The Danida Alumni Network Colombia launches in Bogota
Thirty Danida alumni convened in the Colombian capital Bogotá, marking the first official meeting of the Danida Alumni Network Colombia (DANCo). The event was opened by Denmark’s Ambassador Mogens Pedersen and has helped lay the foundation for a dynamic and engaged local alumni community.
By Jaime Andrés Peña
On the 11th July in Bogotá, a group of 30 enthusiastic Colombian Danida alumni convened for the first time to initiate the roll-out of a local Danida Alumni Network. Whilst also allowing them to meet in person, the event provided Danida alumni the opportunity to draw inspiration from key Danish, Colombian and international stakeholders, as well as to reaffirm their commitment to the ‘Danida Alumni Network Colombia’ (DANCo) - the latest local alumni community to be formed within the global Danida Alumni Network.
Collaboration between Colombia and Denmark
The launch event was organized by a coordinating group of Danida alumni, with support from the Danida Fellowship Centre and The Danish Embassy in Colombia, which has been the driving force behind the formation of DANCo.
The majority of Danida alumni in Colombia have completed their Danida Scholarships within the framework of the Strategic Sector Cooperation project entitled “Veterinary and food safety within the Colombian pig meat sector”. As a group, they therefore not only share the experience of having studied in Denmark, but are additionally united through their professional interest in the wider field of food safety and pork production.
“The Danida Alumni Network Colombia provides a foundation for further strengthening Denmark’s collaboration with Colombia. The shared professional interests of the Danida alumni here provides a common and helpful starting point for building an engaged and dynamic local alumni community.” Mogens Pedersen, Denmark’s Ambassador to Colombia
To date over 100 Colombians have spent time in Denmark to complete courses offered through the Danida Scholarship programme. Also a component of Denmark’s Strategic Sector Cooperation in Colombia, the Danida supported research project “Salmonella Control in the Colombian Pig Industry” is additionally under way. As a result of this project, Colombia – in collaboration with Danish partners - aims to raise veterinary and food safety standards in its pork industry to improve domestic public health and increase its access to pork export markets.
Earlier this year Colombian Environment Minister Ricardo José Lozano and Ambassador Mogens Pedersen extended the cooperation between their two countries by signing a three-year agreement to collaborate on boosting Colombia’s renewable energy sources and its circular economy strategy.
For further background on Denmark’s Strategic Sector Cooperation read more here.
Next steps for Danida Alumni Network Colombia
DANCo is the second local Danida Alumni Network to be established in Latin America after Mexico, and there is a close collaborative relationship between the two alumni communities.
During the network launch event it was agreed that DANCo’s mission is to contribute to sustainable development in Colombia by driving knowledge and commercial exchange through the establishment of connections and dialogue between government, academic and private institutions across Colombia and Denmark.
The next step for DANCo will be to establish a Coordinating Committee, after which the ambition is to: 1) present the Coordinating Committee to the wider network, 2) Share an overview of services provided by Danida Fellowship Centre for local alumni networks and 3) Present the UN Sustainable Development Goals as the foundation of the vision of the Colombian network.
It is also important to encourage networking between DANCo members and the Danish Business Club, whose membership represents 15 Danish companies in Colombia.
For more information about DANCo, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org