How sponsorship transformed Mwamvita’s career

Mwamvita (1)
Mwamvita (1)

What you need to know:

  • Mwamvita Makamba, a self driven individual with a passion for technology and impact, has carved a unique path in Africa’s development journey

Dar es Salaam. Mwamvita Makamba is publicly known as an accomplished author, a tech enthusiast and the founder of MMConnect Africa, which is an innovative advisory firm that drives strategic engagements by facilitating connections and promoting growth for businesses, individuals, and brands in key African markets.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Public Administration a Master’s degree in Politics and International Relations from the University of Dar es Salaam.

After completing an advanced executive programme at the Gordon Institute of Business Science at the University of Pretoria, Ms Mwamvita possesses the necessary expertise to lead companies and uphold their moral responsibility to society.

“My path in Africa’s developmental trajectory has not merely been a career but a vocation. Rooted in the Ubuntu philosophy of ‘I am because we are’. My journey is a testament to the strength of collective ambition and mutual respect. Every position I have held and every decision I have made has been underscored by a singular vision: a thriving and interconnected Africa,” she says.

When Ms Mwamvita was a university student at Udsm, she joined hands with a few of her friends, and together, they established a non-governmental youth organisation called OYA (Organised Youth Action). They organised talks, school drives and others to encourage young girls to stand up for themselves and have a say in things that concern them, such as policy.

“We were activists. After that, I tried politics through UVCCM. Through OYA and my political stunt, I released one important thing about myself that drove my career choices, I am extremely impatient when it comes to seeing the results of development actions. I wanted results now, through our activism or in politics. And unfortunately, things don’t work that way,” she recalls.

Ms Mwamvita further says: “I knew I could only be more useful in an area where my creativity, work ethic and resilience would lead to quick positive results and impact. Back in the day, that was in telecommunications and technology. Jeffrey Sachs once said that a mobile phone is the single most transformative technology for development. That drove me to the industry to participate in this transformation.”

She reveals that the journey has been extremely rewarding and has inspired another new journey through MMConnect Africa, which focuses on technology for public ‘impact`’ on the African continent.

“My work over the years has allowed me to contribute often from scratch, driven by my own beliefs and my passion for impact to inspire positive change and tangible developmental results to societies across key markets in Africa by creating and delivering programmes, products and services, as well as supporting key policy changes that ensured such delivery of impact,” Ms Mwamvita notes.

Her career journey has also been faced with challenges that have sparked Ms Mwamvita’s career growth through solving them.

“If you are like me, you like results now, but you do not exist in isolation, and many factors come into play for delivery, including corporate politics, gender prejudice and administrative challenges,” she says.

She, however, reveals that, through certain notions, she has been able to address those challenges.

“Don’t work for an individual; they come and go; work for the organisation. This protects you from being intertwined with corporate politics, which is always around individuals. Another way is to focus on doing your job to the very best of your ability. Deliver your role better than anyone else. Be a top performer. Excellence trumps any prejudice. Always,” she hints.

Ms Mwamvita says mentorship is very important for general progress. She believes that people have to know where they want to go in terms of careers or what they want to achieve.

“A mentor can only help so far and is guided by one’s trajectory. A mentor is as good as a mentee. My advice is to get ready to take off, have what it takes, and then get a mentor that suits your journey. This is super key. I believe in having a ‘sponsor’ more than a mentor, especially in a career. Someone who will know your capabilities and speak for you in rooms of decision-making and opportunities,” she advises.

She further reveals: “This is what supported my career growth; I have always had sponsors who knew my work ethic and delivery capabilities. One of my greatest sponsors early on in my career was the former Chief Executive Officer of Safaricom late Bob Collymore. May his soul continue to rest in peace. He saw me and what I could do when I was very young in my career and held my hand and pushed me.”

She emphasises that women embrace technology and innovation for networking, education, and crowdfunding to attract financial support.

“I advise women to engage in partnerships with the government and private sectors for resource access and societal project initiation. They also prioritise continuous learning through various educational platforms to stay informed and appealing to investors, as well as through building strong personal brands and networks for opportunities and collaborations,” she says.

Ms Mwamvita details that this year’s International Women’s Day theme, ‘Count Her In: Invest in Women.

Accelerate Progress,’ is a call for inclusive participation and tangible support for women’s initiatives because it emphasises the importance of women’s contributions and the need for strategic support in their endeavours.

“It is vital to embrace this perspective for reasons including economic growth, innovation, social development, and improved leadership and governance. It’s not just about gender equality but about maximising societal potential,” she says.