Erik Hersman

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Hersman at PopTech 2013

Erik Hersman (born 1975)[1] is a technologist, blogger and commentator who specialises in the impact and application of technology throughout Africa. Raised in Sudan and Kenya, he is a graduate of Kenya's Rift Valley Academy and Florida State University,[2] he runs the websites WhiteAfrican and AfriGadget, the latter being a multi-author website dedicated to showcasing African ingenuity. AfriGadget was named one of Time's "Top 50 Sites of 2008".[3]

He is co-founder of Ushahidi ("testimony" in Swahili), a crowdsourcing website created to map incidents of violence during the 2007–08 Kenyan crisis. Ushahidi has since been used for reporting violence in Madagascar[4] and election monitoring in Afghanistan.[5] In December 2009, the Omidyar Network announced an investment of $1.4 million to support the continued growth of the platform.[6]

In 2008 Hersman was named a Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellow.[7] In the summer of 2009 he was awarded a TED Fellow Fellowship,[8] and the following year named a Senior TED Fellow.[9]

Married to Rinnie with three young children, he moved back to Kenya from his Florida home in December 2009.

He founded iHub, Nairobi's tech 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.[10]


  1. ^ Smith, David (30 October 2012). "Kenya building a digital future in Africa's silicon savannah". The Guardian. Hersman, 36
  2. ^ * Bright, Jake; Hruby, Aubrey (2015), The Next Africa: An Emerging Continent Becomes a Global Powerhouse, Thomas Dunne Books, p. 157, ISBN 978-1-25006-371-7.
  3. ^ "50 Best Websites 2008:". Time. Archived from the original on June 19, 2008.
  4. ^ "Violence in Madagascar". Ushahidi. 2009-03-24. Archived from the original on 2011-07-17.
  5. ^ "Election monitoring in Afghanistan". Archived from the original on September 2, 2009.
  6. ^ "Omidyar Network website". Omidyar Network. Archived from the original on July 15, 2011.
  7. ^ "Pop!Tech Social Innovation Fellows: Class of 2008". 2008.
  8. ^ "TED Fellowship".
  9. ^ "TED Conference Announces The 2010 Senior Fellows". PR Newswire. December 1, 2010.
  10. ^ "BRCK could bring a reliable internet connection to some of the most remote parts of Africa". 2014-07-16.

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