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g.Maarifa Team

We have grown tremendously in the past couple of months in East Africa. From gaining more clients to appearing in various media to qualifying to pitch at the Dublin Web Summit, g.Maarifa is on track to make more impact in human capital development. We have scaled our technology to include mobile web, accessible on any feature phones, in our portfolio as we continue to provide richer learning experiences under heavy technological restraints. All in all, our operations in East Africa have stabilized and will continue its projectory growth under the leadership of the new East Africa Director, Vincent Maraba. Vincent has been with g.Maarifa since our early days and has been instrumental in building and facilitating our product with our initial clients. We are excited for his advancement within the organization and believe that he’s got what it takes to keep the East Africa office rocking.

And now: the biggest news of all: We are expanding to the Middle East/ North Africa (MENA) region next month! After months of due diligence, discussions, and trips on the ground, we have made the decision to penetrate the region starting December 1, 2013. Specialty-wise, we will be honing on youth entrepreneurship/ empowerment. The MENA region has the highest youth unemployment rate- up to 60%- and a volatile and vulnerable but majority youth population (think Arab Spring). Yet, because of the security situation, especially in North Africa and the Levant, in-person training and education programs are risky and scarce. We are excited to work with various corporations, NGOs, and government agencies, on training the next generation remotely so that youths’ potential are not squandered and hindered by external factors. Our CEO, Evanna, will be based out of Amman starting in late November to oversee the expansion.

A formal launch will be upcoming, but for now, we are putting all of our energy and resources into settling into Amman and making sure that our pilot testing with our initial clients go smoothly. Stay tuned as we keep on conquering new lands and space! And as always, we are grateful for your support as we plunge into a new adventure!

We are excited to welcome some new additions to our g.Maarifa family, or g.Team, as developer Vincent has started calling us!

 

Firstly, Elizabeth Lyons will be joining us from Toronto, Canada. She is a PhD candidate in Strategic Management at the University of Toronto Rotman’s School of Business, having already completed her thesis. Her research focuses broadly on the intersection of technology and innovation, economic development, and behavioral economics, with labor and entrepreneurship as common underlying themes. Elizabeth’s research has been presented at a variety of institutions including the National Bureau of Economic Research, Northwestern University, and ESADE Business School. Elizabeth is excited to be working with g.Maarifa on developing a better understanding of digital education in the developing world and spearheading our monitoring and evaluation effort to more effectively serve our clients and end users. In her free time, Elizabeth enjoys watching ice hockey, reading, and going for jogs with her Miniature Schnauzer.

Secondly, we have six MIT Sloan School of Business students joining us for the next 6 months: Alanna Hughes, Amy Wang, Laura Diamond, Maria Angelica Posada Rendon, Piya Radia, and Rowland Graus. They will be helping us on strategic positioning in the market and with our expansion to the MENA region.

So karibu everyone! We are super stoked to work with you!

 

Hello, my name is Mintai, and I am one of the two summer interns. I  recently graduated from The Ohio State University with a BS in Finance and Mathematics as well as a minor in Economics. I love taking adventures and being pushed out of my comfort zone. I am also a huge martial arts and sports fun. Slightly sad that I’m missing the NBA finals (Go OKC!), but very excited to be here!

It is only for a short amount of time, but I am very excited to be on the team and help out for a while! Hoping to learn more about East Africa and emerging market through this experience as well as being tortured by Evanna 😛