Chevening conferences foster regional collaboration

Amy Mitchell-Bell Programme Officer – International

Two Chevening officer regional conferences have recently taken place around the globe: the first in South-East Asia and the second in Sub-Saharan Africa. These are the third and fourth regional conferences that have taken place since the initiative was first launched in 2015.

Both conferences were organised and attended by members of the International team in London. As well as focusing on training and development for Chevening officers in all areas of the programme, the conferences provided a unique platform to share experiences and ideas for the future.

The South-East Asia conference took place in Beijing, China on 12-14 September and was attended by representatives from Burma, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Philippines, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam. We were fortunate to hear from Chevening officers from China, Thailand, and the Philippines on their marketing, partnership, and alumni engagement activities. During group discussions, Chevening officers came up with many innovative ideas for regional collaboration as well as formulating how they will work together to strengthen the programme.

The Sub-Saharan Africa conference took place in Accra, Ghana from 20-22 February and was attended by representatives from Botswana, Cameroon, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea, Malawi, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Tanzania, The Gambia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Chevening officers from Botswana, Nigeria, and Ghana spoke about how they market Chevening and engage with their alumni, while a Chevening officer from Namibia spoke about the rewards and challenges of forming partnerships within the local context. Attendees also had the opportunity to attend an alumni reception at the High Commissioner’s residence and hear from members of Ghana’s alumni association.

The regional conferences are proving to be very beneficial for both the Secretariat and posts, and we hope that we can host these more regularly in the future. Keep an eye out – there could be one coming to a country in your region!