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James Tayali

Malawi & University of Cape Town, 2019

James Tayali is an incoming Malawian student at the University of Cape Town where he will be studying a Master of Philosophy in Health Innovation. Prior to this, James studied at the University of California, Berkeley where he completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Health with support from the MasterCard Foundation Scholarship Program.

James is very passionate about innovation and social entrepreneurship in Public Health. During his undergraduate studies at UC Berkeley, James founded and launched three social ventures in Malawi, namely ICI Africa- a student mentorship program for high school students, Deal Malawi- an e-commerce and online shopping site for Malawi and Keki-Mawe Incorporated- a social venture that is manufacturing and distributing Iron Fortified products to women and children in Malawi. Through his internship at the Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention (CDC) in Kenya in 2015, he was inspired to create Iron rich powders and biscuits that will help in the fight against iron deficiency anemia in Malawi and other parts of Africa.

While at UC Berkeley, James volunteered for the United Nations Populations Fund as a Campus Ambassador and Reproductive Health Advocate. In 2016, he was awarded the prestigious Resolution Fellowship at the Clinton Foundation Global Initiative for his entrepreneurship work in Malawi. Prior to this award, he was also recognized by the Royal Commonwealth Society in 2015 as a young agent of change.

After graduating from UC Berkeley in 2017, James worked for a company called Blue Goji Corporation in the United States as Product Developer, where he corroborated with a team from Microsoft Inc to create an Artificial Intelligence based Virtual Tutor in a computer game called GoWings Safari. This game will help students to boost their learning focus and memory and is now being tested by kids in schools around the United States. James plans to bring such technologies to Africa and help solve other public health challenges.

As a Mandela Rhodes Scholar at University of Cape Town, James hopes to expand his skill-set and knowledge in Public Health that will enable him to continue making an impact in his society.

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