Deutsch-Tansanische Partnerschaft e.V. (DTP) is strongly interlaced with the experiences and the achievements of Andrea Karsten, born 1943 in Germany, graduate in economics, married, four children. In 1994/1995, as part of her studies, she spent six months in Dar es Salaam as an attendance of an evaluation-trip for the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (a German foundation forwarding education and intercultural understanding). Andrea Karsten visited women projects in the Kondoa region in central Tanzania.
She was impressed by the courage, the engagement and the warmth of the women, who cared for their big families by driving oil mills and grain mills, therefore, after returning to Germany, Andrea Karsten started a big sponsoring event for the construction of a women-meeting-center in the Kondoa region.
Visiting Tanzania more often, and meeting hopeful people, strengthened Andrea Karsten's wish to redistribute some of our "richness". Encouraged by friends she founded the Deutsch Tansanische Partnerschaft e.V. on June 21, 1998. Founding members were Professor Dr. Heinz Wagner, Hanne Wagner, Gunda Oehm, Hinnerk Behlmer, Inge Papenfuß, Herbert Papenfuß, Dr. Christian Karsten and Andrea Karsten.
The first projects being started were the following: electrification of the school in Kizimkazi mkunguni, the construction of a nursery school and computer classes for village schools. Animated by the two conscientious objectors, Johannes Kammer and Lars Behrendt, the DTP started the ADiA (a possibility for young German people to spend a year abroad doing community services) in 2000 by establishing a solar lamp workshop in the school of Kizimkazi mkunguni. In that project the DTP combined all the aims of their initiators:
- Intercultural understanding through having young people from Germany and from Tanzania working together
- Education for Tanzanian students in courses for constructing and repairing solar lamps
- The usage of sun as an infinite source of power
Quickly the projects expanded, the DTP-family grew bigger, more and more projects rose that were focused on climate protection through the use of solar energies as a chance of development for North and South.
Encouraged by the good work of the young volunteers, Andrea Karsten used the new, opening up statutory possibility to expand the so called Voluntary Ecological Year (an ecological service done by Germans) beyond the European borders. She initiated the project "Voluntary Ecological Year in Tanzania – intercultural understanding and development through youth working together for climate protection and renewable energies" with a study under the roof of the "Zukunftsrat", the future-council in Hamburg. The DTP started working together with the Voluntary Ecological Year Schleswig-Holstein in Plön and the Tanzania Solar Energy Association TASEA in Dar es Salaam, to get the project on the right path.
On June 18, 2005 there was a meeting between the DTP and the URBIS Foundation from Munich. They decided to work together for the solar development of Tanzania. Engaged in projects like the "Kumi na mbili Centre", education-partnerships, penfriendship between schools in Hamburg and in Tanzania, and the kindergarten-partnership between Tigerente and "Maandalizi Mama Anna" the DTP works together on an equal footing with her friends in Tanzania in many areas. In Tanzania Andrea Karsten is called "Mama Anna" to avoid the difficult pronunciation of the male name Andrea.