida alumni networks to have been formally established. The first was launched in Ghana, then Vietnam, Uganda, Kenya and now Tanzania with more to follow.
The objective of the Danida Tanzania Alumni Network is to continue strengthening the bond between Tanzania and Denmark by promoting cooperation, networking and the sharing of new initiatives among professionals and Danish partners. A special guest at the launch was the chairman of the Holland Tanzania Alumni Network, Deogratias Mbona, who shared his many years of experience with creating value and knowledge-sharing in local alumni networks with the guests.
The plans made at the launch for future activities within the network will be carried out over the next year and the lessons learned and new connections made can now be used as a stepping-stone to facilitate even more collaboration between Denmark and Tanzania and drive change in both countries.
This is a platform where each and every one of us can share our knowledge and use that knowledge that we gained in Denmark to do impactful activities that will benefit our society,” says Brenda Makona, one of the driving forces behind the Danida Tanzania Alumni Network together with Lekumok Kironyi, Elizabeth Amuli, Fredrick Sikay and Mponda Malozo.
Brenda Makona, Alumni Coordinator for Danida Tanzania Alumni Network / Photo: Josias Juliussen
It is still possible to join the Danida Tanzania Alumni Network. The network is for current and former Danida fellows who have pursued Master's or PhD degrees, or completed qualifying courses for professionals at Danish institutions of higher and further education. You can register for the overall Danida Alumni Network here and for the Tanzanian Alumni Network by contacting Alumni Coordinator Brenda Makona at firstname.lastname@example.org