This article provides an overview of the AI landscape in Tanzania as well as captures lessons learned from the IdeaLab project carried in Tanzania by AI Commons, Sahara Ventures, and Tanzania AI Lab through the support of The Botnar Foundation.

Background

Last quarter of 2020 when we were working on the report Articifical Intelligence in Tanzania, What’s Happening the second edition, we learned a lot about the potential of AI in developing economies. Beyond academic publications and lab works already we are seeing the technology being adopted across multiple sectors to address complex issues.

Education and Machines Operations

From startups such as Mtabe App and…


7 years ago I was chatting with Brian Paul the founder of Studio 19, by then we were co-hub managers of Buni Innovation Hub. He asked me an interesting question. Do you think Buni Hub is the “Space” or the “people”? I was confused, but I immediately realized he was tricking me to see if I understand the importance of the community we had at Buni.

The biggest mistake we are making in the African innovation community right now is to believe every problem is going to be solved with a physical space called “Innovation or Tech Hub”. Everyone is…


This article is part of series of articles capturing information about Nutrition-Sensitive businesses in Tanzania. The program is a part of the work Global Alliance For Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Tanzania is doing in partnership with Sahara Ventures.

It is with no doubt the most important player in the Morogoro Ecosystem is Sokoine University Graduate Entrepreneurs Cooperative (SUGECO). The incubator was established in 2011 to promote youth engagement in agriculture and agribusiness value chains. The incubator has been playing an important role in supporting nutrition-sensitive businesses in the region. The incubator works strategically with the University to nature the agribusiness ecosystem…


This article is a recap of the study visit carried by Sahara Ventures and GAIN Tanzania with the aim to study and understand the pipeline of support for nutrition-sensitive businesses in Tanzania. This is the second article about this project in a series of articles. You can access the first article here.

Most of the sub-national innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystems in Tanzania are still at the nascent stage. Cities like Arusha, Iringa, Mbeya, and Dodoma showing signs of growth. Dodoma, the capital city of Tanzania is home to hubs such as Capital Space, an innovation hub that promotes innovation, technology…


The blue economy has the potential to completely transform Zanzibar’s economy if strategically adopted by the country. Beyond the few sectors that have been identified by the government and key stakeholders in the blue economy ecosystem, there are other areas of huge potential.

Blue Economy

Blue Economy relates to how humans use the ocean, especially in the context of the economic benefit derived from it. The adoption and usage of the ocean for economics is termed as the Blue Economy. …


At the beginning of the year, we were planning to celebrate 5 years of Sahara Ventures with a blast. Most of the startups die in their first few years of operation. We are grateful we are still breathing. If there is such a thing as a “valley of death” in building startups then our valley of death was this year. We came out to the other side of the crisis heavily wounded and we are still recovering. One thing for sure we have learned a lot. We are ready to match forward stronger than never before. We have learned to…


This article is a reflection of the work Sahara Ventures and GAIN Alliance Tanzania are implementing currently. Global Alliance For Improved Nutrition (GAIN) Tanzania and Sahara Ventures are working together to support nutrition-sensitive SMEs in the country to attain technical and investor-readiness support through the Lishe Accelerator Program, a Nutrition-Sensitive SMEs Accelerator program.

It is almost three years now since GAIN Alliance Tanzania started to work with Sahara Ventures to support nutrition-sensitive SMEs in the country. Two circles of accelerator programs have been implemented supporting 20 SMEs to attain investor-readiness status. Throughout the program, the partnership has engaged more than…


Part of the CENIT@EA program at the Nelson Mandela African Institution of Science and Technology, Sahara Ventures conducted a week-long program on Innovation Promotion at NMAIST to introduce 20 key staff on issues related to in-campus innovation promotion. This article is the reflection and lessons learned from the program.

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This article is a recap of the Fintechs and Banks session that happened during Sahara Sparks 2020 themed Africa Beyond 2020. The session was organized by Sahara Ventures and Tembo Plus, a fintech startup.

There are more than 400 fintech firms across Africa according to the data and insights company Weetracker. The startups offer a range of services enabling payments, funds transfer, wealth management, lending, etc. The potential of fintech is seen across the continents with Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa taking the leading seat. …


Reflection from the stakeholder's meetup during Sahara Sparks 2020 themed Africa Beyond 2020. The meetup was hosted by Sahara Ventures, Kampala International University (KIU), and Tumaini University Dar es Salaam College (TUDARCo).

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Jumanne Rajabu Mtambalike

Entrepreneur, TZ Patriot, Loves Tech, Founder saharaventures.com, Project Management Consulting firm, Co-Founded saharasparks.com and Sahara Accelerator.

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