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Meet the Apps <4> Africa Judges


Our panel of technology and civil society luminaries have decided! Here are the winners!

Anil Dash


Anil Dash is a pioneering technologist and blogger whose site at Dashes.com began in 1999 as one of the earliest and most influential blogs on the Internet. Dash is the founding Director of Expert Labs, an independent non-profit which creates new web technologies to help policy makers in the White House and the rest of the Federal Government tap into the public's expertise using social networks. 


He is a recognized expert and frequent public speaker on web technology, web culture and the software industry. His works have also been showcased in museums including the New Museum of Contemporary Art and in 2010 Dashes.com was named a Webby honoree in the Personal Blog category. Dash has also been recognized for his role in popularizing web culture in venues ranging from the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal to the Houston Chronicle, which labeled him a "legendary blogger.” NowPublic named Dash one of the top ten most influential people in New York City in 2008, and Forbes named him second most media-connected person in technology in 2010.   
He is also a member of the advisory board for the Web 2.0 conference in New York City, is an advisor to StackOverflow, and is a United Nations Social Media Envoy in the effort to control malaria. Dash earlier career involved a seminal role as Chief Evangelist at Six Apart Ltd, where he joined as the first employee at the world's leading blogging company. He lives in New York City.  

Nathan Eagle

Nathan Eagle is the CEO of txteagle Inc. He holds faculty appointments at the MIT Media Laboratory and Northeastern University, and is an Omidyar Fellow at the Santa Fe Institute. His research involves engineering computational tools, designed to explore how the petabytes of data generated about human movements, financial transactions, and communication patterns can be used for social good.


As a Research Scientist at MIT and Fulbright Scholar in 2006, he launched MIT's EPROM initiative, developing a mobile phone programming curriculum that has been adopted by twelve Computer Science departments across Sub-Saharan Africa. Thousands of African computer science students have gone through his curriculum, leading to hundreds of mobile applications designed specifically for the African market, as well as a significant number of local start-ups. One such start-up is txteagle, a company he formed in 2008 with the goal of enabling the 2 billion mobile phone subscribers living in the developing world to generate income using their phones.


He holds a BS and two MS degrees from Stanford's School of Engineering; his PhD from the MIT Media Laboratory on Reality Mining was declared one of the '10 technologies most likely to change the way we live' by the MIT Technology Review. In 2008, Nokia named him as one of the world's top mobile phone developers, and in 2009, he was elected to the TR35, a group of the top innovators under 35. His academic work has appeared in ScienceNature and PNAS; and his research featured in the New York TimesThe Wall Street JournalBusinessWeek, and CNN.


Thomas R. Gibian 

Thomas R. Gibian is an Executive Chairman of Emerging Capital Partners (ECP).  As the first private equity firm to raise more than $1.6 billion to invest in companies across the African continent through six funds, ECP is a leading private equity manager focused exclusively on Africa. Headquartered in Washington DC, ECP has six offices across Africa and a ten-year track record of successful investment in more than 50 companies operating in over 40 countries on the continent.

Mr. Gibian served as Chief Operating Officer for the AIG African Infrastructure Fund, managing the daily operations of the fund and overseeing the structuring and valuation of investments.


From 1995 to 2000, Mr. Gibian served as a Managing Director in EMP Global's Asia Funds, which managed more than $2.8 billion in capital for investments.  Prior to his work with EMP Global's Asia Funds, Mr. Gibian spent three years as Executive Director and Co-Head of the Structured and Project Finance Group at Goldman Sachs Asia, where he was the firm's senior representative on several groundbreaking transactions in China and Southeast Asia. 


He has served on the boards of Celtel International (DRC), Orascom Telecom Algeria, Intercontinental Bank (Nigeria), Ashanti Goldfields (Ghana), interWAVE Communications (Pan-African), BLP Telecom, Spice Telecom (India), Sithe Asia, and the Corporate Council on Africa.  He is also presently a Trustee of the Center for Global Development.


Mr. Gibian received a bachelor's degree with honors from the College of Wooster in Ohio and received an MBA in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School of Business. 


Joseph Mucheru

Joseph Mucheru is the regional lead for Google Sub-Saharan Africa. He was initially charged with running the day to day operations and strategy for Google in East Africa when hired in June 2007. Prior to joining Google he worked at Wananchi Online, a company he co-founded in 1999. He also chaired the Telecommunications Service Providers of Kenya prior to joining Google.


He obtained his undergraduate degree (B Sc. (Hons)) in Economics & Computer Science at City University in London in 1993 and has since accumulated numerous certifications and most recently graduated from the Stanford University Graduate School Business in California USA. His other interests include computer security, and he enjoys sports (hockey, squash and running), travelling, music, films, politics and business and surfing the net.


