May 1, 2012
I had the opportunity through my work with the GIZ (made possible naturally by Bosch) to travel to Rwanda and Tanzania, my first step on the African continent. When I wrote "travel to new countries" as part of my goal for my Bosch year, I could never in my wildest imagination have expected to go to Africa for three weeks. The following posts chronicle first my trip to Kigali, Rwanda and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
In Rwanda I helped a particular development project team assess their plans for the next two years in the context of their environmental and climate impacts: where are possible environmental/climate impacts? How can they minimize the bad impacts and maximize the good ones? Although everyone seemed a little frustrated at the beginning that they had yet another assessment on their list of competencies, their enthusiasm grew s we found easy ways to integrated environmental and climate concerns. I was really impressed by their dedication to the work they do, something that is often slow-moving and frustrating .My time there was amazing and I really fell in love with the country and the people. I now consider Rwanda to be one of the places I would move back to if ever offered the opportunity.
Afterwards I flew to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, where I supported a conference working to promote cooperation between the public and private health sectors in Africa. As business-government relations was the focus of my MA degree at Georgetown, it was amazing to have the opportunity to see how private-public cooperation developed when the goal is not just to improve the tax situation or trade partnerships, but rather to promote an environment that improves the lives of everyday people. Naturally, a trip to Tanzania would be incomplete without a visit to the mythical island of Zanzibar and after the conference a colleague and I took a few days off to relax on the beach before flying back to Germany.