Ali Khatau, is a 23-year old final year medical student at Hubert Kairuki Memorial University in Tanzania, a Social & Tech entrepreneur – and founder of elimutanzania.com, an online educational platform for Tanzanian secondary school students which has had around 50,000 users so far.
Recently Ali was recognized as one of the top 100 youth in the SADC (Southern African Development Community) by a South African media house called The Young Independents (TYI), where he was one of the award winners representing Tanzania.
Ali is a believer in good education and how it can transform the life of an individual. That was why he went ahead to chase his dream by establishing his EdTech company – ElimuTanzania, an online platform that helps increase Tanzanian students pass rates, as well as improve their IT literacy. Before his journey to stardom, Ali grew up in an area called Kariakoo in the center of the city of Dar-es-salaam. He is from a middle-class family and was able to get a good education.
The idea to establish ElimuTanzania came from spotting many problems in the education system in Tanzania over his 13 years as a student. From; Lack of enough revision materials, to difficulty in accessing past exam papers, and Low computer literacy levels. Ali wants learners to access technology in preparation for their exams so that they could build confidence and excel. Ali started building his platform in mid-2015. Creating the platform was not a walk in the park for Ali, as he faced a lot of resistance. He ignored all the negativity and kept focusing on his project. A few people even asked him if he was studying medicine or involved in social entrepreneurship – but Ali remained focused on his goal. “I started the project by utilizing personal savings and after a few months, I approached a local company and managed to secure support from thereon,” Ali said.
Ali was determined and has a ‘can do’ attitude. “Being a medical student and a member of various health initiatives, I regularly volunteer for health screening initiatives in the community,” he said.
His platform now offers a large range of resources, such as over 140 past papers and more than 450 revision questions. There are also online tests, notes, and syllabi available for many different subjects and levels.
Ali Khatau’s advice to youth;
“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.
He added, “My advice to young people, which I also apply to my life is never settle for mediocrity. I advise everyone I come across to always try to be the best at whatever they are doing.” “Follow your passion. Do what you enjoy doing and what you’re interested in. That way, you will be much more dedicated than if you worked at something just for the money.”
What problem(s) have you identified in your community, and what steps are you taking to make a difference just like Ali Khatau?