About Funguo



The Funguo Innovation Programme (also simply referred to as “FUNGUO”) was born out of the Tanzania innovation ecosystem’s desire to have a more viable and sustainable replacement of the former UKaid-funded Human Development Innovation Programme (HDIF) to continue promoting innovation and supporting innovative startups and MSMEs in Tanzania. FUNGUO is therefore meant to be a vehicle open to any partner interested in investing in catalysing the Tanzanian ecosystem in various ways.

Currently, besides UNDP’s seed financing into the programme and funding from the British Government through the Africa Technology and Innovation Partnerships (ATIP), the main funder is the European Union through its Business Environment, Growth and Innovation (BEGIN) Programme coordinated by the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade. FUNGUO implements the 3rd Specific Objective of the BEGIN Programme – “Improved ecosystem for entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly for women and youth-led MSMEs”.

FUNGUO’s implementation is led by UNDP Tanzania which partners with various other players including UNCDF, COSTECH, TIRDO, SIDO and others.


The ultimate aim of the FUNGUO Innovation Programme is to increase the number of successfully scaled innovation impact ventures to contribute to the national development goals and the SDGs in Tanzania. This is being achieved through the programme’s contribution in addressing the stumbling blocks and gaps in the innovation ecosystem that hinder innovative impact ventures from scaling, while promoting an environment that promotes innovation for development and empowers innovators, entrepreneurs, and enablers.


The programme is being incubated by UNDP and it sits under the Inclusive Growth and Sustainable Livelihoods Pillar. It has its own team led by a Programme Manager and has its own identity (website, social media, branding) and separate office from the onset to prepare for the autonomous of the upcoming Funguo Innovation Facility.

The programme oversight is assumed by the Funguo Programme Board which is co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary (MoEST) and the UNDP Resident Representative. FUNGUO is also embedded into the BEGIN governance structure, being part and secretariat of the Blueprint, Standards and Innovation Technical Committee chaired by the Head of Business Environment in the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade. UNDP also sits on the Blueprint, Standards and Innovation Steering Committee co-chaired by the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade, and the EU Head of Cooperation.

In the near future, the Funguo Innovation Facility will be registered as a Trust, with its own team, management and processes, reporting to an independent Board of Trustees which will include funders’ representatives.


Joseph Manirakiza

Programme Manager

Alexa Haden

Partnerships and Knowledge Management Lead

Mbwaike Mahyenga

Portfolio & Investment Lead

Tunu Yongolo

Communications, Outreach and Advocacy Lead

Daniel Mlabwa

Digital Media and Innovation Associate


Communications Associate

Lin Chen

Programme Monitoring, Insights and Learning Analyst


FUNGUO is jointly funded by the European Union, the British High Commission, and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It is implemented by UNDP Tanzania in partnership with UNCDF and works closely with the Tanzania Commission for Science and Technology, COSTECH. The European Union’s support of FUNGUO is part of the “Business Environment, Growth and Innovation” (BEGIN) Programme which is coordinated by the Ministry of Investment, Industry and Trade.