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Alumni Tanzania-Norway 2019

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Photo: Royal Norwegian Embassy

On Friday October 11th the Norwegian Embassy hosted its annual Alumni Tanzania-Norway, Al-Ta-No, event at the residence of Ambassador Elisabeth Jacobsen. The members of the alumni network are Tanzanians who have lived, studied or worked in Norway previously; some as long as 40 years ago, and others just last year. More than 100 guests attended the event and were able to catch up with old colleagues, schoolmates and friends in addition to meeting new people within the network.

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The event opened with a panel discussion on collaboration between Tanzania and Norway on climate issues, energy and higher education. The panel consisted of Ms. Hilde Elin Haaland-Kramer from the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU), Ms. Elisabeth Clemens from NORAD, Mr. Thabit Mikidadi from National Gender and Sustainable Energy Network and Mr. Stephen Mariki, a consultant on environmental issues, natural resources and climate change. Dr. Blandina Kilama from REPOA facilitated the panel and the following discussion.  

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From the left: Dr. Blandina Kilama, Mr. Stephen Mariki, Ms. Elisabeth Clemens, Ms. Hilde Elin Haaland-Kramer, Mr. Thabit Mikidadi and Ambassador Elisabeth Jacobsen.

Policy Director for Research in the Norwegian MFA, Mr. Svein Baera, was also present and highlighted the importance of research-based knowledge as the foundation of policymaking and practice.

During the panel discussion, Elisabeth Clemens from NORAD talked about the 50 years of collaboration between Norway and Tanzania in the energy sector. The delegation from Norad have just spent two weeks in Tanzania, conducting interviews for their upcoming “Tanzania and Norway - 50 Years of Energy Sector Cooperation” report.

Hilde Elin Haaland-Kramer, from the Norwegian Agency for International Cooperation and Quality Enhancement in Higher Education (DIKU), spoke about collaboration between Tanzania and Norway on higher education and student exchange programs through the years. DIKU is currently supporting seven projects in Tanzania within the fields of public health, business, zoology, engineering and supply chain methodology.

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Al-Ta-No and working group member, Thabit Mikidadi, shared his main takeaways from his recent studies at the University of Oslo and the value of studying in a different country. As Norway has a robust educational system, Tanzanian universities can learn a lot through exchange of knowledge and practices. This will equip young people in Tanzania to be able to face real problems in both the national and international spheres. Mikidadi also highlighted how Norwegian systems have been adapted to climate change in both design and service delivery, which can vividly be seen in a strong culture on recycling and promotion of low carbon transport. These are important aspects that can filter into the collaborative efforts between the two countries in all sectors be it energy, agriculture or education.

Stephen Mariki, consultant in environment, natural resources and climate change, shared the highlights from the NORHED climate conference that took place earlier the same week. He stated that the conference showed that we are winning small battles in the fight against climate change, but losing the big war. The need to develop with less negative impact on the environment, harness resources for energy production, involve private sector in climate change mitigation and adaptation. Mariki ended by encouraging increased involvement of youth. Mariki is also an Al-Ta-No member and took part of his studies in Norway.

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The panel discussion was followed by a reception with Norwegian and Tanzania cuisine, entertainment and social mingling. The Norwegian Embassy is proud of the extensive Al-Ta-No network and grateful that so many members and guests were able to meet at this year’s event and contribute to its success.

If you are interested in joining the Al-Ta-No network or have any questions, please send an e-mail to responsible Embassy officer: Anette Otilie Pettersen. E-mail: [email protected]