Ms Margareth Josephath Kyarwenda
Association of African Aviation Training Organizations (AATO)
All her life, Ms Margareth Josephath Kyarwenda took the road less travelled, facing each challenge with confidence, tenacity and good humour.
Many ‘firsts’ mark Margareth’s three decades of dedicated work as an engineer and trainer in the aviation sector. She was among the first females to pursue science subjects; enter the national technical college in Tanzania; join the Directorate of Civil Aviation; and became the first female principal of the Tanzania Civil Aviation Training Centre. Inspired by her own mother who was entrepreneurial and resourceful, and a loving and supportive husband, Margareth was unfazed by obstacles and gender stereotypes. “To earn respect you have to work hard and take full responsibility for your success,” she said.
Margareth has trained and motivated many. “Apart from the technical skills, I aim to impart to my students and peers, particularly the women among them, that anything is possible if you put your mind to it and work hard. It is also important to embrace continuous learning and practising because the industry is very dynamic,” she reiterated. Her three children were also inspired by her and pursued science in school, doing physics, maths and chemistry. “I believe that if they studied science, they could do anything in life, and so they did,” said the proud mother. Now they all got their dream jobs – accounting!” she added with a grin.
Margareth, who was at SAA for the Aviation Leaders Programme in Public Policy from 18 to 29 May 2015, is the first Secretary-General to the relatively new AATO. She has her work cut out for her, but it is a challenge she takes on with her usual grit. AATO fills an important gap to standardise African aviation training which currently has varying levels of qualifications, standards and output.
Asked about what makes her most satisfied about her career, she said, “I have been a model for the industry, especially for women,” then she added, chuckling, “This industry is highly standardised and regulated and I have set many standards and became a standard myself. When I hear, ‘Do it like Margareth’, I know I have made a difference.”