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Founder / Executive Director (2007-2014)
Betty has over 13 years of experience in organisational and institutional capacity development, programme management, gender and basic girls’ education issues. Her other capacities include policy analysis and budget work, participatory monitoring and evaluation, programme design, strategic planning, communication and media. Prior to joining HakiElimu as the Executive Director, Betty worked for USAID as Gender Advisor and Programme Management Specialist for two years. She also had worked with CARE International in Tanzania as the Project Coordinator for Basic and Girls’ Education Unit for about nine years. Betty holds a Masters Degree of Science in Community Economic Development from Southern New Hampshire University and a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Sociology from the University of Dar Es Salaam.
Professor Mbilinyi acquired her first degree in Science for children growth at the Cornel University in America in 1965. In 1966 she joined the University of Stanford for a Masters Degree course in education. In 1973, Marjorie received her doctorate degree in education at the University of Dar es Salaam. She worked as a lecturer at the University of Dar es Salaam in the department of Development Studies from 1973 to 2003. In 2003, she joined HakiElimu as one of the founder members and in 2004 she joined Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP).
Jenerali attended primary school (elementary and middle school) in Bukoba between 1955 and 1962, after which he joined Nyakato Secondary School (1963-1966) and Tabora Boys’ (1967-1968). In 1969, Jenerali joined the University of Dar es Salaam where he studied Law, and graduated with Honors degree in 1972.
After his college studies, Jenerali joined the Tanganyika Standard Newspapers, publishers of the Daily News and Sunday News as a trainee reporter, and then became reporter, sub-editor, features editor and columnist. In 1974 Jenerali was posted to a different position. He was appointment a representative of the Afro-Shiraz Youth League and TANU Youth League at the headquarters of the Pan African Youth Movement in Algiers for 11 years. In 1989 he returned to Tanzania and was appointed a District Commissioner for Hai, Ilala and Singida districts.
Jenerali, a passionate journalist, moved back to the media house to become a co-founder and Executive Director of the media company, Habari Corporation, which published Rai, Mtanzania, The African and Dimba newspapers. In 2007, he sold his shares of Habari Corporation and co-found a new media power house which publishes Raia Mwema newspaper. Jenerali is a renowned columnist, publisher, political analyst and entrepreneur.
RAKESH RAJANI (2001-2007)
Founder / Former Director
From 2001 to 2007 Rakesh served as the founding Executive Director of HakiElimu, from its infancy to becoming Tanzania’s leading citizen engagement and education advocacy organisation. Currently, Rakesh is the outgoing Head of Twaweza, meaning ‘we can make it happen’ in Swahili. Twaweza works across East Africa to promote citizens agency, open government and basic education. He is also a founding member of the Open Government Partnership, which now involves 65 countries; and until recently, Rakesh served as one of its lead chairs. Rakesh is working witFord Foundation as a Director of Democratic Participation and Governance since January 2015.
Rakesh sits on several national and international governance and advisory boards, including the Hewlett Foundation, the International Budget Partnership (IBP), ONE, Making All Voices Count and the Tanzania Foundation for Civil Society. Rakesh graduated summa cum laude from Brandeis and Harvard Universities, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He was a fellow of Harvard University from 1998 to 2013, and has written and edited over 350 papers and popular publications in English and Kiswahili.
Mary received her first degree in adult education from the University of Dar es Salaam. In 1983 she went to New Zealand for further studies where she obtained her Masters degree in social education. She also received a certificate of gender development education from London, UK. From the year 1988 to 1993, she worked with the Embassy of Canada as a gender expert before moving on to the Dutch Embassy for similar responsibilities until1997. Mary was one of the co-founders of Tanzania Gender Network Programme (TGNP) in 1993. She was eventually appointed the second Executive Director of the Network in 1997. Mary Rusimbi is a renowned activist, researcher and consultant for gender and development issues.
Hellen Kijo Bisimba
Founder / Board Member
Dr. Helen Kijo-Bisimba is a distinguished human rights activist, defender, and current Executive Director of the Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC). She holds a PhD in law from the University of Warwick, UK, 2012. Prior to that, Helen went to the University of Dar es Salaam where she graduated in 1985 with a Bachelor of Law degree (LLB) and Masters of Law degree s (LLM), in 1994.
A mother of four, she remains a parent and a teacher to many of her acquaintances, in the human rights regime and in many other pursuits. She has been part and parcel of the making in many organisations as a board member, a researcher, editor and publisher.
Dr. Wilbert Kapinga is specialized in corporate, banking and finance, capital markets, telecommunications and competition law. He has extensive experience in international arbitration under the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC), The United Nations Commission on International Trade Law (UNCITRAL) and International Center for the Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID) rules of arbitration.
Dr Kapinga has over 25 years’ experience of transactions and projects in corporate, banking and finance, construction, capital markets, competition law as a transaction advisor, litigant and arbitrator and has been at the centre of advising several local and international banks and investors on regulatory and compliance matters, loan facilities, bond issuances and other types of securitizations.
Dr. Kapinga has a Bachelor Degree of Laws with honors and a Master Degree in law from the University of Dar es Salaam. He also holds a Master Degree in law from Colombia University, NY and a Doctorate Degree from Northeastern University in Boston. He was formerly a Senior Lecturer and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Dar es Salaam. Dr. Kapinga currently serves as partner in Mkono & Co. Advocates in Dar es Salaam.
