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Juliana Rotich founder of Ushahidi wins the German Africa Prize 2019

by Milicent Atieno
juliana rotich german africa prize 2019

The verdict is out for the German Africa Prize 2019, and the winner is – drum rolls – Juliana Rotich.

The name might sound familiar, as she is the founder of the software project Ushahidi. That first got its limelight as the go-to platform for ordinary citizens trapped in the mayhem that was the Kenya 2007 general elections.

Juliana Rotich first made national and international headlines after the 2007 civic violence that erupted in Kenya following a contemptuous general election. Ushahidi disrupted how information was flowing through the internet, as victims and their families shared information online to better coordinate rescue missions.

Rotich was selected by a 16-member jury from a list of 18 nominees from Africa. She was informed of her selection as the winner on Thursday, April 4th at the German embassy in Nairobi.

Hers is a social enterprise. Software created by a budding female entrepreneur (African woman in tech) that not only solves needs for businesses but also has a sense of social responsibility.

Ushahidi in over 160 countries worldwide

Currently, the Ushahidi platform is being used across 160 countries worldwide as a tool for reporting crisis. It also serves as a tool for independent election monitoring platform. It has so far been used to monitor the elections in Nigeria and Afghanistan.

It was also critical in rescue missions following natural disasters that struck Haiti, New Zealand, and Chile. For more information about Ushahidi, click here.

After Ushahidi, Juliana Rotich founded BRCK

Ushahidi was what catapulted Rotich into tech stardom within the African space. However, she did not stop there. After Ushahidi, she went on to create BRCK, a tech company that now serves as the biggest Wi-Fi provider across sub-Saharan Africa.

BRCK is essentially a battery-powered modem that allows users to stay connected to the internet for at least eight hours without electrical power. This device is reported to be currently in use across 150 countries.

For more information about BRCK click here.

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