UDSM’s ‘Alumna of the Month’ for April 2021 is Lilian David Amri, a female graduate of the 1992 graduating class. She was born on April 26, 1961 in the Ukerewe district of Mwanza region. She had her education outside the home district, in Dar es Salaam at Zanaki Primary School (1969-1975) and Mzimuni Primary School (1976). She thereafter got admission to Jangwani Girls Secondary School, also in Dar es Salaam, where she had her lower-level (popularly known as ‘O-level’) secondary education from 1977 to 1980 and subsequently senior secondary (‘A-level’) education at Ndanda Girls school in Mtwara region, from 1981 to 1983.
In 1988, she registered with the-then Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (now College of Social Sciences) for a three-year undergraduate course majoring in Political Science and Public Administration. She graduated in 1992. Immediately upon graduation, she was posted to the University personnel department in the central administration as a senior administrative officer and, later in 1997, she was transferred to the University Teaching and Learning Improvement Programme (UTLIP) coordination office. The Programme had been established back in the 1970/80s in order to improve methods of teaching among academic staff by infusing professional and creative aspects into pedagogical processes across various disciplines and courses of study in all departments.
While in the employ of the University, Lilian had an opportunity to enroll into a masters’ degree programme in administration and personnel management in the Department of Political Science in 1998, a programme she completed successfully in 2000. It was a programme that exposed her to wider learning and occupational-skill opportunities beginning, as it turned out, with the main University Library. On completing her MA degree programme, she was transferred from UTLIP to the University Library to take charge of administration and personnel matters involving bigger numbers of different employee cadres in the diverse units of service. She worked with the library for about one year until end of April 2001.
In May 2001, Lilian Amri was lucky to have competed with several candidates and to have succeeded in being selected for a regional job at the Kampala-based Inter-University Council for East Africa (IUCEA) in Uganda. This was one of the few surviving institutions of the-then East African Common Services (since its collapse in 1977). Since all citizens within East Africa [at that time Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda] were eligible for applying and engagement in this coordination office of higher education, Lilian had responded to an advertisement for a position there, which she won on the basis of an agreed formula on job allocations to East African nationals. At IUCEA, she was engaged as head of administration and human resources, a position in which she served until mid-August 2015. In the meanwhile, the IUCEA was constructing extensions for a relocated headquarter base, including a new unit, the Estates Department at Kigobe Road, Kampala. She was appointed the first, founding manager of this department, serving in this position well until the end of August 2015. Since then, Ms. Amri was elevated to a higher rank of Principal Estates Management Officer. At this level, she has done and accomplished many things. She has trained younger administrative staff for the next generation, formulating creative ways and strategies in procurement, in acquiring, storing information and material, as well as in tracing and retrieving or else redeploying institutional property. This has been of critical importance for Lilian, who is about to retire and she desires to leave the IUCEA estate “well and kicking.”
Ms. Amri has published a few journal and consultancy articles which the next-generation administrators in IUCEA-like institutions should find helpful. They include: