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Impact Stories & Blogs

Our team share their insights and perspectives on the impact our program is having on youth in East and Central Africa.

By Elie Mwumvaneza Mandela, Rwanda (Cohort 7) I am a graduate in Pharmaceutical studies from the University of Rwanda and my zeal is in promoting healthy leaving across Africa. When I started out in University, I served in the Rwanda Pharmaceutical Students Association and Rwanda Village Concept Project, all student-run organizations. I realized from that experience that the young people can do so much to benefit themselves and the society even with very little resources. However, there were still lots of challenges when it came to skills development, few or unavailable opportunities for fur...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018, 1:02 PM

By Christian Mwinjange, Tanzania (Cohort 5) Every year, Tanzania loses 300,000-400,000 hectares of forest to the growing demand for timber in building and construction activities. At the same time, of the 10 million tons of plastic waste that end up in the ocean every year, Tanzania generates about 1,444 tons. These are two huge problems to the growth of my country and being passionate about the environment, I am determined to find a solution. This is the reason I founded EcoAct Tanzania, a social enterprise that uses a chemical free, energy conserving plastic extrusion technology called â...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018, 12:59 PM

By Khalil Ndiaye, Central African Republic (Cohort 17) I am a graduate with a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and a Master’s degree in Professional Management, Science option. The entrepreneurial model has always fascinated me, so much that after school, despite having performed well, I declined all the job offers. I contemplated on developing a unique platform for money transfer and electronic payment system. This project would however require substantial investment and the potential donors were very hesitant, owing to the high risks involved. Understanding the issues, I t...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018, 12:53 PM

By Ronald Hakiza, Uganda (Cohort 1) The world in this 21st century has gone digital in all aspects including the transport industry and no one can afford to be left behind. This is why I founded Ugabus Ltd, an e-ticketing company that enables travelers within East Africa to buy bus tickets online, providing secure mobile money and Visa card payment options and enabling customers to avoid long queues at bus stations. My company never generated profit since foundation until a year later after I went through the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa program, which transformed me. I learn...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018, 12:40 PM

By Stella Sigana, Kenya (Cohort 6) My passion for entrepreneurship started when I was pursuing my Bachelor’s degree in Clothing Textiles at Egerton University. I started a shop to sell soft furnishing for fabrics such as bed covers, curtains, baby sets etc. This business however did not go as smooth as I had earlier imagined. It was a whole ocean of passion and just a drop of business management skills. My internship at Kenya Industrial Estate in Thika, Kenya, coupled with my work with a non-profit, Carolina for Kibera, as officer in charge of economic and entrepreneurship projects, acted...

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Thursday, 31 May 2018, 11:46 AM

Falecia Massacky, Tanzania (Cohort 11) The beginning of 2016 took me into major career shifts. I had started a new path as an assistant lecturer in economics at Ardhi University in Tanzania officially and I had started Mimi Ni Nani, a social enterprise that invests in African children and youth through leadership development so as to raise a generation of ethical, visionary, innovative and entrepreneurial leaders who will disrupt the status quo.   These tasks required a lot of tact and leadership skills to be effectively executed. I remember one da...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017, 1:43 PM

By Owen Okoko, Republic of Congo (Cohort 5) I am born to parents who are very dedicated to education. Out of their dedication, I grew up knowing that going to school is one of the steps to build a better society. I thus worked hard in school and earned a degree from Marien Ngouabi University in Brazzaville and a transport pilot license in Brussels. I have worked as an electronics technician, ground controller at the airport, and as a junior pilot for a national airline. In mid-2012 I got a dream offer from a national airline in Congo for a pilot training and a job opportunity at the end. I ...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017, 1:40 PM

By Darlene Keza, Burundi (Cohort 17) I never thought I could be unemployed for a long time after my university graduation. Like many students in my country, I used to think I was going to have a prestigious job until I applied more than 20 times without any success. I was disillusioned and discouraged. In fact, I wasn't really aware of the reality of unemployment in my country. Sometimes, we need to get into a specific situation to know how painful it is.   I discovered during this time how many young people in Burundi were discouraged from being unemployed. Some had resorted to drug and ...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017, 1:38 PM

By Priscilla Ruzibuka, Rwanda (Cohort 11) By the time I joined the YALI Regional Leadership Center East Africa for the life-changing leadership training, I was already running a children’s clothing brand Ki-pepeo (the Swahili word for butterfly.). You’d wonder why I chose butterflies; they start as ugly caterpillars that go through lots of life transformation to become beautiful and rare creatures! This is how I saw my business transform the lives of the women I work with and all the others that will join us in the years to come, impacting their lives beautifully and permanently. The YA...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017, 1:35 PM

By Pascal Mulindwa Bukuru, DRC (Cohort 2) Since a young age, I have been passionate about youth and how they can be change makers in their communities. I have been involved in coaching them on how to start, grow and scale social ventures. I started the Jenga Miradi Hub startup to promote this passion. I also worked with the German-funded Social Innovation Academy in Uganda, supporting the team to design, test and iterate the incubation model that they use. In addition to being a trainer of the academy’s mentors, I have supported 25 of their projects in the ideation process, business/finan...

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Thursday, 30 November 2017, 1:34 PM