Narrated by Basil Malaki

Hatua Project is an initiative aimed at taking steps towards enriching innovative and inclusive citizen engagement.
There is a significant rise in the number of initiatives run by different organizations with an interest in promoting good governance for social and economic development of most African communities.

Sima village residents following the grassroot citizen engagement forum | Photo courtesy Basil M.

Sima village residents following the grassroot citizen engagement forum | Photo courtesy Basil M.

Good governance is often expressed through factors such as reliability, accountability, transparency, predictability, responsibility, responsiveness – to the needs of the people. A recent partnership has seen Sahara Sparks and Buni Hub partner with Making All Voices Count (MAVC) to promote technology as a vital tool for good governance, this initiative has been well received by Tanzanian communities that have already had a chance to voice their opinions through the Grassroot Citizen Engagement(GCE) component of the project that is a sub component of the projects three major components which also include; Code4Citizens (C4C) which will see technology startups crack good governance shortcomings with innovative tech solutions, the other sub components of the Hatua project is; Tech4Gov (T4G) which is an abbreviation of ‘technology for governance’, in this sub component, stakeholders from various companies, public and private institutions will be called upon to engage with citizens in open focused group discussions (FGD) to discuss innovative ways technology can be used to advance good governance and citizen engagement.

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Slush is Europe’s leading startup and technology event, which connects startups and tech talent with top-tier international investors, executives, and media. In 2015, Slush brought together 15,000 attendees from one hundred nations for the two day event held in Helsinki, Finland.

Slush Global Impact Accelerator is a program created in collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland and multiple partners globally. The purpose is to create a leading global program to support startups that are looking to solve some of the most pressing global challenges and contributing to the discussion on impact investing.

This year,SLUSH impact accelerator was conducted again in Dar es Salaam, by Buni Hub,where the process started

Shortlisted startups posing for a photo with the judges.

Shortlisted startups posing for a photo with the judges.

by startups applying to join the accelerator. Later,on the startups attended the accelerator where first they had to pitch before a panel of judges who later on had to choose best 10 startups to join the one on one coaching sessions

During the coaching sessions, startups got productive feedback and lessons on how to make their startups better. In the end the judges announced the shortlisted candidates whose names were sent to Finland for the final selection by the technical team.

The shortlisted startups for this year included Guavay, STIC Lab, ROGECH, Millenium Engineers, Vipi Mteja, Eco Act, Eco Technologies, Rustic Pay and Madawa Mart. Buni Hub would like to thank the Judges and Partners for their time and participation and lets cross fingers to see who gets selected to attend one of the largest Technology Events, SLUSH this year.

See you in Helsinki!


Blog by | Ng’winula ‘Unu’ Kingamkono

13781747_10210630712830875_5087144312794249375_nDar-es-salaam is one among the fastest growing cities in the world covering an area of 1590.25 kilometers squared. Dar-es-salaam is located in the Eastern part of Tanzania bordering the Indian Ocean and Pwani region. Dar is home to about 4 million people making it the most populous Swahili speaking city worldwide.

An open call to workshop was announced to dwellers of Dar-es-salaam to come together to discuss the possibilities of making Dar a smart city.

A workshop on understanding the concept of smart cities, design thinking, big and open data was conducted by Ng’winula Kingamkono and took place at Buni Hub in partnership between Thinkers Technologies and Sahara Sparks. The objective of the workshop was to open up discussions and to answer the question “Can Dar Be A Smart City?” and to also create awareness to dwellers of Dar-es-salaam. This article attempts to share with you the discussion and offer a way forward into making Dar-es-salaam a smart city.


Maryam from Sahara Sparks/Buni Hub opened up the workshop with an introduction about Buni Hub and their activities. She introduced the presenter of the day, Ng’winula and the workshop started.

13882649_1749778625233928_4506083608081704347_nOpening App Dar-es-salaam Presentation

Kingamkono, who doubles as an Information Systems Analyst and a User Experience Designer for Thinkers Tech, covered four major topics during the workshop which included

  1. Big data
  2. Open data
  3. Design thinking crash course
  4. Smart cities (Let’s Make Dar A Smart City)


Big Data is a set of data too large for traditional software & method to capture, process and analyse characterized by velocity (speed of collecting and processing), volume (size of data being processed), veracity (level of accuracy) & variety (different types).

Open Data means making data freely available and accessible to the public to make use of it. We had an open discussion about usage policies, privacy and collective use of data.

Design Thinking Crash Course was given to attendees to introduce them to concepts of solution designing with focus on smart cities.

