Date: 9 May to 15 July, 2016

I am immensely grateful for the opportunity of interning in an overseas country, let alone being in Africa. The past two and a half months have been nothing but a self-exploration journey. From the moment I touched down at Kotoka International Airport, the friendliness and politeness of the Ghanaians never ceased to amaze me.

I have been sent to one of the latest Joint Venture of Wilmar International. The newly established company, Murzah Wilmar East Africa Limited (MWEAL) is now a manufacturer of many of the country’s leading edible oils, soaps and detergent products.

Keeping in mind of the differences in language and working habits, we were mentally prepared for an array of difficulties and challenges prior to arrival in Addis Ababa. Yet, we were wrong. Contrary to popular beliefs about African nations, Ethiopia takes on a culture that entails great kindliness and respect. Every day we are greeted with smiles and handshakes from the locals. Despite some of the locals are not so well-versed in English, they would still make an effort to drop words of concerns. All these deeply warmed our heart and eased the process of settling in a foreign country.

I spent most of my time in the town of Ndola, located in the Copperbelt province, which is one of the 10 provinces. Most of their main building are named after famous political leaders. Ndola’s international airport is named Simon Mwansa Kapwepwe, their former vice-president and their multipurpose stadium is named after their third president, Levy Mwanawasa.

The Chinese have this saying.

千里之行,始于足下

(A thousand mile journey begins with a single step)

 In 2015, I took that first step. I applied for the Kuok Khoon Hong scholarship. It came with an opportunity to work in one of Wilmar International’s overseas ventures. That first step brought me on a journey more than 5,000 miles away from home. I was long interested in the commodities industry, and seizing this opportunity was one of the best decisions I made in university.

 

 

 

NTU-SBF Centre for African Studies

 

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