Unassuming, confident and friendly. These are the impressions I was left with as I interviewed Sami Ullah Rahmanzai (2010 MPP/ED, Afghanistan). A proud graduate of the KDI School, Sami, as he prefers to be called, completed his masters specialising in economic development. He is currently working as Strategic Advisor for Afghanistan’s Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development.
Since graduating Sami has been diligently working with Deputy Minister planning and coordinating the rebuilding process of his war-torn country. Before he came to the KDI School, Sami had served at different levels with International NGOs in Afghanistan such as USAID, World Bank and the European Union. His work at the moment involves helping build government institutions, and advising on policies that will guide his country to emerge from the aftermath of war that has engulfed Afghanistan for several years.
He is directly engaged in supervising the National Solidarity Program (NSP) of Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD) of Afghanistan, which has sub-contracted Afghan Business Capacity Development Consultants in Urozgan Province. The project involves construction, irrigation and community development programs operated with a sum of AFN 28,276,000 (over USD 500,000) funded by the NSP/MRRD. The community is contributing 10% of the fund, all aimed at helping approximately 2,652 families get access to much-needed human services in the vicinity.
Sami keeps track of the implementation of the program, makes periodic reports to Deputy Minister and advises on strategic issues not only in Urozgan projects but also on other similar programs. There are hundreds of NSP/MRRD small development projects in various communities, and it is Sami’s duty to supervise them and advise on future directions.
Sami is passionate about helping set up strong institutions in his country. He envisages tightening the developmental efforts of Afghanistan which will lead to sound government practice. It is not hard to see that the development of his country means a lot to him. Perhaps the least surprising trait one would expect from a KDI School alumnus, but impressive none the less.
I asked Sami if he had any advice for current students. His message was simple yet profound: “Enter KDI School to polish your skills, leave to serve.” I am sure the dean would not mind having it as the school’s second motto, which greatly complements the existing “Towards Global Leadership.” Sami then implored the students to be more than just classmates but to join a social network of shared goals and destinations. “I’d like to see a wave of motivated leaders making a difference around the globe,” he dreamed.
His parting words also expressed a strong hope for alumni networking: “Let’s get connected globally, whether we know each other or not. Regardless of nationalities we are all proud KDIS citizens.” Cheered by a contagious faith that KDI School can and will contribute to the betterment of the world, this author could do nothing but agree with him. Well said, Mr. Rahmanzai, well said.
By Keith HAMASUTE (2012 MPP, Zambia)