Celebrating Tanzania’s Brightest Minds: Meet the 19 Visionary Leaders Shaping Tanzania’s Future

Future of Tanzania Leadership
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Announcing the Finalists for the “Future of Tanzania Leadership” Awards

We are delighted to announce the recipients of the “Future of Tanzania Leadership” Awards, honouring 19 outstanding young visionaries shaping the future of Tanzania. These awards aim to recognize the extraordinary young visionaries in Tanzania who are actively steering our nation towards a brighter, more innovative future.

What is the “Future of Tanzania Leadership” Award?

The “Future of Tanzania Leadership” is an initiative under Tanzania Digest, a leading source of expert commentary and insightful analysis on economic, business, political, and climate change issues in Tanzania. This initiative is dedicated to celebrating and recognizing the extraordinary young leaders of Tanzania who are under 40 years old.

Our young leaders are more than just titleholders; they are the changemakers and pioneers in various sectors. By recognizing these exceptional talents, we aim to inspire others and foster a culture of excellence in Tanzanian leadership. These awards are not just about accolades but about acknowledging the impact, dedication, and innovative spirit of our young leaders.

Our Nomination Process and Criteria

Starting in December 2023, we invited nominations for inspiring young Tanzanian leaders. Nominators were encouraged to fill out a detailed form that included specific achievements, impact metrics, and other relevant information to help us thoroughly evaluate each entry.

The nominated candidates were carefully assessed by Tanzania Digest writers and editors, alongside industry experts and an independent panel of judges. This rigorous evaluation process ensured that we selected the most impactful young leaders from the public, private, and civil society sectors.

After a thorough evaluation, we are excited to announce the selection of 19 outstanding awardees. These individuals have demonstrated remarkable leadership, vision, and a commitment to making a difference in Tanzania. They are trailblazers who are changing the landscape of our nation and inspiring others to follow in their footsteps.

Meet Our Finalists

Iain Usiri, the CEO and Co-founder of Ramani

Ian Usiri is the CEO and co-founder of Ramani, a Tanzanian company enhancing Africa’s supply chains with financial infrastructure. Founded in 2019 with his brother Calvin Usiri and Kibet Muthara, Ramani provides software for inventory tracking and sales monitoring, and financial services via a pay-as-you-sell model.

Ian’s expertise in economics and computer science has driven Ramani’s growth, raising $32 million in 2022 and expanding across East Africa. Under his leadership, Ramani digitizes the consumer goods supply chain, fostering job creation and economic development.

Justin Mollel, Finance & Strategy Director at Guinness Ghana Breweries PLC (Diageo)

Justin is a University of Dar es Salaam graduate with a Bachelor of Commerce – BCom, Accounting and Master of Business Administration – MBA, Business Administration and Management, Finance.

With the experience of more than 15 years, he is a Finance leader and accounting and business growth expert, over the course of his career, He has built a lengthy list of accomplishments through effective business planning, insightful forecasting, and continuous innovative process improvements.

His key areas of expertise include business performance management, financial reporting, risk & change management, auditing, performance and stakeholder management.

He has been able to effectively supervise and coordinate multiple functions within a company; delivering profitable business growth strategies and ensuring that day-to-day operations run seamlessly.

As a proactive professional, he handles tasks systematically, defines priorities and pays great attention to detail. Across all roles, he has been recognized as a motivational and inspirational leader, able to manage and coordinate high-performing teams, combining an understanding of individual strengths and the overall team dynamic to drive optimum performance standards.

He utilizes outstanding interpersonal and communication skills to effectively engage with people at all levels; creating long-lasting and mutually-beneficial business relationships.

Taha Jiwaji, the CEO of Beem Africa

Taha Jiwaji is a technology entrepreneur and professional with experience in formulating, selling, planning and delivering a broad range of technology and telecom projects across Africa. 

Taha Jiwaji is the founder of one of Africa’s leading cloud communication and messaging providers with a presence across 25+ countries and partnerships with 60+ mobile networks including Vodafone, MTN, Orange, Tigo, Airtel, Smart and more.

He has been critical to building a customer base of over 10,000+ clients including brands such as Nestle, Samsung, Qatar Airways, Amana Bank and UBA Bank. Specialities: Business Development, Partnerships & Relationship Management, Product Management, Project Management, user-centred Design, Distributed Delivery, Team Motivation & Consensus Building, Digital Marketing, Mobile Marketing, Data Migration & Analysis, Web Development, Databases, Cloud Platforms, SAAS, Telecoms – SMS/USSD/IVR, Mobile Apps.

