Natalie Kolbe looks back on ten years at German Water Partnership

“It is difficult for me to summarize my time at GWP in a few words. There were ups and downs, dear colleagues, insanely committed members, great projects and a lot to learn. Especially in the early years, I took advantage of the foreign trade shows I was responsible for to learn more about GWP members and their different, exciting technologies. The technical knowledge I gained was one thing, the interpersonal and intercultural experiences, another. Even though I sometimes shook my head or rolled my eyes, it was this aspect of my work that I always particularly enjoyed.

There is hardly a region that I have not had the opportunity to serve at some point during my time at GWP. However, I will particularly remember my first, then still “country forum” India and the Africa regional forum, which I was in charge of most recently. It is always impressive what GWP members can achieve together. Other highlights for me were the chamber and association partnerships, especially the current one in Abidjan with our lovely and motivated partner, the African Water Association; the organization of the GWP Days in India, Colombia and Zambia; the first editions of the BLUE PLANET Berlin Water Dialogues as well as the various projects and activities with our partner ministries.

I take so much with me from this time, for which I am very grateful. It was real teamwork. So I would like to say a special thank you to all the members, board members, committee leaders, partners, service providers, colleagues that I have had the privilege to work with over the last ten years. Thank you, merci, shukran, cam on, gracias, thank you so much! Without you/you I would not be where I am today.

It is not easy for me to leave, but I am looking forward to the new tasks. What makes it easier for me to say goodbye is that there will still be intersections with GWP as a partner. So the contact will remain and at the end of November we already have a first joint event. So I don’t have to say goodbye completely, but just say “au revoir” – see you soon in Abidjan.”

Natalie Kolbe (c) GWP

A big thank you to Natalie Kolbe

After ten years in various positions at German Water Partnership e.V. (GWP), Natalie Kolbe, who most recently led the GAPWAS project in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire as project director, is leaving us. She will join DIHK on November 1, 2022, and will take over the establishment of the Chamber of Commerce Abroad in Abidjan as a delegate. It is hard to say goodbye, because Natalie will leave a big gap. With great commitment and dedication, she has initiated and implemented international projects in our network over the past years, organized workshops and exchange formats for GWP members, accompanied countless delegation trips and contributed significantly to the success of our chamber and association partnerships in Jordan and Vietnam and most recently in Côte d’Ivoire. With her, we lose an “old hand” with a lot of know-how and a dear and always helpful colleague, but we gain a highly competent future partner under the umbrella of the DIHK. We wish her good luck and success for this next career step and look forward to further close cooperation with her and her team in her new function.

Thank you very much Natalie!