Today, I started my day with a glass of freshly squeezed juice. I do that every day, in fact: Yaoundé has superb avocados, pineapples and papayas, to mention just three local fruits. The Cameroonian capital is close to the equator, so the vegetation is lush and green. I’ve been working here in the GIZ Regional Office since October 2016. Our team of 42 is responsible for Cameroon, the Central African Republic, Chad, and Gabon. I’m the Finance and Administration Manager, and my team and I look after things such as procurement of goods and services for projects and contracts and salaries for our national personnel. I’m also responsible for ensuring compliance with rules and budgets in all
I’ve worked for GIZ since 2001. My doctorate is in African studies, and with six years’ experience of development cooperation under my belt, I already knew West Africa well. What I didn’t know much about was finance and administration. However, I was lucky enough to start in a relatively small office in Niger, where I was able to learn from scratch. And I’ve developed a lot of skills through in-house training. I see the training opportunities as one of GIZ’s major strengths. After Niger, I worked in India and then in Senegal, doing the job I do now. What I like most about my job is the variety, and leading and developing my team.
I took the job in Cameroon because my husband was offered a job here at around the same time. It’s worked out really well for us, as our children are now 25 and 27 and have left home. I didn’t find it difficult to make new contacts in Yaoundé: I’m one of nature’s communicators. I also love yoga, and I’ve found plenty of yoga groups here in Cameroon. They bring me into contact with lots of very different people from areas outside my working environment.
Best wishes from Yaoundé,
Bettina de Campos
published in akzente 3/17