Best-Dialogue Team From Left to Right: Manka, Frank, Buberwa, Mariam, Aika, Goodluck, Stella, Bo, Asha, Ali, Hans, George, Nikuvuka, Joseph, Alawiya
Project Officer, Monitoring and Evaluation
Aika initially joined us in May 2009 as a Programme Officer. Aika’s main focus in public private dialogue ranges from the industries, dairy, construction and the informal sector. She has a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics with a minor in Business Administration and Information Technology from the University of Oregon in the USA. She holds a Master of Arts in International Business from Saint Mary’s University of Minnesota in the USA. While in the states, Aika worked in the banking sector as a loan servicing representative and consumer underwriter at Wells Fargo, and also as a mathematics tutor at the University of Oregon. From January 2015 onwards, as a project officer for BEST-Dialogue, Aika has taken on extra responsibilities for reporting and data management.
Deputy Project Manager
Ali has been with the BEST programme since its inception in 2004. He started out as an economist working on low cost housing policy issues at the Building Research Unit, a Tanzanian government department under the Ministry of Lands. He has worked in senior management positions for the former Tanzania Tourist Corporation, planning for the development of new projects and the rehabilitation of existing hotels, as well as advising on service improvements and the development of appropriate tariffs for the corporation’s 15 hotels and lodges. As a consultant, he was part of major efforts to reorganise the provision of vocational education training in Tanzania. Ali has participated in several studies connected with SME development in Tanzania both at individual project and overall policy levels, together with those that promote regional cooperation such as involvement in the East African Business Climate Index Project.
Alawiya has joined the BEST–Dialogue team in July 2018 as a full-time employee. Over a period of 3 years, she already supported the project as a free-lance consultant in the domain of communications. She also worked with radio producer RUKA Company as a communication advisor, particularly on the BEST supported Boresha Biashara radio series that were produced in close cooperation with the private sector. Through her learning experience as a part-timer at BEST-Dialogue, she developed an interest in knowledge and data management.
Previously, Alawiya also worked as an independent communications consultant in the corporate domain, e.g. with the Bagamoyo Ecoenergy project, a large-scale sugarcane investment, and out-growers’ project. Additionally, in the period 2011–2013 she worked with ANSAF, the Agricultural Non-State Actors Forum, where she development extensive knowledge on various agricultural policies and practices as well as the challenge of a balanced smallholder farmers’ inclusion in the economy.
As a professional communication practitioner Alawiya holds a degree in Mass Communication (Public Relations major) from HELP University in Malaysia. She has a good understanding in areas of influencing public policy and citizen engagement, media advocacy, transparency, governance and the development agenda at large.
Senior Project Officer
Asha joined the BEST Fund in September 2008 as a programme officer. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Public Administration from the Open University of Tanzania. Asha has extensive knowledge and experience in carrying out projects in areas related to advocacy work. Her professional experience comes from working with several international and national non-governmental organisations and diplomatic missions including the United States Peace Corps and Canadian University Services. Asha has also worked with the SNV Netherlands Development Organisation and The Embassy of Ireland in Tanzania. Between 2003 and 2007 she was with The Foundation for Civil Society as a programme officer dealing with grants.
Bo Højer Damsted is Deputy Vice President of COWI Economics & Management. Mr. Damsted is, by profession, an economist management consultant with 22 years of experience in change management, strategy, organisational development and impact monitoring for both public and private organisations in Denmark and abroad. For four and a half years, 2007 to 2011, he was Managing Director of MS-TCDC in Tanzania and his tasks included programme and fund management. During this period he travelled extensively throughout the African continent and is thus familiar with African customs as well as the policies of the Danish Foreign Ministry and other donors. He is a decent Swahili speaker. For the last 5 years with COWI, he has been serving as project director and/or quality assurance manager for larger, long-term Development Partner funded Technical Assistance projects in Tanzania, Mozambique, Egypt, Uganda and Ghana.
Project Officer, Agri Sector
Buberwa joined the BEST Fund in May 2012. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Agricultural Economics from Sokoine University. Upon completion, he worked for two years for the world’s largest buyers of tobacco, Universal Leaf Tobacco as a regional representative in the Tabora region. He has also completed his Masters in Business Administration with a major in Marketing at the University of Dar es Salaam. Since then he has worked for Technoserve as a business advisor in Iringa and at the Kilimo Trust as a programme associate.
