Warm congratulations with the 25 years, speech by Ms Ulla Tørnæs, Minister for Development Coorporation

Dear DFC and friends,

Warm congratulations with the 25 years.

I look at this building behind me and think of the many students from all over the world who have passed by this place.

I have been here several times and have enjoyed talking to the residents.

Since 1992, the Danida Fellowship Centre has hosted courses and offered further education for thousands of professionals from more than 120 countries.

The centre has been a “home away from home” for these fellows and has played a key role in giving fellows a special connection with Denmark.
And because of Danida Fellowship Centre, these professionals returned to their home countries with competencies that have been used to strengthen local organizations and systems. Thereby paving the way for development.

The centre continues to explore new avenues for cooperation. Through the new “Partnering with Denmark” initiative, the fellowship centre is now offering courses to partners in growth and transition countries. These courses focus on areas where Denmark has special expertise. I want to congratulate the Danida Fellowship Centre for creating this space. It is an illustration of the idea of partnership and mutual understanding that is crucial for Danish development assistance.

You have created a network of change makers that can build mutual understanding and strong ties – between the Danida fellows and with Denmark.

Standing here today, knowing that your contributions has enabled alumni to make a change makes me proud.

The contributions of the alumni should be celebrated alongside the achievements of the centre.

And I am happy to be present here today for the award of the first ever Danida Alumni Prize. The prize is awarded to an alum, who based on his or hers studies in Denmark has made important achievements contributing to positive change in his home country.

I will therefore now pass the floor to Director Anne Christensen who will present the nomination for this years’ Alumni Prize.