• Hassim Pondor, Technische Universität Berlin Africa Alumni Club

Brain City ambassador Hassim Pondor studied chemical engineering at Technische Universität Berlin. In 1989 he witnessed the fall oft the Berlin Wall as a DAAD scholarship holder. Today he not only runs his own company in Mauritius, but with support of the TU Berlin Alumni Programme he is also President of the Alumni Club of TU Berlin in Africa.

Hassim Pondor lived in Berlin during the days of the wall, when the city was still an an island surrounded by the former GDR. With a full DAAD-scholarship he studied process engineering at the Technical University of Berlin and graduated with a major in technical chemistry. „These were the golden days of the 'Szene' despite the usual hardship associated with the special status of Berlin. Also, I had the once in a lifetime opportunity of witnessing the opening of the wall during the cold war period.“ To this day he keeps in touch with friends he met in Germany during that time.

For him, Berlin has become one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world and a centre of Europe, even though the European Parliament is based in Brussels: „What has not changed is that the key driver around living and working in Berlin is linked to the word 'Multi' … in all facets of life, be it cultural, lingual, experience and connectivity“.

My advice for young people interested in studying in Berlin: Just go for it and keep discovering ...

Today he works as a strategy consultant in Mauritius and is founder and Managing Partner of Trans Africa Services. At the same time, with the support of the Technical University Berlin Alumni Programme, he is President of the Alumni Club of TU Berlin in Africa, which has been officially registered in Mauritius since the beginning of 2019. This is very much in line with the 2018 launched program "TU Berlin Around the World –Designing the Future of our International Alumni Clubs". „TUB – AAA is the first continentwide club with to date some 30 registered members from across Africa in academia, high level professionals and businessmen. This is a platform that brings together African alumni working on the continent and also aim at supporting German institutions, companies and start-ups looking into development across multiple sectors in Africa. The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals in particular SDG 17 'Partnership' and the African Union (AU) 2063 agenda are pivotal for this engagement."

He says about Berlin: „In the eyes of most Africans, Berlin has always been the capital notwithstanding the fact that from the end of the second world war to early 1990s, Bonn was the provisional capital.

Nowadays, with the Berlin University Alliance Berlin hosts the first and only consortium with excellence status in Germany. This alone is a unique selling point to African scholars and academic institutions.”

Currently he is working on the first Strategy & Sustainable Development workshop in 2020 in Nairobi, Kenya that the the TUB – AAA is planning. “We would welcome German institutions and companies to technically and financially support our aim.”

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