Institute of African Leadership for Sustainable Development, Uongozi Institute is a leadership development institute focusing on advancing sustainable development in Africa. The Insitute is located in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Finnish Ministry for Foreign Affairs has supported the Institute since its establishment in 2010 by Partnership Programme carried out by HAUS Finnish Institute of Public Management.
Under the Partnership Programme, a study visit of two communications specialist from Uongozi Insitute was carried out in Finland 23.-28.10.2016. The aim of the study visit was to strengthen Uongozi Institute’s Communications Department’s capacity in the effective implementation of its new communications strategy. Communications Manager Ms. Hanna Magongo and Communications Specialist Amani Nkurlu share some of their experiences of the study visit below.
Working with passion
Ms. Hanna Magongo has been working with communications and marketing for several years. She has always been interested in dealing with development issues and feels that at Uongozi Institute she is able to work with her passion. It is almost the same situation with Mr. Amani Nkurlu who has also been working several years with communications. Mr. Nkurlu feels that he is in the right place as he is now working in the public service and most of all with development issues.
Ms. Magongo and Mr. Nkurlu both think that the main mission of Uongozi Institute is to provide more knowledge about the themes of sustainable development. Institute’s aim is also to strengthen the capacity of future leaders in the field of sustainable development. Uongozi Institute’s seminars and training programmes have an holistic view linked to policy discussions.
New communications strategy
Ms. Magongo and Mr. Nkurlu are currently working with the new communications strategy of Uongozi Institute. The big challenge in the future is how to communicate more effectively in different levels: the whole Africa, Tanzania and regional. A lot of attention should also be payed to different communication channels and reaching right target groups. An important issue is linked to the brand of Uongozi Institute. Ms. Magongo and Mr. Nkurlu both want that in the future the Institute will be well known in Africa.
“I’m here in Finland with an open mind”, says Ms. Magongo. “I’m keen to see and hear good practices of communications in various Finnish organizations, what has worked well and what has not. We have visited many organizations during this study visit and they have all been interesting ones. All the hosts have been well prepared and they have given us a lot of useful information.”
“Next time I would like to have a visit to a media house and probably meet some stakeholders. It would give an extra perspective to my job”, says Mr. Nkurlu.
More focus on digital communications
“During this visit I have learnt that things are not very different here compared to Tanzania when talking about communications”, says Ms. Magongo. “There are some aspects of internal communications to be adapted in Uongozi in the future, for example Intranet could be useful in our organization. There is also quite a lot to learn about digital communications. In our organization, not every employee is very familiar with the communication channels so some more encouraging among the experts should be done. It would also be interesting to try some new communication channels for example Yammer. Communications as a whole is very demanding area and it needs to be taken care every day.”
Ms. Magongo and Mr. Nkurlu have liked it in Finland even though the weather was not so nice during the visit. According to them, Finnish people are very approachable and nice. Also the local food is delicious.
Communications Specialist Amani Nkurlu and Communications Manager Ms. Hanna Magongo.
Text: Ms. Matleena Nurmiainen and Ms. Anna Saharinen
Photo: Ms. Matleena Nurmiainen