Interesting Partners for Tech Projects in Tanzania

As you all know, partnerships are essential for projects to achieve maximum impact and reach.  Whilst in Tanzania, I was able to meet with some fantastic organisations which could make interesting partners for organisations devising or implementing tech projects.

I met with John Ulanga, CEO of the Foundation for Civil Society.   They provide grants to local civil society organisations ($5000-$90,000/grantee, to approximately 700 organisations a year) in order to enhance citizens’ ability to hold government to account, increase access to information and focus on rights and responsibilities.  Their funding categories are: Policy Engagement (and awareness raising), Governance and Accountability and Civil Society Capacity Strengthening.

They have an excellent reputation and as well as providing grants, they build capacity of civil society organisations.  They are able to provide some tech training to interested organisations.  They utilise tech in their own systems by sending confirmations and notifications by SMS to potential grantees following submission of a proposal.

Twaweza, which means “We can make it happen” in Swahili is a citizen-centred initiative which focuses on achieving large scale change across East Africa through bottom-up action.  Their expansive networks, policy recommendations, opportunities and support create a framework which can enable millions of people to access relevant information and stimulate change in their own communities by holding government to account.

Their key focuses are Health, Education and Water, but they are open to exploring any concept which can achieve social change at scale.  They aim to identify and support projects which reach a minimum of two million people with crucial information and that will stimulate a small proportion of these to take the necessary action  to stimulate change.  They will engage with both the private and charity sector and in addition to support, they are able to provide significant funds.

Twaweza are currently involved in a variety of activities including producing evidence based policy briefs which are sent out to MPs and media, exploring ways to better coordinate mHealth efforts, Uwezo, a project aimed at improving literacy and numeracy through accountability mechanisms and exploring how to stimulate interest in m4d in Tanzania.

E-Fulusi is a software development company which aims to develop technology, solutions and ideas which serve hard to reach communities through financial services and payment processes.  Their products include the E-Fulusi Mobile Transaction Switch, which processes transactions and payments through all major cellular networks in Tanzania, M-Channel which enables banks to provide mobile banking services to their customers via mobile phone using USSD, WAP and SMS, M-Wallet, a branchless banking solution and an SMS donation system.  They hope to work with our grantee KINU to provide business support and to link Raha Wifi hotspots to the hub, enabling 10 virtual spaces.  They also hope they can encourage mobile operators and others to pay local developers for applications rather than opting for expensive Western alternatives.

Tanzania Gatsby Trust was established by the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, a sister of Indigo Trust and part of the Sainsbury Family Charitable Trusts.  They run mKubwa, a programme which provides entrepreneurship training, tech training, coaching, marketing advice and financial service linkages to women working in groups to improve their income.  They also provide HIV/AIDS counselling and family planning advice.

They also run a cotton project which aims to increase yields and decrease poverty by tackling inefficiencies across the whole supply chain.  They are currently seeking tech solutions to some of their challenges including managing contracts and payments and providing agricultural extension services.

Have any organisations working in Tanzania identified any other partners we should be speaking to?