Five Tanzanians selected for prestigious Acumen Fund Fellows Program

06Mar 2018
The Guardian Reporter
The Guardian
Five Tanzanians selected for prestigious Acumen Fund Fellows Program
  • Out of 700 Applications, 5 entrepreneurs from Tanzania selected to join cohort of global leaders changing the way the world tackles poverty.

Nairobi, Kenya. From a selection of 700 candidates, the Acumen Fund team carefully picks the top candidates from each country, this is the first time, Tanzanian has had 5 candidates make the selection.

Five Tanzanian Acumen Fund Fellows.

 The previous record was 3. The Acumen Fund has invested over $28.5 million in East Africa through 26 different companies.

The Acumen East Africa program believes in building an ecosystem of companies and leaders to create a more inclusive economy. Candidates are selected based on their ability and potential to doing well to support their respective countries sustainably.

In East Africa, access to critical goods and services is only available to less than 40% of the region’s 264 million people. Acumen believes in harnessing the power of entrepreneurship to disrupt poverty in East Africa and build sustainable models to move millions out of poverty.

The entrepreneurs selected from Tanzania include:

Benjamin Fernandes – Tanzanian award winning speaker and entrepreneur who worked for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, attend Stanford for his MBA and Harvard for Government school.

Fernandes recently moved back to Tanzania and is currently empowering youth in Tanzania through his seminars with over 22,000 youth coming out to 26 different events.

More recently, through his passion for financial inclusion, Fernandes has been working on an upcoming launch in digital financial services for East Africa.

Doreen Kessy – Doreen is Chief Operations Officer at Ubongo Learning, a social enterprise that creates edutainment content for primary school aged learners in Africa.

Based in Tanzania, she leads the distribution of Ubongo’s content and finds innovative ways to continually deliver fun learning to more than 6.4 million families in East Africa. 

Amnah Ibuni – Amnah is the Deputy Executive Director of the Zanzibar Fighting Against Youth Challenges Organization, a nonprofit dedicated to empowering youth by raising awareness, capacity building and networking programs.

Sam Abrahams - Sam is CEO of First Aid Africa based in Moshi, Tanzania, a healthcare education program operating in Uganda, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi and Zambia. First Aid Africa partners with government, nonprofits and private organizations to increase access to emergency care through professional training, first aid equipment and disruptive technology. 

Mohammed Khalfan – Mohamed is Co-Founder and Director at Education and Health for All, a social enterprise based in Mwanza, Tanzania that provides free oral education and dental services to marginalized communities in Lake Zone. Mohamed serves as a dentist at Hope Dental Centre, a clinic run by the organization that provides affordable, high quality dentistry.

Tanzanian ambassador in Kenya, Dr. Pindi Chana invited Benjamin Fernandes and Doreen Kessy to her office on March 6th 2018 to congratulate them on this journey and to see how the Tanzanian Embassy can support other Tanzanians as well. 

The selected fellows from Tanzania join a cohort of 17 additional fellows from East Africa hailing from South Sudan, Kenya, Rwanda, Burundi and Uganda.

They will go through a training program aimed at supporting their entrepreneurial and leadership journey throughout East Africa.

Sources:

Details on Acumen East Africa: https://acumen.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/East-Africa-Overview.pdf

Details on the Fellows Profile: https://acumen.org/fellowships/meet-the-fellows/

About Acumen in General: https://acumen.org/about/