There is a lot of work to be done in both countries and it is no question in my mind that professional project management is an absolutely crucial element in the inevitable build up of infrastructure in both countries, to make sure that limited resources are used as efficiently as possible and projects are planned and executed in good harmony with stakeholders and the environment. My visit to Ethiopia and Kenya also gave me a sharp insight to how important it has been to to expand our discipline to encompass not only the technical aspects of project planning. Even more important is that decisions are made based on long term vision and take into account the broader context of organisations and the society. And every human endeavour is in the end based on communication, solid leadership and aspects that have to do with our behaviour, not least to take into account the values of other people and the ethical implications of what we do – for ourselves, our collaborators, our organisation, our society and the future generations and nature.
My role was to train the students specifically for the D level certification exam and 15 students in Ethiopia and 26 students in Kenya took the exam and are currently waiting for the results. Since Ethiopia and Kenya are currently not represented in IPMA, the exams were organized by the Icelandic Project Management Association. I told my students in Ethiopia and Kenya about IPMA where project management practitioners from all cultures can network, share ideas, and move project management forward through collaboration and cooperation. I encouraged my students to use their influence, create new communities of practice or participate in current ones, and become full members of IPMA to enjoy the benefits of being members in our international community.
I have several memories from my trip to Ethiopia and Kenya. My students in Ethiopia and Kenya were positive, smiling, optimistic and really willing to learn something new and evolve as individuals. People are – in the end – the same around the world, we have the same basic needs and aspirations and we can really work together for a better world.