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Safari dates: 28th January – 2nd February 2018


Tanzania’s energy sector is going through a rapid transition. There are promising developments in energy financing, policy, and entrepreneurship. But as we often see, change can be slow and fragmented. Why is this so? What can Tanzanian entrepreneurs and citizens do to accelerate change? How can we strengthen an ecosystem of innovation in Tanzania’s energy sector?

We believe in the power of youth to transform their energy system to power their lives and businesses. Young people, when working together in multidisciplinary teams, have the potential to come up with innovative solutions, and the unique drive to make this happen.

Therefore, the Energy Change Lab (a programme of Hivos and IIED) is inviting a mixed group of young students from varied backgrounds, entrepreneurs, artists and engineers (age 18-35) for an Energy Safari in Arusha and surrounding rural areas. An Energy Safari is an intense 5-day learning experience to explore and experience the main challenges around energy issues and rural productivity, and to work together on new potential solutions.

Please click here to get an impression of our 2015 Energy Safari.

In Swahili, ‘safari’ means ‘journey’. Five days is not exactly a long journey, but it might feel like that when you see where you will start and where you end up at the end of the week. The Safari will take place from 29th January to 2nd February 2018, and we’re looking for adventurous participants to turn it into an electrifying experience!


Rural energy access investments in Tanzania – like mini-grids – can be expected to transform local economies. Energy access can catalyze local business development and raise incomes through so-called ‘productive uses of energy’ (PUE). However, PUE does not happen automatically. It often requires extra measures or smart combining of resources, to overcome barriers such as gaps in local people’s skills or financial resources. In rural areas around Arusha, mini-grids have been installed, which brings huge opportunities for increased food production, better services and more jobs. The question is: how can we accelerate these developments?

Obviously, there a no easy answers, but let’s see what we find out when we bring a diverse group of people together to analyze the issues at stake, and to explore alternatives. We will do so by working with real-life cases, coupled with input from energy- experts, change specialists and policy makers. As a participant in the Safari, you will learn from other participants and from leaders in the field – but most of all, you learn by doing, by working on real-life challenges while guided by experienced facilitators. By working on these challenges, participants get acquainted with different types of methodologies that combine creative and analytical approaches, and collaboration across disciplines.

What we jointly want to get out of this programme:

  • Greater awareness and knowledge of complex energy problems coupled with issues of rural development;
  • Potential solutions or steps towards solutions;
  • Increased problem-solving capabilities and skills;
  • Understanding how to apply methods and solutions to your own work or study context;
  • A growing community of social innovators; build new connections and relationships.

Please note that the Safari is not an incubation programme.

Energy Safari is better perceived as ‘pre-incubation’, offering participants life and citizenship skills and a process where ideas can fruit. After the Safari, we can open up our network, to link ideas to other parties, and can offer mentorship for a select amount of participants / ideas.

After the Safari you will have greater awareness and knowledge of complex energy problems coupled with issues of rural development.


Social innovation is realized by bringing different minds and skills together: different sectors and disciplines, different cultures and different ages. As energy challenges involve technical, political, economic and social aspects, we very explicitly focus on participants from a range of backgrounds, age 18-35. In working on our problem cases, we will bring together software developers with engineers, entrepreneurs, political scientists, social scientists, activists and more. We hope ‘the techies’ can learn from the business-minded, or the politically sensitive, and in turn, entrepreneurship students can gain hands-on experience in the field and enter into relationships with ‘makers’.

When applying, we ask you to share your motivation of why you want to join, what you bring to the table, and what you expect from the program. Don’t hesitate to contact us before, when you have any questions!


Our problem cases will focus on rural areas around Arusha. We are collaborating with two energy companies, Rafiki Power and Power Corner, who have supplied us with problem cases in their villages around Arusha. We will be making regular field trips to these villages and will meet the two companies and other relevant organizations/companies, to gather information on your case. When not out in the field, we will be based in a venue in Arusha, where we will eat, sleep and work with a group of approximately 30 participants.


We start on Monday 29th January – Friday 2nd February 2018. The program is full-time, consisting of morning, afternoon and evening programs. You can therefore only apply for the program if you are 100% available to attend.

What else?

Participation in the Safari is free of charge: food, drinks, accommodation and local transport are covered. This means however that we expect full participation and full presence. A Safari is an intense learning journey that combines analytical case work with personal reflection and team building. For this reason, all of us will stay at the same hotel. So wait a second before you apply and ask yourself whether you can clear your agenda from 29th January – 2nd February 2018. We can provide a written statement for your university or employer, if necessary.

For any questions regarding practical/logistical matters of the programme, email Basil Malaki at

For information or questions about the content of the Energy Safari, please contact Nuria Mshare at

We ask you to answer a set of questions on this Google form. Out of all applications, we will select 25-30 participants. Apart from assessing your motivation, we will balance applications by gender and background.

Apply here:  #EnergySafari 2018

Application deadline: 5th January 2018