Young man keen to carve out a niche in challenging world

Thursday April 12 2018
Young pic

Dar es Salaam. Jumanne Mtambalike dreamt of making an impact on the entire community.

However, that was not a bed of roses. He had ups and downs.

“After a lot of trials to start my own company, finally, in 2011, I set up an event management company called Sahara Parks,” Mtambalike, 30, recalls.

His company, whose mission is to build stable innovation ecosystem to encourage growth of technology and innovations that matters, is a platform for discussing innovation and technology entrepreneurship matters.

It annually runs its flagship event, which links startups to potential investors: local, regional and global.

“From Sahara Sparks, with a partnership with my colleagues, we started an accelerator called Sahara Accelerator where we work with post-revenue startup companies offering them technical support and chance to grow,” Mtambalike, a software engineer, tells BusinessWeek.


Mtambalike is a native of Morogoro Region, but was raised in Ilala District, Dar es Salaam. He spent much of his childhood life at West Gerezani, Kariakoo.

He says their group of companies -- Sahara Ventures -- was founded in March 2016.

It is a parent company of Sahara Sparks, Sahara Accelerator and Sahara Consulting.

“We are working with eight full-time employees, four business partners and 30 other people working under a retainer agreement consultancy.”

Mtambalike graduated with a Bachelor of Computer Science and Electronics from Bangalore University, India, in 2011.

Upon coming back to Tanzania, he went straight to Dodoma with his closest friend to start an IT consulting company.

“Unfortunately, the company collapsed. It was closed down by the Tanzania Revenue Authority after 18 months,” he recalls.

“However, it was a great experience as we learnt a lot about entrepreneurship and building businesses from the scratch.”

In December 2012, he joined the Tanzania Ports Authority. He worked there for two months as a data analyst consultant before moving to the Commission for Science and Technology Tanzania, where he worked for three years -- from February 2013 -- as the first hub manager of the local innovation space called Buni Innovation Hub. “Buni Hub was a game changer; I met with a lot of exciting people who in one way or the other, are the reason of where I am today.”

At Buni Hub, the former Coalition on Election Monitoring and Observation Consultant for three months from September 2015, was working with startup companies, early stage Technology Companies, helping them to build their business models and accelerate their growth.

Earlier, between May and August 2015, he was a consultant at the World Bank’s ReFAB Dar Project.

In the following month he also worked with the Energy Safari, Hivos-International Institute for Environmental Development, as consultant up to December 2015.

He also worked as a consulting project manager with Universal Communication Service Access Fund for three months: from February 2016. Mtambalike believes technology is great in solving community problems. “I know there is a lot I can still do to make impact on the community.”

He says sometimes it is challenging to strike a balance between professional and social life.

This has made him lose some of his friends.

But the biggest challenge is convincing older potential customers that Mtambalike and colleagues have the ability to do the work well.

“Some of them doubt our commitment and ability simply because we are relatively young,” he says. “So we now have to work round the clock to learn skills on managing people of diverse backgrounds and personalities.” However, he believes they are able to deliver the goods. With his Master in IT and Management from India’s Avinashilingam University, he has got the required knowledge.

He is busy, with little time of relaxing. Mtambalike is the father of a beautiful daughter

He is the fourth born in a family of six.