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Social entrepreneur projects awarded in Tanzania

DAR ES SALAAM, Tanzania - There are two winners of the fifth edition of the annual Tigo Digital Changemakers Competition, in partnership with NGO Reach for Change. The competition aims to identify and support social entrepreneurs who use digital tools and technology to improve communities and impact future generations.
Tigo Tanzania Managing Director, Diego Gutierrez (right), hands over a dummy cheque to Nancy Sumari, (right, in white).
In addition to an award of USD 20,000 each, winners are provided with access to Tigo and Reach for Change Incubator Program, which provides them with advice, expertise and access to global networks, enabling them to build financially sustainable social enterprises that create lasting, large scale change to the community. 

This year’s winners of the coveted award are Sophia Mbega and Nancy Sumari. Mbega impressed the judges with a grand digital initiative that is geared towards helping self-help women groups popularly known as VICOBA (Village Community Banks).

She has come up with a mobile app that creates a collaborative platform that uses existing tools for financial and task management in a way that is adaptable to the African context. Through the app, all users, regardless of where they are, can transfer money from their mobile wallet to their Vicoba group account (directly from the app by using an USSD code), view all of their financial records, profit generated, weekly reports, etc.

Sumari’s award-winning initiative dubbed JENGA HUB focuses on foundation knowledge for children. Through her hub and co-creation space for kids, she teaches computer programming, robotics and coding skills to primary school children. The hub also exposes children to learning basic Information and Communication Technology such as programming skills that can in turn be used for creation of a range of educational and entertainment content.

Speaking at the press conference in Dar es Salaam, Tigo Tanzania managing director Diego Gutierrez said: “For five years now, our Changemakers have touched the lives of over 250,000 children in Tanzania. We believe that with the addition of these two Changemakers, we will impact on the lives of more children and help to make Tanzania a better place for our future generations.

“Digital technology is not only changing the way we do business in Africa but also revolutionising the way we perceive and solve social development challenges. It is therefore with great honour that we will once again create an opportunity for such ideas to be recognised, supported and transformed to maximise social and economic impact,” he said.

This is the fifth year that Tigo and Reach for Change are unveiling the winners of the competition. The final winners were selected from a group of hundreds of passionate ‘social entrepreneurs’ who use digital tools and technology to implement solutions to problems facing Tanzanian communities.


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