Day 5: Working at iDE Ethiopia

Working in Ethiopia would be completely different than working in Germany – at least I thought so. So, when we started our first working day here at the local iDE office in Ethiopia I didn’t expect how it actually turned out to be: They showed us our own office (which used to be a kitchen but has a stable internet access – so who cares J), provided us with all material we needed (flipchart, post-its & telephone) and called in the first team meeting to introduce the local employees. Could have also been a usual on-boarding day at SAP.

We immediately started to work on our project together with Kebede Ayele, the CEO of iDE Ethiopia, and Djalalie Itana, the Market & Business Development Coordinator. In order to create a communications strategy for iDE Ethiopia, we brainstormed together on the most important questions like who (target audience), what (which material), how (which channels) and when (timing) iDE should include in their communication strategy.

Identifying their different stakeholders turned out to be more complex: due to their very wide ranged business model we had to diversify on a first level between (1) partners, with whom they work together on projects, (2) donors, who finance the projects, and finally the (3) customers themselves, i.e. the farmers who actually receive the support.

Our next step will be to speak with these stakeholders directly to clarify their communication needs, the channels they prefer and which information they are interested in. Starting next week, this “mini audience study” will keep us busy for at least five days – including a visit at a rural customer site to check the potential for customer stories in cooperation with the local farmers.

Working on this project has already been a great experience which I’m glad I can make. Some things you really have to get used to in the first place like the barbed wire outside our building walls, the heavy rain starting every day at 4:30 pm or the long-lasting search for reasonable lunch-restaurants. But all these things are more than balanced by the extremely friendly people, the shared coffee breaks at 10am every day and the feeling, that we can really support them with what we’re doing.

Looking forward to more new experiences every day!

image1  image2

Feeling happy (and safe) at our iDE office in Addis Ababa


New experiences I didn’t expect: green (!) KitKat from China


Working on the Communications Strategy


Our international office heavily involved in discussions



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