Omar Jumanne Bakari

Omar Jumanne Bakari

Program Director
Africa, Tanzania, Civil Society

Omar has wide experience working in both public and private sector development. Currently, Omar Bakari is the program director overseeing the implementation of the Data Zetu Project in Tanzania.

He is a graduate of Harvard’s Innovation for Economic Development program and the World Bank Institute’s Innovation Policy for Developing Countries program. He has bachelor of science in agricultural engineering and a master’s in business administration concentrating in marketing. He is one of the five African Certified Trainers and Facilitators in Managing Innovation designed by the Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM) at the University of Brighton, UK.

Omar is an expert on innovation and entrepreneurship and has been able to participate as an individual and country or organization representative in different programs initiated by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, East African Community, World Bank, UNESCO, UNIDO, UNCTAD, ECOSOC, and other local and international organizations.

In 2013, Omar was appointed by the president of the United Republic of Tanzania to be the director general of the Small Industries Development Organization. He is one of the establishing team members of the Human Development Fund, a £30 million project funded by DFID-UK to support innovation in water, sanitation, health, and education. He has been a board member of different institutions in Tanzania including university and national steering committees, the Five-Year Development Plan, the National Cluster Development Program, the Tanzania-Finland Information Knowledge Project, and others.

As a champion in the establishment of the first incubation centre in the information and communication technology (ICT) sector in Tanzania, Omar is keen on upscaling its success to other sectors or regions both in and outside Tanzania. Omar also remains interested in strengthening the development ecosystem at all levels, but particularly in innovation and entrepreneurship, promoting the use of data for decision making, and financial inclusion. He continues to support start-ups and promote the use of science, technology, and innovation for business competitiveness.