Why and how I developed reading, listening, writing and speaking skills
My career as university teacher and international civil servant with responsibilities for preparing teaching materials, writing conference reports or representing my employers at national, regional and international conferences provided me unique and strategic opportunities to develop reading, listening, writing and speaking skills beginning in 1969 when I became a university teacher and research assistant in the Department of Geography and later a lecturer in the Department of Economics at the University of East Africa, Nairobi campus which later became the university of Nairobi and subsequently a lecturer in Economics at the university of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
My training in Geography and graduating in 1968, Economics, Demography and graduating in 1971, International Law and International Relations/Diplomacy and graduating in 1980 from the University of East Africa; University of California at Berkeley; and University of Zambia at Lusaka respectively helped me a great deal.
My exposure to the negotiations with the European Economic Community in Brussels, Belgium in 1973-75, now the European Union, my participation since 1975 in the work of the United Nations including General Assembly, its principal organs such as Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and Security Council, Funds and Programs such as UNDP and UN agencies such as Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) helped me to consolidate my knowledge and experience.
Since 1961, my decades of reflection, research and writing of ten books covering mostly the Great Lakes Region and Uganda and since 2011 my involvement in the work of UDU including as Secretary General and principal author of the National Recovery Plan and anchor of the English program on Radio Munansi on civic education have further sharpened my skills in research, preparation and delivery of messages orally or in writing.
The message being communicated mostly to the youth of Uganda is that you don’t acquire such skills overnight. Put differently, you can’t jump out of the banana plantation or cattle grazing onto a public stage and be an expert right away. Therefore those who want to engage in the kind of work we are doing on Radio Munansi or any other public activity need to prepare adequately in order to deliver accurately and effectively. Good luck.
Eric Kashambuzi is international consultant in development issues. He resides in New York, USA.