Bachelor of Arts (BA), University of Dar es Salaam: 1993
Master of Science (Community Economic Development), Southern New Hampshire University, USA: 2005

A previous executive director of one of the few premium non-governmental educational development organisations in Tanzania, Ms. Elizabeth Missokia, currently living and working in the United States of America, is an alumna of the University of Dar es Salaam.

After her early years in primary school under the care of her parents, Elizabeth had done well in school to merit admission for secondary education at Jangwani Secondary School in Dar es Salaam in the years between 1985 and 1988. She completed high school and earned an Advanced Certificate in Secondary Education Examinations (ACSEE) there in 1988, thereby qualifying for entry to the University of Dar es Salaam at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (FASS)—known today as the College of Social Sciences (CoSS). She majored in sociology and social anthropology, taking core modules such as sociological theory, rural and urban sociology, culture and society, social research methods, as well as electives such as family and gender. Elizabeth completed her three-year undergraduate programme in 1993, earning a bachelor of arts (BA) degree with honours.

After graduation from the university, shejoined CARE International, one of the oldest and largest international humanitarian aid organizations dedicated to fighting global poverty and marginalisation, which established its base in Tanzania in 1994—initially in response to victims of the Rwandan genocide and the ensuing refugee influx into the Kagera region of north-western Tanzania. The organisation was helping to expand its support to the systems and programmes of education, health, environment and microfinance within the community and across various parts in the country. Elizabeth’s engagement with the aid organisation was a mutually beneficial opportunity. For Elizabeth, it was a welcome opportunity to put the theories she learned at college to a world of practice yet in a setting of comfortable full employment. On the other hand, for CARE, it was a chance to make use of a sociology-anthropology graduate with an additional advantage of local knowledge of indigenous knowledge systems and responses for an effective interaction with the wider Tanzanian community and across. She worked for CARE Internationalfor eight years in the position of ‘basic and girls education manager’ until 2003, when she had to leave to take up a scholarship and pursue a two-year postgraduate degree study at Southern New Hampshire University in USA. She successfully completed the programme, earning an M.Sc. degree in community economic development.

When she returned to Tanzania in 2005, she joined USAID Tanzania, the official US government’s international development cooperation agency, taking up the combined position of gender advisor and programme management specialist. She worked for USAID for two years until 2007.

From July 2007—and for a continuous period of seven years up to December 2014—Ms. Elizabeth Missokia worked with HakiElimu as Executive Director. This was, as is, a non-governmental organisation that had been founded in Tanzania in 2001 in order to facilitate and promote positive transformation of education in the country by influencing public policy-making and implementation. Also, in collaboration with a wider range of partnership in participation and accountability, the organisation, HakiElimu, aimed at stimulating public dialogue, research, policy analysis and social action for positive change. As a matter of fact, Ms. Missokia was one of the thirteen (13) Tanzanian founding members of the executive board of HakiElimu back in 2001. Thus, her joining HakiElimu at Executive Director level,was an opportune moment for the organisation to be re-assured of continuity of its original vision and mission six years after formation. In hindsight, therefore, it was not quite surprising that Elisabeth—as one of the founding visionaries and flag-bearers of the organisation—had to leave the USAID in 2007 after only two years and to join HakiElimu. And she tried much to run the organisation along the lines of original thinking. Altogether, she worked for HakiElimu for seven years up to 2014, trying to push forward HakiElimu’s vision, mission and advocacy that ensured policy and practices that engendered public accountability in/for good education.

Since July 2015, Elizabeth has been living in Northern Virginia in the U.S., working as an independent consultant principally in the areas of gender and education, concentrating on gender audit and analysis, gender mainstreaming as well as programme management and strategy development and alignment.

The University of Dar es Salaam sincerely congratulates her for her work and contributions here at home in Tanzania and beyond, away in the U.S.