2014 news cambridgedevelopmentinitiative2

Cambridge students unite in order to improve lives in Africa

14 March 2014

The article at a glance

Students of the Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) have launched their first crowd-funding campaign to support a project in Tanzania. CDI, a student …

Cambridge Development InitiativeStudents of the Cambridge Development Initiative (CDI) have launched their first crowd-funding campaign to support a project in Tanzania. CDI, a student society, has just recruited the first 30 volunteers who will be going to Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) later this year. The volunteers will help implement projects in entrepreneurship, education, engineering and health.

For example, CDI Health Shops and Clinics will deliver both affordable medicine and high-quality treatment to people in informal settlements, virtually on their doorstep.

Patrick Hoffmann, Joint Chairman of CDI, says university is the perfect time and space for projects like this and students can really make a difference:

We founded the Cambridge Development Initiative to test what role students can play in development. These projects are part of a bigger vision of a public, outward-facing university that advances global citizenship and that harnesses the skills of teachers and student alike to tackle the issues of the day.

Patrick hopes that other universities will follow the CDI model. He said that if they were to focus on one city in a developing country, this could become a powerful force and students would be instrumental in this process.

Jaideep Prabhu, Professor of Marketing and Jawaharlal Nehru Professor of Indian Business and Enterprise at Cambridge Judge Business School, is advising the student society on their project. Speaking about CDI and the project, he said:

It is wonderful that Cambridge students have launched an organisation like CDI. Our students can bring their experience and skills to bear on challenges that their counterparts in developing countries face. But equally, our students can learn a great deal from working closely with others on problems that affect us all. I am delighted too that the students of Cambridge Judge Business School are deeply involved in providing advice and support for this project. For instance, a team of MBAs is going to Tanzania in March-April 2014 to lay the groundwork for further mentoring in the summer.

Cambridge Development InitiativeThe Cambridge Development Initiative is one of the start-ups that came through the Accelerate Cambridge programme. It was launched in 2013 and is run by 12 students from the University of Cambridge.

CDI have a team of Cambridge Judge MBAs (Anand Tatambhotla, Marguerite Cornu, Nancy Fahim and Alexander Schmid) going out to Dar es Salaam for a month on Saturday as part of their Global Consulting Project (GCP). They will work with the early-stage enterprises that Tanzanian university students are developing in line with Accelerate Cambridge framework, as well as with later-stage enterprises taking part in other accelerator programmes. Through combining that experience, they will develop a toolkit for the most common start-up hurdles in Dar es Salaam as well as advise CDI on the shape the incubator should take in the future.

© Photographs copyright by Cambridge Development Initiative