Emeka Okafor


Emeka Okafor is a venture catalyst and entrepreneur who lives in New York City. He is the Maker Faire Africa curator and was the director for TED Global 2007 that took place in Arusha, Tanzania. His other interests include sustainable technologies in the developing world and paradigm breaking technologies in general. His blog, Timbuktu Chronicles, seeks to spur dialogue in areas of entrepreneurship, technology and the scientific method as it impacts Africa. "Timbuktu is a city unsullied by the worship of idols...a refuge of scholarly and righteous folk, a haunt of saints and ascetics, and a meeting place of caravans and boats" -Al-Sa'Di 


Ory Okolloh


Ory Okolloh is a lawyer, a political activist and a blogger. She is the co-founder of Mzalendo, a website that tracks the performance of Kenyan Members of Parliament, and the co-founder of Ushahidi, She was previously a summer associate in Covington and Burling, Washington DC and a Chayes Fellow at the World Bank's Department of Institutional Integrity.


She is a frequent speaker at conferences including TED Global and PopTech on issues around citizen journalism, the role of technology in Africa, and the role of young people in reshaping the future of Africa. She was a contributor to Worldchanging: A User's Guide for the 21st Century and is affiliated with the Kenya National Commission for Human Rights. Ory graduated summa cum laude with a B.A. degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh, and graduated with a J.D. from Harvard Law School. She also writes one of the most popular blogs in the Kenyan sphere at Kenyan Pundit.


Tim O'Reilly


Tim O'Reilly is the founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc., thought by many to be the best computer book publisher in the world. In addition to Foo Camps ("Friends of O'Reilly" Camps, which gave rise to the "un-conference" movement), O'Reilly Media also hosts conferences on technology topics, including the Web 2.0 Summit, the Web 2.0 Expo, theO'Reilly Open Source Convention, the Gov 2.0 Summit, and the Gov 2.0 Expo.

Tim's blog, the O'Reilly Radar, "watches the alpha geeks" to determine emerging technology trends, and serves as a platform for advocacy about issues of importance to the technical community. Tim's long-term vision for his company is to change the world by spreading the knowledge of innovators. In addition to O'Reilly Media, Tim is a founder of Safari Books Online, a pioneering subscription service for accessing books online, and O'Reilly AlphaTech Ventures, an early-stage venture firm.


Rakesh Ranjani

Rakesh Rajani is a citizen of Tanzania and founded Twaweza in 2009.  Twaweza means “we can make it happen” in Swahili and it is a new citizen-centered initiative, focusing on large-scale change in East Africa. Formerly, Rajani was the founding Executive Director of HakiElimu, which is an independent civil society organization in Tanzania that promotes public engagement and enables citizens to hold their government accountable.

Rakesh’s interests include the use of information in promoting citizen civic engagement, budget transparency and education governance. He has written and/or edited over 300 academic papers, popular publications, and op-eds in English and Swahili. Mr. Rajani serves on several national and international boards that include HakiElimu, The Foundation for Civil Society and the Media Council of Tanzania.


He is a fellow of the Harvard Global Equity Initiative, and advises its Joint Learning Initiative on Children and AIDS. He also advises the Gates/Hewlett Foundations’ Initiative on Quality Learning Outcomes in international education and Google.org on its program development on information and governance. At the moment, Mr. Rajani is a senior associate with Hivos and works with several partners to develop an East Africa wide initiative on citizen agency and accountability.



Blog Stream

Updates and commentary from the blog

  • Secretary Clinton Congratulates Apps4Africa Winners!
      Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

    Secretary Clinton Congratulates Winners of First Apps4Africa Competition Video message is available here: http://www.state.gov/video/?videoid=626218032001 & http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S1KRd4kFQZc Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton today congratulated the winners of the first Apps4Africa competition, which brought together local technology entrepreneurs to build tools that serve the needs of local Non-Governmental Organizations and their communities. “Your work to develop [...]

  • Watch the awards ceremony live!
      Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

    We have an exciting announcement coming out today from Nairobi: the winners of the Apps4Africa contest! Join us at the iHub via livestream around 415PM East Africa time: http://www.ustream.tv/channel/apps-4-africa-award-ceremony

  • Announcing Great Prizes and a 24 Hour Hack-a-Thon
      Thursday, August 19th, 2010

    Do you have what it takes to build East Africa’s top apps? Winners of the Apps4Africa contest will receive cash and some fantastic gadgets. 1st place- 5000 USD and an iPad 2nd place - 3000 USD and a Nokia N900 3rd place - 2000 USD and a Sprint HTC Desire Runners up will also win [...]

  • One Month Left To Submit Apps!
      Tuesday, August 3rd, 2010

    As we round the corner into the final month of Apps4Africa, competition for the top prizes promises to be fierce. In Kigali last week, with the fantastic support of Norwegian Peoples Aid, we had one of our best events yet. Over forty Rwandans, representing the mobile and web industries, energetic students from Kigali Institute for [...]

  • Join Us on July 27th for Apps4Africa Rwanda
      Friday, July 23rd, 2010

    Join us next week in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Apps4Africa event launch. The event, similar to our fantastic recent activities in Nairobi and Kampala, will bring together leaders from technology and civil society to discuss the state of social tech in Rwanda, and discuss how Apps4Africa can catalyze new innovations. This half-day event will take [...]

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