The view that is presented to me when I look out of my window at my office in Bonn could be described as dreary and unspectacular: a grey sky, thick raindrops and a few leafless trees – There are certainly nicer views. However, I cannot imagine a better place to be right now than to be in my office at Madiba Consult, the youngest German consultancy in the international development aid.
The start of my career in the international development aid, however, did not start in Bonn but in South Sudan in 2010.
Exciting Times in South Sudan
The plane that was supposed to take me from Sudan’s capital Khartoum to Juba, which is located in the partly autonomous South Sudan, did not make a trustworthy impression. At the sight of the Russian plane, I was not sure if I was going to start my assignment in South Sudan at all, as the plane had obvious technical defects and had been taken out of service in Europe. Nevertheless, relieved and surprised, I made it to Juba in one piece and I was ready to start my assignment as coordinator of various development workers for the back then German Development Service (DED). The infrastructure I witnessed in the city, though, was not better than the condition of the airplane. Running water, electricity or paved roads was something one was looking for in vain. Instead, minefields and armed soldiers were part of the everyday life. My assignment from July 2010 until December 2011, which was also during the time of the independence of South Sudan, also bestowed unforgettable and positive memories: In the youngest nation of the world, people in 2011 celebrated their newly gained independence – with a new anthem, a new flag and especially with new confidence.
As a Freelance Consultant, Trainer and Moderator in Morocco
Building on the wide ranging experiences as coordinator in South Sudan, I started to work as a freelance consultant, trainer and moderator subsequently in Rabat and Marrakesh in Morocco. On behalf of Centre for European Integration Studies (ZEI) and the German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) GmbH, officials from the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy, the Federal Cartel Office, and the Federal Network Agency and I supported the Moroccan ministry of economics in the development of a competitive structure that was supposed to be based on European standards.
In addition, I was the head of the training “Local Autonomy in Germany” and trained 200 officials of municipal administration and politics of the Kingdom of Morocco for the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. A significant time for me. On the basis of my experiences in Morocco, I lay the foundation for the idea and emergence of Madiba Consult, which had a focus on State and Administration. I especially noticed the great opportunities the market for freelance consultants had to offer. At the same time, it became even more evident how important a good network of freelance consultants is for the successful project implementation with the today German International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH. I remember the African proverb “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to get far, go together.”
Madiba Consult – „It always seems impossible until it’s done“
I found others on a similar path among the members of the non-profit society “Netzwerk politik| atelier e.V.”, a platform for the implementation of project ideas in the social and intercultural sector. The society focuses mainly on projects that have an “intercultural character.” Every founding member had a special affinity for artistic-creative methods, which eventually became beneficial in participative workshops.
Out of a shared vision emerged the “Netzwerk”’s offshoot Madiba Consult GmbH on March 6, 2015 – or better known as “Madiba.”
„It always seems impossible, until it’s done“ was the motto that accompanied us when the dream of the youngest German development aid consultancy seemed to retreat into the far distance. The journey was not always easy, however, we managed to make it far and in the end it was worth it. As of today, Madiba successfully advocates for Security, Justice and the peaceful cooperation of people around the globe.
For anyone who knows the name “Madiba”, you probably suspected it already: We view Nelson Mandela as an example for our work. Mandela’s work contributed to the peace efforts in South Africa that lead to the historic reconciliation.
Hand in Hand with Experts of the International Development Aid
Today, Madiba Consult together with its 100 freelance experts offer effective services, which aim at political, social and economic change. As a framework contractual partner for the German International Cooperation (GIZ) GmbH or the Goethe-Institut International, Madiba sends out experts for short-term assignments and takes the responsibility for educational trips, trainings, moderations or the organization and implementation of projects of the international development aid sector.
The Madiba Family takes up new members
The heart of Madiba is its pool of consultants. Madiba made a name for itself with its regular information and jour fix meetings every two weeks that are aimed at every freelance consultant who is interested. The close exchange of experiences and the implementation of projects have priority.
“The specific challenges consist of harmonizing the needs of customers and external partners, and to satisfy every interest,” says Lisa Scholz, who is responsible for public relations. “A job out of belief and passion, with heart and mind,” describes Julia Müller her job as project coordinator at Madiba, who lives from an intensive exchange with our pool of consultants. (Apply now under www.madiba-consult.de !)
Just like in a big family.
This article is going to be published in the next issue of the magazine transfer of the Association of German Development Services (AGDD).