Alumni Stories: Gwaliwa Mashaka and Employability Africa Advise Inclusive Businesses

Fall 2018 AUCD Professional Fellows alumna Gwaliwa Mashaka is the founder of Employable Africa, an award-winning virtual platform that uses digital technology to help individuals with disabilities find skilled employment and delivers accessible supports to African businesses. Based in Tanzania, Employable Africa’s entirely online approach to expanding inclusive employment has become an increasingly valuable model for disability champions around the world in 2020, as virtual engagement has become even more important for inclusion.


Gwaliwa originally launched Employable Africa to help individuals with disabilities find jobs that suit their skill sets and deliver inclusive, accessible entrepreneurial supports. The platform’s range of services has expanded further, and engages not just prospective jobs candidates with disabilities, but also prominent international white-collar employers, researchers, students, and transition experts around the world.

Gwaliwa and her team at Employable Africa also advise African companies on how to build capacity for reasonable accommodations, and shares guidance on disability inclusion in all stages of the HR process with business leaders in East Africa. She also partners closely with other Professional Fellows alumni in Tanzania (including special education teachers and vocational rehabilitation experts) to ensure its services are open to broad audiences.

Additionally, Employable Africa utilizes EnvisionIT, an online curriculum to support disability employment. EnvisionIT is based on a transition program for youth with intellectual and developmental disabilities created by the Ohio State University Nisonger Center (Ohio UCEDD). Gwaliwa first connected with the original program when she spent her PFP-IDE Fellowship there in 2018, and launched its African counterpart, which is the first of its kind. It helps individuals with disabilities identify and advance their career goals.

In late 2020, Employable Africa launched Rafikiconnect, a real time transcription service now available to areas of Africa where transcription was previously unavailable. The new service has already begun to make seminars, conferences, and interviews across different countries more accessible than ever before. See the video below to learn more about Rafikiconnect.