Who are we?
AkiraChix is a not for profit organisation that aims to inspire and develop a successful force of women in technology who will change Africa’s future.Founded in April 2010, AkiraChix aims to be the leading women’s network impacting technology in Africa. It’s programs are developed to reach young women at different levels, those in Primary School, High School and University, those working in technology and those who wish to have a career in technology, making it an effectively wholesome program.
Erik Hersman is an entrepreneur, writer and speaker on the boundless spirit of technology innovation in Africa. He is the co founder of Ushahidi, which allows users to share breaking news through text messaging, and continues to revolutionize and empower journalists, watchdog groups, and everyday people around the world. He also founded the iHub in Nairobi, the innovation hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community and built around the vision of an epicenter for Kenya’s booming tech industry. He is also the founder of the BRCK, a new connectivity device that is considered a backup generator for the internet, and is a general partner in the Savannah Fund, which does small seed investments in Africa’s tech startups. Hersman, a TED Senior Fellow and PopTech Faculty Fellow, grew up in Kenya and Sudan and keeps two influential blogs: WhiteAfrican, where he writes about technology on the African continent, and AfriGadget, a group blog that celebrates African ingenuity.
Wambura is an established leader in the local technology industry. She currently heads the East Africa Operations of Africa’s biggest online cars marketplace, Cheki. Previously, she ran the Kenya business of Cellulant, one of Africa’s foremost mobile businesses.
Dorothy Ooko is among Africa’s leading communications professionals. Currently, she heads Communications and Public Affairs for East and Francophone Africa at Google. A multilingual communications specialist with qualifications in strategic management, Dorothy has, for over a decade, leveraged her eclectic abilities to adeptly direct regional communications for some of the world’s most competitive, recognizable and renowned brands. Prior to joining Google, Dorothy was the Communications Manager, East and Central Africa and then East and Southern Africa, of the then leading multinational mobile handset manufacturer, Nokia. At Nokia, Dorothy distinguished herself as a skillful lobbyist when she successfully led engagement with the Kenyan government that culminated in the 2008 VAT waiver on mobile phones. With years of leadership experience at the nexus of technology, innovation and communications, Dorothy’s vantage point is unique. Working in technology-oriented organizations in the age of new media and during a period of tremendous change in Africa’s digital landscape has endowed Dorothy with invaluable experience coordinating complex communications activities in the context of disruption. Her insight into the world of digital media – and her proven ability to leverage it to meet strategic business objectives – is unparalleled.Dorothy’s array of accomplishments extends beyond the corporate world. Prior to joining the world of business, Dorothy spent over 15 years years in academia: first as a Lecturer of French at Kenyatta University, then as an Assistant Professor of French at United States International University (USIU). At USIU, Dorothy launched the University’s first online French course for her students – enabling them to learn outside the classroom setting. She also conceived the commercial French and Translation program. As an academic, Dorothy presented research papers at numerous conferences around the world including Harvard University’s 35th Conference on African Linguistics where she presented a paper on “Language Planning in Kenya: Which Way Forward for African Languages”.Today, Dorothy is channeling her passion for teaching towards training professionals. As a qualified Search Inside Yourself (SIY) facilitator she empowers individuals to apply the principle of mindfulness in their lives; enabling them to grow in emotional intelligence, enhanced performance, and leadership. She currently teaches this popular program to colleagues at Google.In the spirit of nurturing the youth, Dorothy also mentors girls and young women in high-schools and universities and serves as a board member on two boards including AkiraChix – an association that inspires and develops women in technology through networking, training and mentoring.Whenever she can squeeze in some time for herself, Dorothy can be found whipping up something in the kitchen, traveling,working out, or with her nose deeply buried in a book. Follow Dorothy on Twitter, catch her on Google+ or connect with her on LinkedIn.