Welcome Speech, Anne Christensen, Director, Danida Fellowship at 25th anniversary

Anne Christensen, Director, Danida Fellowship at 25th anniversary and Alumni Prize Award ceremony 31st August 2017

Intro
Your Excellency Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus 
Minister of Development Coorporation Ulla Tørnæs 

Ambassadors of Foreign Missions
all our distinguished guests representing:

Training institutions and companies we work with to provide capacity training and learning programme

Universities and research institutions

Partners from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Representatives from companies we have dealings with in our day to day running of the office and the hostel
Friends and colleagues

And last but not least: Our Danida fellows. We do not forget that one of the reasons why Danida Fellowship Centre was established now more than 25 years ago was the wish to provide as good a service to the Danida fellows as possible.

You are all most welcome!!

As Director of Danida Fellowship Centre it is an honor to be with all of you today as we are gathered to celebrate Danida Fellowship Centre’s 25 years anniversary in Frederiksberg.

Since Danida Fellowship Centre moved into these premises in 1992, much has happened. Thousands of Danida fellows have walked through these gates. They have lived at these premises in our two hostel wings for longer or shorter periods. Most of the time they have worked and studied, but they have also used our café and other facilities and in this way Danida Fellowship Centre has been their second home.
Danida Fellowship Centre’s dedicated staff has made sure that the Danida fellows’ study-stays in Denmark have been out-standing. They have developed the most suitable learning programmes for Danida partners. They have ensured a firm and transparent administration of the grants to development research projects, which was outsourced to Danida Fellowship Centre in 2008. They have also provided eye-opening experiences to our fellows through organizing cultural activities and visits to Danish companies and institutions.

Danida Fellowship Centre links suppliers of knowledge (researchers and people trained) with users of knowledge (Danida’s partners, Danish Embassies, universities and other public Institutions, private companies, international organizations and NGOs). We are in a unique position as an active broker between the demand side and the supply side of knowledge. Danida Fellowship Centre is situated as a key actor for the development, exchange and transfer of knowledge, learning and innovation.

We are proud of the work we have done, of our contributions to Denmark’s collaboration with developing and growth countries. And we are likewise very proud of our Danida fellows, our Danida alumni as we also like to call them.

We are happy and impressed by what they achieve and how they manage to drive positive change in a wide spectrum of fields. We follow and receive frequent updates from many of them when they return to their home countries or take up international positions.

Let me mention some of the positions occupied by Danida alumni around the world. 

A Supreme Court Justice in Uganda, a Maersk Executive in Angola, a former Minister of Labour in Costa Rica, a Peace Builder in South Sudan, a democracy and human rights advocate in Kenya and top researchers in Vietnam, Ghana and China.

To keep in touch and to network and advance research and career opportunities a formalized Danida Alumni Network was the expressed wish of former and current Danida fellows for years. Last year, in 2016 we established the Danida Alumni Network.

Last year we were also instrumental in setting up two local Danida alumni networks in collaboration with the Danish embassies; one in Vietnam and one in Ghana. Today – right now, as I speak – the Ghana Danida Alumni Network celebrates Danida Fellowship Centre’s 25 years anniversary in Ghana. With a program of prominent speakers and participants, they have organized seminars three different places in the country about Danida Alumni’s role in institutional leadership.

To us, our amazing alumni represent the results of our work.

And in order to celebrate them and their great achievements, we have inaugurated an annual Danida Alumni Prize.

We are proud to award it today for the very first time. Which other occasion than Danida Fellowship Centre’s 25 anniversary in Frederiksberg could be more appropriate to award the very first Danida Alumni Prize.

None of the achievements would, though, have been possible without the dedicated, motivated and loyal staff. The majority has been with the Centre for quite a few years, and some (one to be correct) even the full 25 years.

I want to thank Danida Fellowship Centre’s staff for your hard work and committed efforts on a daily basis, and also for making today possible.
I also want to thank our current and former Board for its support and constructive dialogue.

Let me end by thanking all of you for 25 years of good co-operation, and wishing for further fruitful cooperation to come.

Thank you for your attention.