International Development Committee visits the COTZ office

IDC Delegation ColaLife
Members of the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee after a briefing with COTZ Partners

Early this morning (15/3/12) we had the privilege of hosting a visit from members of the UK Parliament’s International Development Committee. We’d rearranged the office last night to accommodate quite a crowd: the VIP visitors, our project manager, Silke Seco at DfiD Zambia, our majority funder, as well as the DfID Head of Mission Mike Hammond (far left front and back row, respectively) … and of course our partners on the COTZ project. These were well represented, with Panji Banda from SABMiller, Dirk van Wyk and Chipopa Kazuma from Medical Stores Limited, Hans Hesse from Mobile Transactions, Albert Saka from Keepers Zambia Foundation, and Lusako Sichali from UNICEF – not forgetting our highly informed local volunteer, Beth Anne Pratt.

After introductions, Jane and I presented the project, or at least we tried to amidst the barrage of questions! This is probably one of the most engaged audiences we’ve faced. It really was very stimulating. We were very well prepared with good, well rehearsed answers. One of the benefits of being open with your idea for so long is that there aren’t many questions you haven’t been asked before, or had time to research sound answers for. The meeting could have gone on a lot longer but the committee had a tight schedule to keep. The verdict from those organising the trip was that we got their day off to a highly animated start.

We will see everyone again this evening at a reception at The High Commission which we are looking forward to. It will be an opportunity to pick up those last few questions.