Meet Isaya Yunge – CEO SomaApps Technologies

Isaya Yunge is an unshakable optimist, futurist, and visionary thinker with a rare intellect. With a passion for entrepreneurship and technology, Isaya is an enthusiast who turns ideas into reality, and is a tireless advocate for youth involvement in creating innovative solutions that impact people’s lives. 

Isaya is the founder and chief executive of Somaapps Technologies which created SomaApp, a mobile app which is revolutionising how scholarships are offered in Africa.

Isaya and his team came up with the idea after seeing how many domestic and international scholarships go unclaimed each year because young people are simply unaware of them. Isaya is trained at by the Swedish Institute on Sustainable Business models and he currently studies Leading Change at Cambridge university. He uses mobile software to address the needs of African communities.

Yunge had a difficult childhood. His parents never married so he was born and raised an outcast. He was raised by his grandmother and spent his childhood herding goats, cows and chasing birds on rice plantations.

Peaceful as he was, he says he was always rejected, whether by his step-mother or step-father. It made his upbringing unstable and unpredictable. He had to live from one foster family to another. He was forced to live by himself from the second year of secondary school. He worked after school to earn money for food and rent.

In 2014, he became curious about the tech industry, particularly the app business.

That year, he attended a talk about the fourth industrial revolution, the sharing economy and collaborative commons, by Jeremy Rifkin, an American economist. It was affirmation he would one day solve Africa’s problems through digital technology.

Today, SomaApps is a scholarship-matching app that lists and matches students with thousands of domestic and international scholarships. His aim is to accelerate the advent of mobile software technologies, artificial intelligence and the Internet of Things in Tanzania. He employs 12 people.

Along his journey, he has collected a number of accolades. In 2006, he was elected to become the chairperson of the Junior Council of the United Republic of Tanzania, spoke at the G8 Summit at the age of 17, won the GSMA Mobile Money Africa Hackathon as best startup in Africa in 2017, won the prestigious Queens Young Leaders Award and won at the Start-up Turkey Award as one of the top three startups in the world.

Isaya Yunge was recognized by Forbes Africa 30 Under 30 as a promising change-maker in the continent and received “The Queens Young Leaders Award 2018” from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, for his work using technology to impact communities and lives with sustainable solutions. 

As an alumni of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Program, Isaya is passionate about advocating for a tech startup friendly environment, with the goal of inspiring innovation and African technological advancement.

He was named amongst the 50 Most Influential Young Tanzania’s in 2019 and he spoke at the G8 Summit in Berlin Germany at the age of 17, after being selected as the UNICEF Africa Youth Ambassador at the G8 2007.`