Gwaliwa Mashaka’s placement at The Ohio State University Nisonger Center offered meaningful opportunities to develop her project on capacity building within post-secondary educational settings.
Gwaliwa is an engineering professional by training who lives in Dar es Salaam, the capital of Tanzania. A dynamic young female leader, she believes firmly in the power of technology to improve the lives of young women and people with disabilities. She is the founder of Employable Africa, a social enterprise which champions economic empowerment for all through inclusive employment. Employable Africa provides guidance to individuals with disabilities as they search for jobs, lists positions for employers, and offers consulting services and inclusion guidance resources for companies. Gwaliwa is also the lead for Power Africa, a USAID-funded initiative that support women’s empowerment and leadership in the African energy sector.
Gwaliwa’s expertise and passion lies in technology, and before taking part part in the PFP-IDE Fellowship in Fall 2018, she launched Tanzania Digital Girls, which created technology programs, organizes workshops and science fairs for young women and youth with disabilities to inspire them to pursue careers in STEM. Gwaliwa also judged MIT Inclusive Challenges is a 2016 alumna of the Mandela Washington Fellowship Program.
Gwaliwa has also held consultancies and received awards from many prestigious international organizations. She has advised the Embassy of Switzerland in Tanzania, International Labour Organization (ILO) on data and women’s empowerment, as well as the Swiss Fondation Botnar (Botnar Foundation) for children’s needs. Gwaliwa also currently advises a growing number of private sector employees in Africa on how to deliver reasonable accommodations and create inclusive workplaces via her work at Employment Africa, and is one of the continent’s most prominent emerging leaders in reshaping inclusive businesses.
Gwaliwa has won many accolades since her PFP-IDE Fellowship, including a 2018 Google Europe Scholarship for Persons with Disabilities, which will enable her to study assistance technology in the United Kingdom in 2021-22 and create affordable accessible devices for Africans with disabilities. She continues to use the experience, connections, best practices and technological tools she encountered in the U.S. to advance disability inclusion in Tanzania and beyond.
- To learn more about Gwaliwa’s impact in Tanzania, read her official PFP-IDE Alumni Impact profile.
- You can also learn more about Gwaliwa’s PFP-IDE Fellowship partnership with her U.S. host mentor on the PFP-IDE alumni blog here.