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Author's profile photo Gina McNamara

I’m off to Kenya!

Over the past five weeks I have been connecting with 11 other SAP colleagues from all over the world in order to prepare for our SAP Social Sabbatical trip to Nairobi, Kenya on the first week of April.  We have explored so many things in such a short period of time and I can see that it’s only a minute part of our project that will be completed over the four weeks that we are based in Nairobi.

We have met over group conference calls in order to discover more about each other.  Who are we?  Where are we from?  What do we like doing?  We have come up with the team name of Harambee which is the Kenyan Motto of – “let us all pull together” in Swahili.  We have defined our team mission statement and goals. 

The most fascinating part of this project to date is learning about how ahead Kenya is with technology compared to the rest of the world.  Kenya is now referred to as “Silicon Savannah”.  Google, Microsoft and IBM have installed their regional headquarters there.  IBM is now opening its R&D lab in Nairobi.  Technology is booming off the success of M-pesa, the largest mobile money network launched by Safaricom which is Kenya’s major phone operator.  Most Kenyan’s purchase items such as coffee using this technology and it’s starting to threaten the traditional banking system.

So you must be wondering why is SAP sending twelve people here?  Is it a junket?  Well I can tell you it’s most definitely not.  Our group of twelve has been subdivided into groups of three and allocated to non-profit organisations with the aim of helping the organisation run better and improving people’s lives.  Our focus is to help emerging entrepreneurs foster economic growth and create jobs.

It is here in this blog that I will capture the journey as I hope to not only impart my finance skills into the project but more importantly expand my point of view.

“kwa heri, kwa herini” (Bye – Swahili).

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      Author's profile photo Former Member
      Former Member

      Sounds really exciting Gina - looking forward to hearing and reading about it!

      Author's profile photo Alexandra van der Ploeg
      Alexandra van der Ploeg

      Looking forward to reading more about your journey, Gina! And yours is the very first blog of the soical sabbatical participants in April 2014 🙂 .

      Best, Alex