The Mawazo Challenge’ (Mawazo translates to ‘ideas’) was initiated to stimulate ideas, inspire new innovators, and increase support to potential entrepreneurs – such as funding and skills development – that could contribute to building a stronger innovation pipeline to help solve problems at the community level in Tanzania. HDIF originally designed the process to be carried out in two phases:
- the aim of the ‘ideation’ phase was to identify new ways of generating innovative ideas to bring about community-level solutions; and
- the ‘implementation’ phase was to identify an ecosystem partner to implement the winning idea.
In the first phase, launched in July 2016, individuals, groups, and organisations were invited to submit ideas to generate community-driven solutions for everyday challenges. The best ideas were shortlisted, and the public was invited to vote on the top three ideas through a social media campaign. The first prize went to Edgar Mwampinge for his idea to hold a student health innovation competition: this mechanism would specifically target university students (undergraduate, graduate, doctoral, and postdoctoral) studying health or an allied science field across Tanzania to prototype and test their research.