Also, read: Tanzania’s Economic Surge: Vision, Resilience, and the Path to Prosperity

Additionally, Taha Jiwaji’s participation as a panellist at events like ITW Africa and his speaking engagements at Africa Fintech in Zambia and the Fintech Festival in Tanzania underscore his thought leadership and active involvement in industry discussions and knowledge sharing.

Heri Ali Mwapachu, Associate at Latham & Watkins

Heri Mwapachu is an associate in the London office of Latham & Watkins and a member of the Capital Markets Practice and Corporate Department. Heri advises clients on corporate transactions, primarily representing issuers and investment banks in connection with debt and equity offerings.

Prior to joining Latham, Mr. Mwapachu completed an LLM at Harvard Law School and was an associate at a leading law firm in Tanzania focusing on capital markets, mergers and acquisitions, banking and finance and general corporate practice.

Godfrey Calvin Magila, the CEO of Magilatech Co. LTD

Godfrey Calvin Magila, CEO of Magilatech, is a self-taught programmer and cybersecurity enthusiast. Recognized for his expertise, he serves as a country expert for the World Summit Awards and a Microsoft TOT for the 4Africa Initiative. He developed Tigo Backup, a biometric system for elections, and Mobile Parliament.

Magilatech, founded after winning the Tanzania Hackathon, collaborates with major telecoms, impacting millions. Godfrey’s innovative solutions have earned accolades, including recognition from Forbes Afrique and Startup World Africa.

Raphael Maganga, the CEO of Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF)

Raphael Maganga is the CEO of the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation (TPSF), a private sector umbrella organisation that plays a pivotal role in promoting and developing the private sector in Tanzania. With a rich background in business and leadership, Maganga has been instrumental in advocating for policies that create a conducive environment for private enterprises to thrive and be competitive both regionally and internationally.

Under his leadership, TPSF has focused on fostering partnerships between the public and private sectors with TPSF being the interlocutor between government and private sector, while ensuring that the voices of business stakeholders are heard in policy formulation and implementation. Maganga’s strategic vision emphasizes innovation, entrepreneurship, and sustainable development, aligning with Tanzania’s broader economic goals.

Known for his dynamic approach and strong advocacy skills, Raphael Maganga has been a driving force behind numerous initiatives aimed at improving business conditions, enhancing competitiveness, and attracting investment to Tanzania. His commitment to private sector growth is reflected in his efforts to address challenges such as access to finance, regulatory hurdles, formalisation of businesses, environment sustainability and market access.

With a forward-looking perspective, Maganga continues to champion initiatives that support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), recognizing their crucial role in job creation and economic diversification. His leadership at TPSF is marked by a collaborative spirit, engaging various stakeholders to work together towards a prosperous and inclusive economic future for Tanzania.


Hon. Kheri Mahimbali, a Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Minerals

As the Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Minerals, Kheri is responsible for overseeing the implementation of policies, strategies, and programs that promote the sustainable development of the mineral sector in Tanzania.

Kheri has a master’s degree in oil and gas enterprise management from the University of Aberdeen, and a bachelor’s degree in business and management from De Montfort University. With experience in the energy and tobacco industries, he has developed strong skills in logistics management, supply chain management, and integrated supply chain management.

He also led and supported multiple projects and initiatives that enhanced the efficiency, effectiveness, and transparency of procurement processes and systems. My core competencies include strategic planning, stakeholder engagement, policy analysis, and leadership.

Kheri is passionate about fostering collaboration and innovation in the mineral sector and contributing to the national vision of industrialization and economic transformation.

Japhet Justine, the Commissioner for Debt Management at the Ministry of Finance and Planning

Japhet is a seasoned Development Finance Practitioner with extensive experience in leading financial institutions at national and regional levels. In his current role, Japhet oversees a $34 billion dio sovereign debt portfolio where he is responsible for Sovereign Debt Management for Tanzania within the Ministry of Finance.

His responsibilities include ensuring the government raises adequate funding to meet its financing needs at minimal cost and risk and overseeing the development of the domestic debt market Prior to this, he held several senior leadership roles for the Tanzania Agricultural Development Bank (TADB – DFI), Tanzania Women’s Bank (TWB), BancABC Group and NMB Bank Pic.

In these roles, Japhet has demonstrated his ability to lead complex organizational transformation initiatives demonstrating his dynamic and tenacious leadership style underpinned by a strong understanding of local markets. This is most evidenced in his previous role at TADB-DFI having successfully steered a market repositioning, strengthening the bank’s competitiveness while maximising its impact.

In his current role, he is at the forefront of unlocking Tanzania’s business environment by securing financing for critical infrastructure projects such as the USD 10 billion for the Standard Gauge Railway and the recently completed Julius Nyerere Hydropower Dam worth more than USD 3 billion through a mixed portfolio of funding and investors at the same time he is managing the Tanzania Credit Narrative for attracting more FDI but also opening opportunities for portfolio investors through the credit rating enhancement.


Jokate Mwegelo, Secretary General National Youth’s League of Chama Cha Mapinduzi

Jokate Mweglo is the first Beauty Queen Presidential Appointee in the History of Tanzania. A Young Woman Politician, she now serves as Secretary General of the Chama cha Mapinduzi’s Youth Wing. She has served as a District Commissioner (DC), since 2018 for the Districts of Kisarawe, Pwani; Temeke, Dar Es Salaam; and Korogwe.

Jokate pioneers Innovative Partnership Development Leadership to address challenges in Education, Health, Food Security, and Economic Empowerment through Social Enterprise Building among Youths, Girls and Women.

Jokate’s Approach to Political Leadership, Entrepreneurship and Development Advocacy has brought her African and International recognitions, such as Leadership Excellence in Public Service and Community Development Award, by Pan African Leadership and Development Center, Turkey, 2021; East African Community (EAC) Women Leadership Award for Outstanding Leadership in Promoting a Gender Equal Society in East Africa, 2022; Among Top 50 Most Influential African Women, Africa by Avance Media Ghana, three times since 2019.

Jokate pioneered a successful Award Winning Education Development campaign, ‘Tokomeza Zero’, which raised $500,000USD to build a 460 Girls Only Boarding School, ‘Jokate Mwegelo Secondary School’ and run District initiatives to a performance by 75%, eliminating 50% of National Exams Zero.

Gilead Teri, the Executive Director of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC)

Gilead Teri is the Executive Director of the Tanzania Investment Centre (TIC), the one-stop shop for investors in Tanzania. He plays a key role in management, formulating innovative solutions to enhance the agency’s performance in investment facilitation and promotion.

Teri led the World Bank Group Tanzania’s Investment Climate program which works to support the government to deliver business-friendly reforms and attract quality public & private sector investments.

A private sector development expert in light manufacturing, tourism, agribusiness and international trade, he is the former Director of Policy at Tanzania Private Sector Foundation, which works to champion the improvement of Tanzania’s business environment.

Hon. Ummy Nderiananga 

Hon. Ummy Nderiananga is a dedicated Tanzanian leader who currently serves as the Deputy Minister of State in the Prime Minister’s Office for Policy, Parliament, and Coordination (PMO–PPC). Formerly the chairperson of SHIVYAWATA, the Federation of Associations for Persons with Disabilities (PWDs), Nderiananga has been a prominent advocate for the rights and inclusion of PWDs in Tanzania.

As a person with a physical disability herself, she leads an increasing number of high-caliber, hardworking, and qualified individuals in the country’s civil service. Her commitment to promoting the rights of PWDs and her leadership in various ministerial roles have made her a significant figure in Tanzanian politics and community development.

Hon. Jumaa Aweso, the Ministry of Water

Jumaa Aweso is a Tanzanian politician and a member of the ruling party Chama Cha Mapinduzi (CCM) from 2012. He has been a Member of Parliament representing the Pangani Constituency in the Tanga Region since 2015. He is the current Minister for Water and Irrigation.

His role as a Member of Parliament provided him a platform to impact national policy, particularly in the realms of community development and infrastructure. 

As the Minister of Water, Jumaa Aweso oversees Tanzania’s water management policies aimed at enhancing water access, quality, and sustainability for both rural and urban areas. His tenure focuses on improving service efficiency and infrastructure to secure sustainable water resources nationwide. Aweso’s reforms in the water sector are pivotal for environmental, public health, and economic stability in Tanzania.

Dr. Neema Mduma, a Senior lecturer at NM-AIST

Dr Neema Mduma is a computer scientist and senior lecturer at NM-AIST, known for her passion for education and technology. She founded the BakiShule initiative to promote STEM education for girls in Tanzanian secondary schools. As a Principal Investigator, she applies AI and ML to address challenges in the agriculture, health, and education sectors.

Dr. Mduma reviews for prestigious journals and conferences, and she was appointed to the team drafting Tanzania’s Development Vision 2050. Her initiatives, recognized locally and internationally, significantly enhance educational quality and retention through data science and predictive analytics.

