With the internet taking centre stage in the way we live, work and play, a social entrepreneur from Tanzania has created an online platform to help learners ace their exam preparations.

Ali Khatau (23), a medical student at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in Dar es Salaam, created ElimuTanzania.com in mid-2016. The platform is available free of charge and commands over 40 000 users with over 150 000 page views.

“I wanted learners to access technology in preparation for their exams so that they could build confidence and excel,” said Khatau.

Another project under ElimuTanzania’s belt is a donation of 347 books worth over US$1,000 to various organisations in the country, benefiting over 1 400 learners.

For his efforts, Khatau won the Tujenge Tanzania Innovation Challenge, funded by the Hanns Seidel Foundation and Unleashed Africa. His work with ElimuTanzania was also recognised by the British Royal Commonwealth Society which bestowed on him the title “Associate Fellow”. The honour was for Khatau’s commitment to promoting the values of the Commonwealth and working to improve the lives and prospects of its citizens.

“Creating the platform was not a walk in the park as I faced a lot of resistance. I ignored all the negativity and kept focusing on my project. A few people even asked me if I was doing medicine or involved in social entrepreneurship. My response was ‘both’,” he said.

Infographic by TYI

“I started the project by utilizing personal savings and after a few months, I approached a local company and managed to secure support from them from thereon,” he added.  

This serial entrepreneur also founded a health education platform to provide education on common health problems such as diabetes.

He is also the brains behind an enterprise called ‘Darequip’, which sells medical equipment to students and lecturers.

Khatau also volunteers as a health writer for national newspapers including The Citizen.

“Being a medical student and a member of various health initiatives, I regularly volunteer for health screening initiatives in the community,” he said.
Khatau holds 50 certifications from Massive Open Online Courses (MOOC’s) and volunteering for various local events.

He is always determined and always has a ‘can do’ attitude. He is also an avid sportsman and regularly plays soccer, basketball, and tennis.

“My interaction with young people is mainly to discuss ways to change mindsets and adopt a positive outlook to life. I also do enjoy networking at local events and conferences with fellow youth and other changemakers in my community and do so regularly,” Khatau said.

He added, “My advice to young people, which I also apply to my life is never settle for mediocrity. I always advise everyone I come across to always try to be the best at whatever they are doing.”  

“I want young people to have a high level of self-confidence and to be determined and driven to succeed at whatever they do. Take part in community events, work very hard, network and learn from people who have succeeded. Finally, lead a healthy, prayerful and active lifestyle,” he said.