20th July 2015, Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST), Mr. John Mngodo has awarded 18 Tanzania innovators financial grants worth 364 Million Tanzanian Shillings in an Innovation Fund Award Ceremony held at COSTECH Head quarters Kijitonyama Dar es Salaam.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST), Mr. John Mngodo (Centre) awards Mr. Frank Mollel (second right) the Innovation Fund worth 7,000,000/=Tshs. Looking on are Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland, Mr. Simo-Pekka Parviaine (third right), COSTECH Director General Dr. Hassan Mshinda (first right) and TANZICT Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Teemu Seppala (Second left) and Mr. Arnold Masaro
The grants were awarded from TANZICT Innovation Fund which is administered jointly by TANZICT and COSTECH. TANZICT is the Information Society and ICT Sector Development Project in Tanzania. It is a bilateral program by the governments of Tanzania and Finland. The project’s overall objective is to strengthen Tanzanian information society with enhanced capacities to contribute to the achievement of the Government’s socioeconomic development goals.
Deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST), Mr. John Mngodo (Centre) awards Mr. Faraja Anderson (second right) the Innovation Fund worth 7,000,000/=Tshs. Looking on are Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland, Mr. Simo-Pekka Parviaine (third right), COSTECH Director General Dr. Hassan Mshinda (first right) and TANZICT Chief Technical Advisor Mr. Teemu Seppala (Second left.) and Mr. Arnold Masaro
Delivering a speech during that ceremony, the Guest of Honor who also is the deputy Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Communication, Science and Technology (MCST), Mr. John Mngodo said financial grants awarded to those innovators was an outcome of the Information Society and ICT Sector Development Project (TANZICT).
“TANZICT supports three components namely support to the review of the National ICT Policy which is now under the relevant Government approval process; strengthening of the Institutional Capacity of MCST and Tanzania Innovation Programme.” He noted
He said Tanzania development requires creativity from individual citizens and startup companies as from them it is very easy to create economic value and its associated multiplier effect – including quality employment, new demand and government revenue.
“Entrepreneurs, who are the embodiment of creativity and innovation, are national assets that are to be cultivated and motivated ‘He said stressing that Innovators competition aimed at stimulating a culture of entrepreneurship in Tanzania.
He also noted that the financial grant to Tanzania innovators came from the long time cordial relationship existing between Tanzania and Finland.
“Finland has been a trustworthy long term development partner to Tanzania. The Innovation Fund fulfills an important role in the promotion of innovation, which is one of the key drivers identified by the Government of Tanzania in the realization of national development’’ He said.
For his part, Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Finland, Mr. Simo-Pekka Parviainen noted that TANZICT Innovation Fund helps innovators to solve parts of their initial challenges.
He said Finland did not have large natural resources but it invested heavily in innovation driven economy.He said in Finland heavy industry was moving closer to its markets and what replaced industry was creativity and developing new knowledge and approaches to doing things.
“It is not easy being a starting entrepreneur without the Innovation Fund. Innovators need funds to develop their ideas, staff, marketing, financial planning and management. He said the TANZICT innovation fund introduces entrepreneurs to the vibrant technology community in Dar es Salaam.
“Mentorship is important for developing a business forward. There’s no need to re-invent the wheel. You can learn from the mistakes and successes of others” He observed. He further explained that innovation is what drives humanity forward. He said new ideas and ways of doing things allow people to develop and become more productive.
“This is what also Tanzania needs to achieve its vision to become a middle-income country by 2025.”He said adding that Today’s world isn’t bound by geographical borders. Innovations and ideas can reach every corner of the globe. Solutions from Tanzania can find a worldwide market and generate larger revenue than ever could be possible locally. He further stated that new ideas could come from within existing companies. They can also come from bright women and men that take a fresh look at society’s needs and decide to implement the solutions.
Mr. Faraja Anderson is an ICT innovator who received the grant of 5,000,000/=Tshs. He says he designed a software to assist planners of different events.
“I am sure with this grant; I am now in a position to implement the project of using ICT to design new soft wares of linking events managers and planners.”He said
The 18 innovators came out as overall winners to the latest Calls for Application. TANZICT makes several of these calls for application each year. Grant applicants were required to propose entrepreneurial solutions to real-life problems faced by society. Winning entries were judged on how best they meet criteria for business sustainability and value creation. This award ceremony is the third since the commencement of TANZICT project. The first Innovation Fund Award Ceremony was held in May 2013, where 6 successful candidates were awarded a total of TZS 126 Million. The second event happened in October 2014 where a total of 193 Million Tanzanian Shillings was awarded to 10 innovators with entrepreneurial ideas that were, again, built around innovative use of ICT’s.
The awarded innovators included Ms Adella Salum, Ms Debora Tien, Ms Modesta Joseph, Mr. Aboubakar Hashim Nkya, Mr. Mgimba Faustine, Mr. Khamis Peter, Mr. Ali Ismail Omar, Mr. Khamis Kalegele, Mr. Abdul Bashir, Mr. Kalutu Koshuma and Mr. Jumanne Dorogwe. Others are Mr. Alfred Kafanako, Mr. Japhet Sekenya, Mr. Frank Mollel, Mr. Ahadi Katera, Mr. Lawrence Ojok, Mr. Adam Faraji and Mr. Faraja Anderson.