Erik is the co-founder of Ushahidi (which means "testimony" in Swahili), a web application created to map the reported incidents of violence happening during the post-election crisis in Kenya. Currently, he is working with a team of mostly-African programmers to continue development of this new free and open source platform that makes it easier to crowdsource crisis information and visualize data. Ushahidi has been used for disasters in Haiti and Chile, by media organizations such as Al Jazeera and the Washington Post, for election monitoring in India, Afghanistan, Namibia and Mexico, and for multiple other uses around the world.
Erik Hersman is also the founder of AfriGadget, a multi-author website that showcases stories of Africans solving everyday problems with little more than their creativity and ingenuity. Fascinated by micro-entrepreneurs, gadgets and improvisation, he is proving that technology is changing Africa - daily.
In early 2010, Erik helped launch the new iHub (innovation hub) in Nairobi. It's an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi. This space is a tech community facility with a focus on young entrepreneurs, web and mobile phone programmers and designers. It is part open community workspace (co-working), part vector for investors and VCs and part incubator.
Raised in Sudan and Kenya, Erik brings unique energy and insight to the world of technology and innovation - bridging the gap between Africa and Silicon Valley. An avid blogger Erik writes two different technology blogs including: AfriGadget and WhiteAfrican. One dedicated to low-tech African ingenuity, and the other to high-tech mobile and web changes happening throughout Africa.
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