Building Tanzania’s climate resilience through an adaptation innovation cluster

Tanzania is experiencing significant changes in climate, including rising temperatures, shifting rainfall patterns, prolonged drought and increased frequency of extreme weather events. At the same time, there is a vibrant local ecosystem where innovative solutions are being developed to address these challenges.

There is an immense potential for improving the environment for these solutions to emerge, grow and thrive solving these challenges through enhanced collaboration and synergies between various stakeholders. 

If you’re an innovator, entrepreneurship support organisation, NGO, policy maker, organisation or individual working on climate solutions in Tanzania, please register your interest to join the Cluster here: 

Register your interest

The vision

Mount,Kilimanjaro,And,Clouds,Line,At,Sunset,,View,From,Savanna

Over the past decade, we pioneered an innovation clusters approach to tackle climate change challenges in different regions around the world, helping to build and direct local innovation ecosystems to tackling major climate-related challenges.  With support from the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland (Irish Aid) and together with our local partners, we are now developing an Adaptation Innovation Cluster in Tanzania.

Our vision is to increase resilience and sustainable development by supporting locally developed adaptation solutions for the rural communities in Tanzania. This includes creating an enabling environment that promotes climate innovation throughout the country, stimulating the growth of new green start-ups, employment and investment.

Want to learn more about this project? Read our Information Document or Theory of Change

What is an Adaptation Innovation Cluster?

Tanzania – woman engineering

Innovation Clusters act as collaborative platforms, uniting stakeholders, such as businesses, universities, citizens, investors, governmental agencies and NGOs, to foster collaboration and drive the development of innovative solutions. Clusters link the supply of innovations to the needs of local communities, governments and organisations, to not only generate new ideas, solutions and jobs, but also investment in the local economy.

By implementing our innovation cluster approach, we focus on activating entrepreneurial activities in a cohesive and systemic way, building a locally embedded innovation ecosystem that includes entrepreneurs as well as other key stakeholders such as local government and businesses, policy makers and investors. Through a combination of acceleration activities, ecosystem building and capacity building support, we aim to catalyse the development of a self-sustaining climate innovation ecosystem.  

Reaching the furthest behind

Tanzania – village

Given that agriculture is a substantial contributor to Tanzania’s socio-economic growth and a primary employer, the Adaptation Innovation Cluster in Tanzania aims to reduce climate vulnerability and enhance the resilience of rural communities. Currently, a gap exists in ensuring that adaptation solutions reach the most vulnerable rural communities effectively, and that these solutions take root within these communities.  

To address this, it is crucial to enhance the capacity of smallholder farmers to adapt to climate change. Climate risks have the potential to worsen poverty levels and deepen food insecurity, particularly among agriculture-dependent households. It underscores the importance of enhancing their ability to navigate climate change risks. This involves an ongoing process of gathering and learning from local knowledge and experiences, as well as exploring the dynamics between local communities and the private sector and thereby providing the local communities with the vital tools needed for adaptation resilience.  

Examples of innovative adaptation solutions that address climate impacts for rural communities include:  

  • Crop Insurance and Weather Index: A tool for stabilising farmer’s income by providing timely pay-outs directly linked with weather parameters.
  • Digital Agriculture Platform: Agri-tech approach to crowdfunding, matching investors with smallholder farmers. 
  • Solar-Powered Pumps: Increases crop yields while conserving water and fuel. The pumps also reduce carbon emissions and pollution from diesel generators. 

Our partners

Irish Aid

This initiative is made possible thanks to funding from the Department of Foreign Affairs of Ireland (Irish Aid). Since 2019 Irish Aid's funding has fuelled our Global South entrepreneurship initiatives. This partnership drives worldwide climate action, leveraging public funds to engage the private sector, aligned with Ireland's climate finance goals. In Tanzania, we collaborate with the Embassy of Ireland in Dar es Salaam to ensure a strong and aligned partnership.

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Irish Aid
Anza Entrepreneurs

Since 2018, our partnership with Anza Entrepreneurs has driven the ClimateLaunchpad programme in Tanzania—a premier global competition for green business ideas spanning 40 countries. Over 70 entrepreneurs have benefited from resources, mentorship, and funding. Our collaboration now extends to bolstering women entrepreneurs through gender mainstreaming.

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Anza Entrepreneurs
Westerwelle Foundation

In 2022, we teamed up to start the AfroGreen ClimAccelerator in Tanzania, supporting 10 women climate entrepreneurs to build their businesses through a series of mentorship, workshops and peer learning. The programme is part of the gender mainstreaming for entrepreneurship initiative, aimed to help partners integrate a gender lens to all aspects of their organisations and programming.

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Westerwelle Foundation
Sahara Ventures

Sahara Ventures aims to establish a robust innovation, tech, and entrepreneurial ecosystem in Africa via consulting and investment. In our partnership, they'll assist start-ups in shaping their business models, comprehending market demands, and fostering business growth.

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Sahara Ventures
ELICO

The Energy and Livelihoods for Communities (ELICO) Foundation is dedicated to advancing modern energy solutions for rural Africa's socio-economic growth. ELICO will focus on involving Dodoma and Kigoma communities in evaluating climate vulnerabilities, identifying adaptation requirements, and promoting innovative adaptation solutions.

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ELICO
Centre for Entrepreneurship TU Berlin

The TU Berlin's Centre for Entrepreneurship consolidates the university’s expertise in entrepreneurship from research, education, and startup support. It will provide vital content, methodologies, and expertise to aid entrepreneurs in effectively expanding their businesses.

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Centre for Entrepreneurship TU Berlin
Interested in learning more? Please reach out here.