Suleiman Sumra holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, USA. He retired from the University of Dar es Salaam in 2002 after a teaching career spanning for over 30 years. At the University of Dar es Salaam he held several positions including Associate Dean for Research and Publications; Director of the Bureau of Research and Evaluation (BERE); and the National Coordinator for the Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa (LOITASA) - a joint research project between the University of Dar es Salaam, University of Western Cape, South Africa and University of Oslo, Norway. Suleiman has a vast experience working as a consultant for various organisations and government institutions. Professor Sumra published widely on primary education in Tanzania. He was a coordinator of Uwezo Tanzania – a citizen movement based’ approach to assessing literacy and numeracy levels in East Africa - from August 2008 to April 2012.
Richard Mabala was born British and after graduating as a teacher came to Tanzania as a volunteer and fell in love with the country. He became a Tanzanian citizen and has taught in secondary schools, teacher colleges and the University of Dar es Salaam. Finally he decided he was more activist than academic and was founder member of several of Tanzania’s most influential NGOs (for gender and education). After an eight-year period with UNICEF where he worked to develop and prioritise adolescent programmes, he decided he wanted to go back to working directly with adolescents and young people. He left UNICEF and joined force with two young people to set up TAMASHA, a youth participatory development centre based in Arusha Tanzania.
Mabala, a fluent Swahili speaker, is also a writer of children’s books, training manuals in life skills, gender and youth development and satirical columns in newspapers.
Founder / Board Member
Jeff is a founder member of HakiElimu since its establishment in 2001. He joined the secretariat and management team to work as a manager of Community Governance and later Research and Policy Analysis. Prior to HakiElimu, Jeff worked with International Labour Organisation (ILO) and later on with Danish Association for Development Cooperation (MS-Tanzania). In April 2004, Jeff established a consultancy and development Organisation-Ubunifu Associates and became its first Executive Director.
Jeff holds an Advanced Diploma in Livestock Management, Diploma in Community Programme Management and Masters Degree in International Relations and Development Studies.
Founder / Board Member
Martha Qorro is an Associate Professor, Centre for Communication Studies at the University of Dar es Salaam. She obtained her Doctoral Degree at the University of Dar es Salaam in 1999. She conducted A Survey on Students’ Reading Competence in English in Tanzania Secondary Schools from 1986 – 1987 and later the co-authored a book on Language Crisis in Tanzania: The Myth of English versus Education, published by Mkuki na Nyota in 1997. Martha Qorro was in the Editorial Team of the LOITASA project and she took part in co-editing several LOITASA books between 2002 and 2012. LOITASA which stands for Language of Instruction in Tanzania and South Africa, is a joint research project between the University of Dar es Salaam, University of Western Cape, South Africa and University of Oslo, Norway.
Martha served as a Dean of Students and Director of the Confucius Institute at the University of Dar es Salaam between 2013 and 2014. Her research interests are on the Language of instruction in Tanzania schools.
Founder / Board Chair
Illuminata received her secondary education certificates from Dodoma Secondary School and then Kilakala Secondary School, (previously Marian Girls High School) in Morogoro Region. Illuminata graduated in Social Development and Administration from the University of Dar es Salaam in 1975, (and later on she graduated from the University of Dar es Salaam with MA in Sociology in 1981). Soon after her graduation, she was employed by the Department of Social Welfare as a Social Welfare Officer Family and Child Welfare Section. She joined the Child Development desk, which led her to work directly with UNICEF and other organisations dealing with child development projects.
As a head of the Child Development section, Illuminata was instrumental in advocating for, and piloting different intervention strategies for pre-school aged children and children living in difficult circumstances at family, community, and national levels. The positive result of the programmes inspired UNICEF to recruit her in 1989 as a Child Development Assistant. She later joined the education sector at UNICEF as a Project Officer in 1996. She worked with UNICEF for 20 years at national and international levels, until her retirement in 2009.
As a retiree, Illuminata became actively involved in her church as a church community leader and a counselor. At the moment, while she continues to work with her church, she refocused her goals to include a broader community for advice, moral support and reconciliation.
John is the Executive Director of the Foundation for Civil Society. Prior to that, he worked with the Economic and Social Research Foundation (ESRF), one of the leading Policy Research Think Tanks in Tanzania.
John held various leadership/managerial positions at higher levels such as Chairman of the East African Association of Grantmakers (EAAG); a Board Member of Tanzania Financial Services for the Underserved Settlements (TAFSUS), Treasurer and Member of the Board of African Grantmakers Network (AGN) based in Johannesburg; Treasurer and Board Member of the Worldwide Initiatives for Grant maker Support (WINGS) based in Sao Paolo; a Fellow of the African Leadership Initiative, East Africa and the Aspen Global Leadership Network of the Aspen Institute in Colorado, USA. John is also a Member of the Africa Policy Advisory Board of ONE Campaign (www.one.org).
John holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Commerce and Management (Accounting) from the University of Dar es Salaam, an Executive Master Degree in Development Policies and Practices from the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva, and he is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA - Tanzania).