Tuesday, February 16, 2016

H.E. President Kikwete and Powering Potential

In December, the Tanzanian Mission to the U.N. sent a letter, written on his last day in office, from His Excellency (H.E.) Dr. Jakaya Mrisho Kikwete, President of the United Republic of Tanzania. Referring to Founding Director Janice Lathen as "Mama Karatu," President Kikwete complimented our efforts in Tanzanian education while assuring that the new president, H.E. Dr. John Pombe Magufuli, would be supportive of our ongoing endeavors.

It was an amazing experience to have our cause receive the personal recognition of His Excellency. Yet this is not the first time that Powering Potential has been recognized by President Kikwete and the Tanzanian government.

Founding Director Janice Lathen and Organizational Development
Consultant Walter Minja brief President Kikwete at
the DICOTA Convention in September 2011

We first made the acquaintance of President Kikwete at the DICOTA Convention in September 2011. DICOTA stands for the Diaspora Council of Tanzanians in America, which was originally founded as a non-profit in Minneapolis as a way to address socio-economic issues facing Tanzanians both here and abroad.

Working in conjunction with the Embassy of the United Republic of Tanzania in the United States, the DICOTA convention brought 600 attendees to view various presentations. Janice Lathen and Walter Minja had the honor of introducing our work to President Kikwete at that time.
His Excellency President Kikwete with
Founding Director Janice Lathen
June 2012

Janice Lathen would have another opportunity to meet with President Kikwete after being invited to a luncheon at the State House in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania by H.E. Ambassador Mwanaidi Maajar, the Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S. on June 30, 2012. Ms. Lathen was delighted to take a picture with President Kikwete as well. More than a year later, Powering Potential would speak with President Kikwete briefly at the opening of the Tanzanian Consulate in San Rafael, CA on Sept. 16, 2013, an event to which Powering Potential received an invitation from Ahmed Issa, the Honorary Consul to Tanzania.

Ms. Lathen also met in person with H.E. Ambassador Liberata Mulamula, the Tanzanian Ambassador to the U.S. for the first time at the same engagement.

Fast forward to May 2015: Powering Potential geared up for Education Week in Dodoma, Tanzania, giving presentations of our ongoing computer lab installations. We were honored to have President Kikwete visit our exhibit.

Country Director Albin Mathias, Special Projects Manager Subilaga
Mwakilima and Walter Minja with President Kikwete
May 2015

After being briefed by Country Director Albin Mathias and Organization Development Consultant Walter Minja, His Excellency gave us a "thumbs up," saying "Kazi nzuri! Hii ni tekinolojia tunayohitaji vijini." ("Good work! This is the technology which we need for the rural areas.")

Our vision has always been to extend all the joys technology can provide to the students of Tanzania. The attention given to us by President Kikwete during his time in office cannot be understated. It is the highest honor to have our hard work rewarded by such prestigious recognition. It is also our goal to continue striving towards that same level of excellence in the future.

o o o 

Swahili is the language of Tanzania. Here is another taste of that beautiful language:

Habari za leo?
How are you today?

Nakutakia siku njema!
Have a nice day!