Day 2: Financial Institutions

Day 2 brought our students a new challenge of developing their own characters under each sub-group they got divided into on day 1. It was fascinating to see how they went about creating their stories and deciding who they are, what their stake in the Harbour of Dreams project is, how they relate to the wider context, how familiar they are with Dar es Salaam (after all, not all of the stakeholders are local to the city!). Even though at first the entire attention was focused on choosing the right title at the assigned institution (whether the World Bank, Barclays, Kiva or the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), soon after new biographies started emerging. As time was running out and we all had to prepare for the networking event later that afternoon, a few were asked to share their character stories, and so we had a Senior Volunteer- a local girl of 21 years, at the B&M Gates Foundation, Bill Gates himself (!), an Accountant at KIVA and the Director of Investment at Azania Bank, among others. Stories were varied with some having only completed secondary education in Dar es Salaam, and others gaining a PhD at Oxford. Ambition was certainly not lacking among the citizens!

Later in the afternoon, all of us went to meet, for the first time, all the other stakeholders, who are potential future allies. It was a buzzing place and business cards, prepared at the end of the earlier session, were exchanged among the many important individuals. Those who managed their time and energy well ended up with cards of people as important as the President of Tanzania herself! Now let’s follow the next developments to see how these first connections and the emerging relationships will play out on the Harbour of Dreams project…

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