Ms Johanna Teague has now been the new Swedish ambassador designate in about a month. Read about her first impressions.
Welcome to Rwanda Nziza - Beautiful Rwanda! What are your impressions after one month here?
- Wow! I am so happy to be here. I’m struck and energized by the positive mindset of people. Take social media for example, it is full of a “yes we can”-spirit. There is a lot happening and ambitions are high. I have a sense of seeing development happen in front of my eyes. Also, having arrived in Rwanda during covid-19, I must add that I am impressed by the way the Government – and the country - has handled the pandemic.
Can you share a bit about your professional background and experience before coming to Rwanda?
- I have been dedicated to the quality and effectiveness of development cooperation, working at the MFA, and before that, at Sida. I have also lived eight years in Bolivia, working, amongst other, with the UN’s population fund, UNFPA. Learning and innovation, change management and collective intelligence are all topics that have been central to my work and that get me started.
What are you most excited about taking on in your role as Sweden’s new Ambassador to Rwanda? Any specific sectors or areas of work you are particularly passionate about?
- Ha ha, what am I not excited about? I am excited about so much! There are so many opportunities here! It is really about two things – maximizing Sweden’s contribution to and support to Rwanda in achieving the SDG:s, and then, strengthening trade between Rwanda and Sweden. This entails innovative financing and mobilizing resources for development, building broader relations and engaging the Swedish resource base. First however, I have to listen and learn, understand perspectives.
What are some of the places and sites that you look forward to visiting in Rwanda during your time here?
- The gorillas, of course, and Akagera National Park. In Kigali, I find the golf course so beautiful that I am thinking of taking up golf. I also look forward to visiting non-tourist attractions and far-away sites in order to get a sense of everyday life of citizens and the pulse of this beautiful country, my new home.