Saturday, 15 March 2008

Volunteer Visits Uganda and Zimbabwe

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Jim Sentz, a CTI volunteer, visited Uganda and Zimbabwe during the fall of 2007.  This multi-faceted tour was planned with respect to Jim’s previous professional experiences in Africa, and more recently as a CTI Volunteer and former Africa Committee Chair.  His agenda was to observe economic and humanitarian development activities as pursued by Christian missions, international organizations and local entities.  He wanted to better understand the potential for CTI technologies and how they may contribute most toward economic and social development in the region.  A Kenyan travel guide perhaps expressed it best in his suggestion to “experience the people.”   Jim expressed “it is a challenge for us to more fully appreciate and consider the perspectives of those whom we would assist, if we are truly going to help enhance their economic and social welfare.”

In Uganda, Jim visited with both Baljit Singh of JBT (the machine shop that manufactures the Ewing grinder in Kampala) and AT-Uganda representatives (an NGO) with respect to production and distribution of the Ewing grinder.  He also explored further contacts at Makerere University in Food Science & Technology and Engineering departments with specific reference to groundnut processing, and solar dehydration technologies and to gain a better understanding of their small-scale technology industry.

In Zimbabwe, Jim visited with Tunga Rukuni, Director of University of Zimbabwe Development Technology Center (DTC), and his staff with particular reference to their evaluation of Omega VI and Ewing III grinders provided by CTI in June 2007.  Jim also discussed grinder production issues in Zimbabwe, grinder competition, promotion and distribution and the over arching impact of exorbitant inflation amid collapse of their economy.

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