‘For me it’s important to be passionate about what you do and to have fun.’
‘I worked for many years as a city planner in Berlin in the field of urban renewal. I ended up in Ghana for personal reasons as my wife is from here. I’ve been working for GIZ for almost eight years now and feel very much at home. For me it’s important to be passionate about what you do and to have fun. And it’s important to work with people who feel the same way. People like Nana King. Our project works at three levels: national, regional and municipal. As a development worker, Nana King works on the ground in tandem with a Ghanaian staff member. I provide advice and support at national level and am responsible for the domestic revenue component at municipal level. This focuses on taxes and fees that municipalities use as the basis for development. Here’s an example to illustrate what I mean: we advised the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development on guidelines about naming streets and numbering buildings. There are still lots of municipalities in Ghana without street names or house numbers, which poses an obstacle to planning and raising taxes. The guidelines are now in effect throughout the country, and we advise 100 municipalities on how to produce the relevant land registers. A software programme has been developed specifically for this purpose and allows the authorities to zoom into the various districts and see, for instance, who still owes real estate tax and how much. With our partners we are introducing an app that can be used to collect taxes with full transparency. But the increased revenue is also coveted. It's an interesting topic.