Frank joined BEST-Dialogue in August 2014. He is a Certified Public Accountant. After graduating from the Tanzania Institute of Accountancy with an Advanced Diploma of Accountancy in 2010, he spent some months as a junior financial consultant at G & N Business Consultancy. He also worked with Bayport Financial Services as a credit analyst and just before joining BEST-Dialogue worked at the Catholic Relief Services as an operations accountant.
Goodluck joined BEST-D in January 2017. He graduated a Bachelors degree at the Institute of Finance Management in 2013. Goodluck joined Good neighbors Tanzania as a Finance and Administration Officer and worked in Mwanza and Shinyanga regions for three years. He is currently a candidate for CPA (T) at the National Board of Accountants and Auditors (NBAA).
Goodluck has a sound understanding of various accounting packages like Navision, Quick Books and Pastel.
Apart from his profession, Goodluck also possesses good understanding, solid communication and interpersonal skills.
Hans joined the BEST Fund in January 2011 with over 25 years of work experience on the African continent in a variety of positions. He holds a degree in African Studies from Leyden University in the Netherlands with a focus on information flows in low literacy societies. As Fund Manager he is specialised in civic engagement in good governance and inclusive policy processes. His experience cuts across various sectors: health and education, human rights, extractive industries, small industries and rural development, and also includes less common development sectors: creative industries and the media sector. Partners that Hans has worked with range from grass-roots level initiatives up to policy research institutions and political society.
Joseph has been with the programme since 2005. After completing his A-levels, Joseph went on to gain a certificate in Micro-Computer Applications. He then worked in logistics for three years for BEST-AC’s managing consultant COWI in Dodoma as part of the Road Fund Management Unit.
Miriam joined BEST-Dialogue fund supports in February 2018. Miriam is a communication specialist with particular expertise in gender and poverty issues. Miriam has worked in the private sector as well as with development organizations. Most recently she was working as a Public Outreach with DAI in the domain of Land Tenure Assistance, a project funded by USAID.
Before joining DAI, Miriam worked with Lawyers Environmental Action Team as Communication Officer and Gender Focal Person in Citizens Engaging in Governance Oversight on Natural Resources-a project funded by USAID. She also worked with ACACIA at Bulyanhulu Gold Mine as Communication Officer. Earlier in her career, she worked with Rukwa Association of Non Governmental Organizations as Public Affairs and Communication Officer.
Miriam has a Bachelor degree from Saint Augustine University of Tanzania where she majored in public relations with minor in journalism. She is currently working on Masters in monitoring and evaluation.
Knowledge Management Coordinating Officer
Manka has joined the Best-Dialogue team in September 2018 as the Knowledge Management Coordinating Officer. In this position, she keeps oversight and provides strategic leadership in the implementation and sustainability of the Knowledge Management ambitions of the Best-Dialogue project. In this position, she works in close cooperation with the network of private sector membership organizations and the higher learning institutions network, as well as with the Government and its development partners.
Prior to joining Best-Dialogue, Manka worked with the Tanzania Episcopal Conference managing Human Dignity and Integrated Community Development portfolios. She has also worked with the Benjamin Mkapa Foundation and the German Foundation for World Population to deliver programmes that aim to improve pro-poor health policies and budget allocation through advocacy. She holds a Master’s Degree in Community Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences, majoring in Sociology. Manka strengthens the team with 15 years of valuable work experience in the development domain.
Mariam holds a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and joined BEST-Dialogue in August 2014 having spent four years at COWI in Dar es Salaam. Mariam is well versed in administration and marketing, procurement services and asset management. She possesses excellent communication and interpersonal skills.
Stella has been with the BEST programme since 2005. Before joining the team, Stella had previously worked for the Tanzania Private Sector Foundation. Stella works as an administrative assistant, assisting with day to day office tasks such as document archiving, newspaper article scanning and filing.
George has been working with us since 2012 as a freelance web designer, web developer and administrator. George has a bachelor’s degree in Computing and Economics from the University of the West of England in the UK. Apart from maintaining the website, he is also assisting in the development of the BEST-Dialogue Knowledge and Information Hub.