Project background

Tanzania is a rising star in Africa, having made significant social and economic progress in recent years. In spite of this, the country’s growing prosperity has not reached everyone. Youth unemployment is a nationwide problem with some studies suggesting that 50 per cent of young people are out of work, particularly in urban areas. Consequently, many young people are unable to see the connection between education and economic opportunity. With support from HDIF, World Vision Tanzania (WVT) has designed the Cycle of Transformation (COT) programme to address these issues, ultimately providing young people with the skills, experience and industry connections to grow their economic futures.

Project description

WVT initiated the first Cycle of Transformation by setting up 20 computer labs in five participating institutions. Implementation teams comprising two teachers and two student helpers (‘student aids’) from each school were trained to deliver a digital literacy course and two ICT vocational courses. Graduates from these courses went on to establish school[1]based student-run technology companies that in turn produced products and services needed by their community. Sales of these products and services to customers generated resources to train more students. In the process, young people gained work-based learning skills in technology, marketing, accounting, leadership and more. The cycle was then repeated and adapted based on learning and experience gathered from the previous cycle.

Project results

  • During project implementation, graduates developed the skills, experience and confidence to gain employment or start their own companies.
  • At least 250 students were trained in digital literacy skills in five schools.
  • At least 218 students were trained by the CISCO Academy to become computer sales, service and training technicians.
  • Five School-Based Student-Run Enterprises (SBSREs) were established.
  • 88 students achieved CISCO certification.
  • 84 students received multimedia training.
  • At least 12 student aids became teachers in the next cycle.
  • Hekke Hindo was one of the youth participants from VETA Manyara. After graduating, he trained to become a student aid and then became the first president of Manyara’s enterprise, ‘Eagle Technology’. Following this, Hekke was awarded a teaching position by the School Principal and now actively trains students and teachers in the COT model.

Key lessons

Work closely with the host institutions to understand their priorities: The times when project staff could access teachers and students was limited due to their other teaching and learning commitments. This meant that training and implementation took longer than originally anticipated. The inability for MoEST schools to deviate from their standard curriculum during school hours also meant that most COT programmes had to be implemented after school.

Consider government policies and laws during the design of the project: One main objective of the project was formation of SBSREs through which students could create a low-cost computer sales, repair, and training channel affordable to the poor while building livelihoods for youth. However, it was difficult getting a business licence for the SBSREs due to government regulations.

Gender equity and social inclusion

While WVT designed the course to encourage equal participation by female and male students, they were particularly sensitive to the needs of the young women they wished to target. Marketing materials promoting the courses used pictures of women and girls in order to attract female participants, and programme activities were not held at times when it would be difficult for young women to attend – for example, after dark or at dinner time.

Principles for digital development

Design with the user: WVT designed the COT by holding regular meetings with school principals, teachers and students to understand what they wanted to learn and the resources they needed to help them.

Next steps

Among other developments, WVT will:

  • Gather monitoring and evaluation data to build a case for impact-investment to be shared with investors.
  • Cultivate new relationships with potential business partners to work with the SBSREs. For example, the organisation is already working on partnership agreements between Green Light Planet (Sun King) and all five SBSREs to sell and service solar products in their local communities.
Share this: