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We are inspired by Calestous everyday.

The Calestous Juma Legacy Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 2019 to advance economic transformation and sustainable development in Kenya, and ultimately in Africa more broadly, through the use of science and technological innovation. The Foundation’s primary goal is to help local communities develop and implement innovative solutions to health, educational, food security, environmental, and employment challenges identified by local experts and community members. It will focus its work initially in and around Calestous Juma’s hometown, Port Victoria, a small town in rural Western Kenya.


Calestous knew that all human development ultimately takes place on the ground, in communities. The policies and investments that he spent his life working so hard for were a necessary framework, but he ran out of time to see that development happen in his hometown. The CJLF is proudly founded upon primary source concepts from Calestous, which he proposed would enable his home region to meet its development potential.



The Foundation’s projects and initiatives will be grounded in and guided by the following principles reflecting Prof. Juma’s vision, values, and virtues: 

  • Experimentation and learning—Seeding and building a belief in local learning and action and supporting collective learning by youth and women to collectively solve local problems, with the goal of building interdependence and preventing over-dependence. 

  • Leveraging local content or inputs—Using local knowledge, infrastructure, and other local resources, such as young people’s energy. 

  • Adding value to existing initiatives—Building on promising existing local community efforts rather than duplicating and/or crowding out local initiatives. 

  • Clearly articulating vision and resource limitations—Managing expectations by clearly articulating and emphasizing: humility and simplicity, building human capabilities to be interdependent, and working toward the long-term public good rather than individual monetary gain. 

  • Building local capacity and momentum—Aiming to build local capacity to carry the work forward, in a manner that is responsive to changes in context and to continuous learning from the Foundation’s other projects and initiatives. 

  • Maintaining the Foundation’s initiatives as non-governmental, not-for-profit and not political.