“The programme was a game changer”

Alumni from Ethiopia met for a virtual follow-up event in July, one and a half years after completing training in Germany. The group talked about financial performance and another key topic everyone was very invested in: resilience. The 21 entrepreneurs enjoyed the reunion at the digital meeting organised by the IMAP training centre.

The 21 entrepreneurs enjoyed the reunion at the digital meeting organised by the IMAP training centre. The pandemic had put them all through some challenging months, but everyone agreed participating in the MP had really helped them make it through. At the follow-up, alumni – all members of the 2019 Ethiopian pilot group – enthusiastically exchanged their experiences from the past year, shared results, and discussed current difficulties and opportunities.

The agenda also included an advanced training module on resilience and coping with the changes brought about by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. In this session, alumni expanded on their knowledge of change management from the Manager Training Programme and learned more about their own resilience and how to strengthen it. Participants also discussed factors that influence resilience, like acceptance, a positive attitude in crisis situations, and a social network.

At the follow-up, alumni noted three core skills they relied on for crisis management during the pandemic: expertise in marketing, negotiation and change management. These topics were covered during training in Germany and alumni were subsequently able to leverage their know-how successfully. "I remember it was a real game changer," one Ethiopian entrepreneur said, looking back on taking part in the Programme.

Monika Stienecker from the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy and representatives of the MP's local partner, the Ethiopian Ministry of Trade and Industry, also joined the virtual event: Assefa Mulugeta KondalDirector General Export Promotion Directorate General, and his deputy Haimanot Tibebu Kassaye. Monika Stienecker emphasised the importance of sustainable economic development and affirmed that although cooperation with Ethiopia in the Manager Training Programme was currently in the pilot phase, results had proven very promising so far. Ethiopian partners confirmed their dedication to bilateral cooperation and assured participants that the Ethiopian government was very interested in working closely with the Ethiopian private sector. Assefa Mulugeta Kondal praised the MP as an excellent opportunity for exporting Ethiopia's predominantly agricultural products. He noted that the German market was particularly challenging because it places such high demands on qualitywhich made this unique form of support from Germany very welcome. At the same time, the Programme gave German companies access to a growth market, Kondal added: "Our relationship is a win-win situation". 

 

During a photographic review, the alumni recalled their stay in Germany two years ago.