13895141_1749794201899037_4049195250035139129_nSmart Cities are those that combine information and communication technologies and Internet Of Things(IOT) to manage resources and are often categorized by

  • Increased engagement of citizens in local governments
  • Efficient usage of infrastructures and their improvements
  • Prompt response in changing circumstances

Synonymously, terms including digital cities, future cities and sustainable cities have been used to describe the same thing – yet they all have a broad definition than shared above.

Cities such as Rio de Janeiro (Brazil), Songdo (South Korea) and San Sebastian (Spain) have implemented basic principles of Smart Cities to some extent and there are two approaches identified so far in turning cities smart and they include bottom-up and top-down approach;

Top-down projects tend to be large scale and require significant investment, for example Songdo and the City Operations Centre in Rio de Janeiro (http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-22546490).

Bottom-up solutions, on the other hand, such as the kite-flying project in Rio and the water app in Milton Keynes (England), tend to be lower cost and citizen-centred solutions.


13654343_1749759181902539_7087717550537007727_nAfter discussion on basic terms, dwellers of Dar-es-salaam broke into groups of four and opened up a discussion to build empathy by sharing the most painful experiences we’ve had living in the city.

People contributed and shared ideas and opinions and the purpose of this activity was to figure issues as a community and to see any resemblance and common pains.  They include

  1. Homeless and street children
  2. Mobile payments are not mobile enough
  3. Price fluctuations in markets
  4. Limited information sharing and sometimes inaccessible (registering businesses etc)
  5. Corruption
  6. Lack of security
  7. Traffic jam
  8. Fare and price over charging depending on race
  9. Passenger overloads in transportation services
  10. Lack of emergency response
  11. Presence of natural and manmade disasters
  12. Unplanned settlements
  13. Lack of technology acceptance
  14. Poor public transport services
  15. Poor roads
  16. Unstable power (electricity)
  17. Absence of clean and safe water
  18. Poor recycling policies
  19. Absence of enough water supply

Closing remarks

The questions one need to ask themselves are

“how do we integrate big data, make it open and use it to solve city problems as the citizens of the city?”  

“What approach fit best in making Dar-es-salaam a smart city?”

“In your position, with what you have – what do you think you need to do to make Dar smart?”

Therefore, we need to work in a spirit of solution creation instead of problem making – it all begins with us. Small acts of not littering, being honesty and increasing engagement in city plans will lead to making Dar-es-salaam a smart city.

Blog | Basil Malaki & Jumanne Mtambalike

13876524_1751415671736890_5203193741490794358_nBuni Hub and Making All Voices Count (MAVC) are teaming up to promote citizen engagement on matters governance through civic technology in Tanzania in a year long project officiated in July 2016.

The alliance will voice opinions of public and private stakeholders; civil society organizations; various government authorities; rural, urban and sub-urban communities; a diverse group of students and youths; marginalized and vulnerable groups (women and older citizens) and in its totality all relevant players that will take part in this project.

The project will host a series of activities which will be sub components of the MAVC project in;

  1. Dar es Salaam at Buni Hub
  2. Sengerema at Elimu Academy/Sengerema Living Lab
  3. Mbeya at Mbeya Living Lab,
  4. Iringa at Iringa Living Lab,
  5. Zanzibar at the Zanzibar Innovation Space

These events will address issues tailored with clear objectives around three major civic technology components i.e.; Read more

IMG_0211Tell me if this sounds familiar: Your team is sitting around a conference table. They’re all staring at each other with a hint of angst in the air. The two most aggressive people in the group are speaking loudly and fighting for what they perceive is the right idea. An hour goes by with no progress. It ends with half-baked ideas sent over to the client and an uneasy feeling all around.

Ideation sessions like these are meant to convert the creativity energy of a brainstorm into actionable output. Participants walk away from ideation sessions with breakthrough ideas and executions. Most importantly, ideation sessions value and welcome a high quantity of ideas before selecting one quality idea.

There are several reasons why ideation sessions can go awry. Ideation sessions with undefined objectives and poor structure cause your team to be utterly lost. Placing too much pressure on the top creatives can kill all possibilities for others to speak freely.

This is the second week of the internship program since commencement on 2nd August. As an innovation Hub, we Use All Five lean on ideation sessions and workshops to train interns to come up with breakthrough ideas.

To solve for the aforementioned creative disasters, moderators must model ideation sessions like a story with a strong narrative arc: a beginning, middle, and ending.

We open with divergent thinking, explore with emergent exercises, and conclude with convergent decision making. The most creative and productive ideation sessions open people’s minds, look for patterns, and end focusing on promising ideas for execution.

Welcome to Buni