Tech guru bags top German award

Juliana Rotich, an IT pioneer in Kenya, was given the award by German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her work in digital revolution in Africa.
A Kenyan social entrepreneur is this year’s recipient of the German Africa Award.

Juliana Rotich, an IT pioneer in Kenya, received the award for her work in digital revolution in Africa. The award was given by German Chancellor Angela Merkel at Allianz Forum, next to Brandenburg Gate, in Berlin, Germany.

Since 1993, the German Africa Foundation has been giving the award annually to outstanding African personalities who have contributed in a remarkable way to peace, democracy, human rights, economic development or culture on the African continent. The award is the most important one of its kind in Germany and is each year presented by high-ranking political personalities.

Rotich is an independent non-executive director at the Standard Group Plc.

The 42-year-old is co-founder of Ushahidi, an open source platform that has revolutionised flow of information worldwide.

Through the platform, witnesses upload events and incidents for them to be located chronologically and geographically on a map. The real-time maps are now used in over 160 countries in times of crisis and natural disaster or for election monitoring, to mention a few.

The global demand for her innovations has gone on to show that digital products made in Africa can conquer the world market, the event’s organisers said. 

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Rotich is the co-founder of the technology company BRCK, the largest public wi-fi provider in sub-Saharan Africa since February 2019.

BRCK designed a battery-powered, multi-connection device that provides internet access through various channels without electricity for up to eight hours, ensuring that regions with low infrastructure or crisis areas ahve access to the digital world. Today, BRCK is used in 150 countries around the world.

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