TNXTO taps Femke Dekker to oversee Ghana management program

31 May 2019 4 min. read
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Femke Dekker has joined The Next Organization as an Affiliated Consultant focused on the firm’s African operation. Having lived and worked for several years in Africa, the experienced consultant and project manager will help set up this year’s edition of the Ghana Business Star Growth Program, a one-year management development track for African entrepreneurs and business leaders.

Elaborating on her rationale, the Dutch national said: “I studied Social Geography, with a focus on conflict studies and after doing my Master thesis research and internships in the Balkans (Bosnia, Croatia and Kosovo), I wanted to learn more about international development cooperation and develop my project management skills in particular. I have always been intrigued by sustainability and creating an impact and therefore I started an Advanced Master in International Development. This was a combined academic programme with a practical traineeship at the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs.”

“Based in The Hague, I was working on various projects related to stability and economic development in Africa, particularly related to sustainable supply chains and business in countries affected by conflict. However, I wanted to live and work in Africa for a while. So I decided to move.”

Having joined Cordaid, a Dutch non-profit organsiation that fights poverty and exclusion in fragile and conflict areas, Dekker ended up in the Central African Republic as project manager and head of office. “I was responsible for the implementation of projects related to food security and hygiene, and managed an office of 30 employees. Unfortunately, due to the outbreak of severe violent clashes, our team was evacuated out of the country.” 

Dekker returned to the Netherlands, yet reflecting on that period, she admitted: “It was difficult for me to return…. so eventually I started to look around for my next move. I still wanted to work in one of the countries of the beautiful African continent.”

TNXTO taps Femke Dekker joins to oversee Ghana management program

She recalls how good fortunes crossed her path. “It was a coincidence that I met a friend in Liberia, where I was finalising a project on post-Ebola economic recovery, suggesting me to apply for a vacancy in Ghana. So I did and I started working as sustainability manager for Cocoa Abrabopa Association (a cocoa suppliers organization) where I managed a team of 40 people. Even though the sector was completely new to me, I quickly learned the ins and outs and I came across various opportunities in how management and work processes could become more efficient through digitisation and technology.” 

Two years in the role, Dekker made the move from Kumasi, the capital city of the Ashanti Region in southern Ghana to the country’s capital and most populous city Accra. “There I worked shortly for a Ghanaian start-up company that is providing digital services and tools to actors in various agriculture supply chains. In the position, I learned a lot about the start-up ecosystem in the Ghana, including the challenge of realising sustainable growth while navigating financial, regulatory and social bottlenecks. During my time work, I had the opportunity to participate in the Mass Challenge Accelerator program in Switzerland and developed my passion to transfer my knowledge and experiences to start-ups and SMEs.”

Ghana Business Star Growth Program

In her latest career move, Dekker has joined the ranks of The Next Organization (TNXTO), an internationally active consultancy firm specialised in optimising and innovating commercial organisations. The Dutch management consultancy is also the founder of the Ghana Business Star Growth Program, a one-year management development track that helps entrepreneurs and business leaders with developing their strategic, management and commercial skillset. As an Affiliated Consultant, Dekker will help TNXTO set up and run the programme’s third edition which kicks-off just after the summer. 

Dekker was introduced to TNXTO's programme by a friend. “I started working as an independent consultant taking on assignments that combine technology, sustainability with business strategy. In this context I was introduced by a friend to TNXTO – her enthusiasm triggered me to learn more about the Ghana Business Star Growth Program…. I immediately knew that I would enjoy joining the team to further develop the program, help companies flourish and make an impact in the Ghanaian business sector.” 

Dekker will serve The Next Organization on a part time basis, working alongside her activities for Satelligence, a data analytics company that uses satellite and remote sensing data to help farmers (cocoa, palm oil and soy) improve their operations. 

Related: The Next Organization launches Ghana Business Star Growth Program 2018.