From 2003 onwards, two more chambers in neighbouring provinces (Gitarama, Gikongoro) joined the project and successfully started. Based on the Butare experience, the artisans in both provinces were able to found their federations (chambers) within 14 months partly topping even the membership of Butare province; for example, there were more than 2000 artisan members right from the very first day in Gitarama. In June 2004 the internal organisational functioning of both new chambers was very much satisfying with a high involvement of elected artisans at all levels.

Learning points : Those five years was the most precious professional time of my life. All external conditions were "to the point": a partner organisation striving to learn after two years of reshaping, an excellent project team, an economic situation of "take-off" and movement, organised and elected craftsmen searching utterly to improve their economic situation and being receptive to professional and organisational advice, a provincial and a national government being ready to assist, an assistance organisation such as gtz, which was willing and able to finance fruitful cooperation at least until end of 2003 (before the severe financial crisis started), and finally a private situation (family and housing) of utmost satisfaction.

The multitude of different activities and particularly their integration into the set targets required excellent management skills, which I was able to develop. At a later stage of my assignment, the partner organisations took gradually over the management function so that I could concentrate on facilitation, backstopping and advice. The financial management of the project was definitely a new experience for me (at least in that quantity and quality required by German federal law and regulations), which I appreciated very much. Once this tool is managed, it provides also excellent monitoring opportunities for the project manager. It complemented the log frame and internal monitoring which were set up from the very beginning of the project. The reliable data were constantly analysed along with the local staff helping us to "steer the ship through troubled waters" at times.