STUDENT POST: Initial feelings with Accelerated Growth for SMEs in Zambia

The HAMK in Africa project offers students and lecturers a great opportunity to broaden our perspectives and take a peek into the international world


Jukka Niemi
Team Zambia
Creating Sustainable Solutions

Photo: unsplash.com


The HAMK in Africa project offers students and lecturers a great opportunity to broaden our perspectives and take a peek into the international world. Personally, I started the module Creating Sustainable Solutions, where we do collaborative projects with Zambian small and medium-sized enterprises and university students. At least for me, this is an exciting leap into the unknown.


Full of excitement I am looking forward to working with the Zambians. I am well aware that this will not necessarily be easy or problem-free, because our cultures are so different. But that’s what makes the project especially interesting and gives it a nice extra spice. At the same time, I believe that we Finns are just as exotic and interesting to Zambians as they are to us, and that we have a lot to learn from each other and a lot to give each other.


One might, of course, rightly ask, what does a first-year student of sustainable development have to give to Zambian students or even Zambian companies? Without in any way overestimating us first-year students, I believe a lot: we can give different perspectives and approaches, at least. Maybe even some of our own expertise.


But these projects are not a matter of advising others or providing ready-made solutions. They are a matter of co-operation, reflecting on things and finding solutions together. And above all, it is a matter of learning for all participants.


In addition, it is an even bigger issue that affects us all, both in Finland and in Zambia: climate change, the problems it brings and how to solve them. A huge challenge that no one can solve alone, but just all of us together, one piece at a time.