Erik Hersman

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Hersman at PopTech 2013

Erik Hersman (born 1975 or 1976)[1] is a widely respected technologist, blogger and commentator who specialises in the impact and application of technology throughout Africa. Raised in Sudan and Kenya and a graduate of Kenya's Rift Valley Academy, he runs two popular websites – WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget, a multi-author website dedicated to showcasing African ingenuity. AfriGadget was named one of Time Magazine's "Top 50 Sites of 2008".[2]

He is also the co-founder of Ushahidi ("testimony" in Swahili), a groundbreaking crowdsourcing website created to map incidents of violence during the 2007–2008 Kenyan crisis. Ushahidi has since been used around the world in a wide range of initiatives from reporting violence in Madagascar [3] to election monitoring in Afghanistan.[4] In December 2009, the Omidyar Network announced a significant investment of $1.4 million to support the continued growth of the platform.[5]

Hersman's work is widely recognized among the technology, development and humanitarian communities, and in 2008 he was named a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow.[6] In the summer of 2009 he was awarded a TED Fellowship,[7] and the following year named a Senior TED Fellow.[8] Married to Rinnie with three young children, he moved back to Kenya from his Florida home in December 2009. He founded the iHub, Nairobi's Innovation Hub, in March 2010 – an open space for the technologists, investors, tech companies and hackers in Nairobi.

He is the co-founder of BRCK, a 'backup generator for the internet' and one of the first hardware startups in Africa, which raised $1.2 million in July 2014.[9]


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