Reflections on LEG 2021 from Tanzania

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Guest blog by Abdirehman Ahmad

The course has been useful to understanding many concepts of economic growth. I have been learning new things from the first day to the last.

The key ideas that will be takeaways are:

  1. The PDIA approach to tackling growth challenges. We often think of one-size-fits-all but in this concept, we learnt tailor-made solutions for every problem. Identifying the binding constraint among others.
  2. The idea of breaking down the big problem to smaller problems in a fish bone. Identifying who you need on board in tackling each small problem.
  3. The concept of inclusion among regions and distribution in development in tackling economic growth problems.

I now understand my growth challenge better than when I was starting the course. The approach I had towards tackling it has completely changed through the 10 weeks of learning different strategies. I first identified that my problem was complicated and not complex which made the whole difference. I also learnt that there were other smaller aspects of the problem that I had easy access to and could start with solving that first. I managed to engage 2 different departments, the department of environment and the energy regulator. From these engagements, I got a better understanding of government efforts in tackling these problems.

Meeting personnel from these departments also gave me the opportunity to present my case better. I was able to suggest to them where we could possibly start to tackle the problem. This saved them the time and burden of having to think it through afresh.

I have been trying to see what the neighboring countries have been doing to tackle similar problems. We will be planning a visit to Kenya purposely to learn how they are dealing with this challenge.

I invited senior personnel from the ministry of environment to my office to get a feel of how they were concerned with the problem. It was a great pleasure hearing the government efforts in trying to control unnecessary tree-cutting for firewood or charcoal. He was also encouraged to know that the private sector was equally concerned with the economic growth challenge.

The strategies learnt in this course are going to me my guidance towards solving my growth challenge.

This is a blog series written by the alumni of the Leading Economic Growth Executive Education Program at the Harvard Kennedy School. 65 Participants successfully completed this 10-week online course in May 2021. These are their learning journey stories.

To learn more about Leading Economic Growth (LEG) watch the faculty video, and visit the course website.

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