Dr. Mahmoud A. Alawi 

Dr. Mahmoud Abdulwahab Alawi Principal Karume Institute of Science and Technology in Zanzibar with PhD in Computer Science (University Kebangsaan Malaysia – UKM) , MSc in Communication Engineering (IIUM), Bsc in Computer Science (IIUM) specialising in higher education, his academic career is supported by extensive research and publications that contribute significantly to his field of expertise.

His teaching extends beyond traditional lectures, incorporating comprehensive academic guidance and administrative duties that enhance the institutional framework of his university.

Dr. Alawi is renowned for his scholarly contributions and commitment to educational excellence in Zanzibar. His research addresses both regional and global issues, enriching the academic landscape and supporting the development of future professionals and scholars in Tanzania.

Dr. Nyambura Moremi, the Director of the National Public Health Laboratory

Dr. Nyambura Moremi is a dedicated microbiologist and public health advocate from Tanzania. With a childhood dream of becoming a doctor, she excelled academically, eventually earning recognition as the overall best student at Weill Bugando University College of Health and Allied Sciences. Her commitment to combating antimicrobial resistance led her to pursue doctoral studies in Germany, where she conducted research aligned with the World Health Organization’s Global Health Security Agenda.

Upon returning to Tanzania, she made significant contributions as the Director of the National Public Health Laboratory, spearheading initiatives to maintain quality standards and leading projects that resulted in over 45 publications in scientific journals.

Her tenure was cut short in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic, sparking discussions about the intersection of scientific transparency and political agendas. Nevertheless, Dr. Moremi’s dedication and achievements continue to inspire in the field of public health.

Deus Valentine, the CEO of the Center for Strategic Litigation

Deus is the Co-Founder & Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Strategic Litigation. Deus is a social justice activist governance researcher and advisor.

With over a decade of experience working to promote social justice in the Eastern African region, he joined colleagues to set up Center for Strategic Litigation (CSL) in 2018 amid concerns over growing impunity and gross human violations in Tanzania.

Deus carries the mission of the Center for Strategic Litigation is to promote a constitutional culture in which the promotion of justice for all and the rule of law are essential pillars of a democratic state, and citizens are empowered to advance their fundamental rights and freedoms indiscriminately.

Rebeca Gyumi, Founder and Executive Director at Msichana Initiative

Rebeca is a Founder & Executive Director at Msichana Initiative, a Tanzanian NGO which aims to empower girls through education and address key challenges which limit girl’s right to education. She has worked for over 8 years with Femina, a youth-focused organization, as a TV personality and youth advocate.

A lawyer by profession, she was named UN Human Rights Prize recipient for 2018, 2016 UNICEF Global Goals Award winner, and 2019 Laureate of UNFPA Award for Leadership for her work in advancing girls’ rights in Tanzania.

Rebeca is involved in different campaigns and social charities as a volunteer and ambassador, advocating for safe schools and quality education for Tanzanian students. She is passionate about girls’ and women’s empowerment and has spoken at different national and international forums with a focus on youth and girl’s empowerment.

Lydia Charles, Founder and Executive Director at Her Initiative

Lydia is the founder and Executive Director at Her Initiative in Tanzania. She is a young woman feminist and a communication strategist who promotes financial freedom, financial resilience and digital inclusion for girls and young women in Tanzania.

She accelerates economic empowerment and innovation to advance gender equality and inclusive economic growth. Lydia has 8 years of experience working in media, youth, women and girls’ rights.

Lydia is also well experienced in organization development particularly advocating for access and equity of funding resources for youth and young women-led organizations.


Doris Mollel, Founder and Executive Director of the DMF

Doris William Mollel, born prematurely at 900g, is the Founder and Executive Director of the Doris Mollel Foundation (DMF), established in February 2015 to promote prematurity awareness.

She aims to create a world where humanity is key to life. In Tanzania, over 336,000 babies are born prematurely each year, with over 11,500 children under five dying from preterm complications. Doris’s experience fuels her dedication to reducing preterm birth impacts on health, communities, and economies in Tanzania and East Africa. She believes these challenges can be overcome within a few years.


We are filled with immense pride and excitement for the 19 exceptional young leaders who have been selected as finalists. Each finalist has demonstrated remarkable achievements in their respective fields, from technology and education to public service and social justice.

As we honour these young visionaries, we also extend our heartfelt gratitude to everyone who participated in the nomination process, and to those who continue to support the growth and development of Tanzania’s future leaders.

Congratulations to the finalists of the “Future of Tanzania Leadership” Awards. Your achievements are a beacon of hope and a source of inspiration for us all. Let us continue to support and recognize the outstanding contributions of these young leaders as they shape the future of Tanzania.

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