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The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Namibia-Angola welcomes its new head of office, Thomas Keller

"I want to fully immerse myself into Namibia."

Feb. 2, 2017

provided by: Namibia and Angola Office

Also available in Deutsch

The former Federal Armed Forces Officer is an established expert on Africa and has already had a long relationship with Namibia. His work will focus on civic education, democracy and energy.

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung Namibia-Angola has a new head of office. From beginning of the year 2017, Mr. Thomas Keller will be devoting himself to the numerous exciting challenges which he will be facing in his new position as Resident Representative at the Windhoek office. With Mr. Keller’s appointment, a period of frequent leadership change within the foundation comes to an end. He therefore hopes to once again bring back continuity into the foundation’s work during the next four to five years.

But who is Thomas Keller? This question was answered by the 36-year-old from Baden-Württemberg himself during his first press conference earlier today. Mr. Keller holds a Master’s degree in Development and Educational Sciences as well as in History, which he acquired at the Armed Forces’ Helmut Schmidt University in Hamburg. His studies were then followed by a highly successful career in the German Army during which he, at almost all times, put an emphasis on the African continent.

Thomas Keller had his first – and deeply impressive – encounter with Namibia in 2005 when he visited the country as a trainee with the former GTZ (the German Agency for Technical Cooperation, today called GIZ). “We were working in Gobabeb, the outstanding research station which, at that time, had been inaugurated by His Excellency Hifikepunye Pohamba himself”, recalls the newly appointed Resident Representative. This visit was followed by various engagements abroad during his studies, which led him to visit countries like Ethiopia, Djibouti, Canada and, once again, Namibia. Here, he also experienced his first encounter with the work of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung as he participated in a Windhoek based project on Namibia’s education policy since independence.

On completion of his studies, Thomas Keller then became an analyst for the region of sub-Sahara Africa within the German Army, where he was responsible for analysing the economic, political and social ties and relationships between different African countries – and in particular Mali, Somalia and Zimbabwe. Subsequently, he became Chief Information Operations Officer in the European Training Mission (EUTM) in Mali. Later on, Mr. Keller worked as Project Leader for country-specific and intercultural training seminars for senior staff, medical personnel and soldiers in order to prepare them for their deployment in various African countries

Civic education, the fostering of democracy and energy With twelve years’ experience as career officer behind him, Thomas Keller will now be applying his commitment and knowledge to the service of the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung in Windhoek. “I am delighted to be representing the Konrad-Adenauer-Foundation Namibia-Angola,” he states. “Exciting tasks lie ahead of us. I want to work openly and transparently with all our local partners and make my contribution. My door will be open at all times, particularly to encourage young people – regardless of their political alignment.”

Civic education, the fostering democracy and energy: These are three important focus areas on which the former officer will be concentrating as Resident Representative of the foundation in Windhoek. “How much we can achieve together has impressively been proven by projects like ‘Women’s Action for Development’, which – originally initiated by KAS – is an indispensable Namibian NGO today. I would really like to build on this. I am tremendously looking forward to my work in Namibia and Angola. This region has so much potential.”

Thomas Keller takes his commitment and his love for the country and its people very serious. Together with his wife, he wants to make Windhoek his home for the next few years. “Unfortunately, the container with all our belongings went over board during transport and is now lying on the floor of the ocean,” the new leader explains with a smirk. “It was a shock at first.

But perhaps it is also a twist of fate. Now, we are free to start from the very beginning, and we want to fully immerse ourselves in Namibia.”

About this Serial

The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung, its educational institutions, centres and foreign offices, offer several thousand events on various subjects each year. We provide up to date and exclusive reports on selected conferences, events and symposia at www.kas.de. In addition to a summary of the contents, you can also find additional material such as pictures, speeches, videos or audio clips.

Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung e.V.

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