Juliana Rotich

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Juliana Rotich
Juliana Rotich in Berlin, April 2017 (cropped).jpg
Rotich in 2017
Born1977 (age 44–45)
Alma materUniversity of Missouri–Kansas City
(Bachelor of Science in Computer Science)

Juliana Rotich is a Kenyan information technology professional, who has developed web tools for crowdsourcing crisis information and coverage of topics related to the environment. She is the co-founder of iHub, a collective tech space in Nairobi, Kenya, and of Ushahidi, open-source software for collecting and mapping information. She is a TED Senior Fellow.[1]

She is a trustee of Bankinter Foundation for Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Spain, as well as a board member of Standard Media Group and the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board. She was the head of East Africa Country Cluster for BASF from May to December 2018.[2]

Background and education[edit]

Rotich was born in 1977 in Kenya. After attending elementary and secondary school locally, she was admitted to the University of Missouri–Kansas City, in the United States. She graduated from there with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science. She is an MIT Media Lab Fellow.[2]


In 1999 Rotich started working at Sprint Nextel Corporation. In 2005 she left and moved to Chicago, Illinois, to work at InterCall Inc. A year later, she joined National Seminars Group, where she designed and maintained SQL Server databases. In 2007, she joined Hewitt Associates as a data analyst.[3]

In 2008 Rotich co-founded the non-profit company Ushahidi, an Open-source software project which uses crowdsourced geolocation, mobile phone, and web reporting data to provide crisis reporting and information. She served as the Executive Director of Ushahidi from 2011 until 2015.[3]

"Ushahidi" is the Swahili word for "testimony." Ushahidi was first put into practice during the Kenyan presidential election crisis of 2007–2008; it has since been used in Chile, Japan, New Zealand, Australia, Pakistan, Tanzania, and Haiti.[4]

As a blogger, Rotich has authored articles on Afrigadget.com, acted as Environmental Editor of Global Voices Online, and participated in the TED Global Conference in Arusha in 2007. As a public speaker, she is known for her commentary on technology in Africa and voicing concerns about the loss of indigenous forest and water catchment areas in Kenya.[4]

To help solve the lack of internet access due to blackouts in Nairobi, Rotich co-founded BRCK Inc., which produces a battery-operated modem that can run for eight hours without electricity.[3][5]

In 2014, Rotich presented at the annual Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town. From 2014 until 2015, she served on United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon's Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, co-chaired by Enrico Giovannini and Robin Li.[6]

In 2017 Rotich participated in the W20 Summit in Berlin, Germany and took part in a panel discussion together with Chancellor Angela Merkel, IMF director Christine Lagarde, Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, Canadian Minister of Foreign Affairs Chrystia Freeland, Ivanka Trump and others, where she represented BRCK.[7]


In 2011, Rotich was named Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year in Africa by the World Economic Forum. She earned a TED Senior Fellowship and a Director’s Fellowship by the MIT Media Laboratory.[3] In 2011, she was named among the “World’s Top 100 Women” by The Guardian Newspaper.[4]

In 2013, she was awarded the Digital, Life, Design (DLD) Women Impact Award, at a ceremony in Munich, Germany.[8] In 2019, she was presented the German Africa Prize, awarded by the German Africa Foundation, to honor “outstanding individuals for their longstanding endeavors to foster democracy, peace, human rights, art, culture, the social market economy and social concerns”. The award was presented to Juliana Rotich by the German Chancellor, Angela Merkel.[9] In 2012 Forbes.com named Juliana Rotich as one of "The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2012".[10]

External video
Juliana Rotich.jpg
video icon Juliana Rotich: Meet BRCK, Internet Access Built for Africa, TED Talks, June 2013


  1. ^ TED Conference (June 2013). "Juliana Rotich Technology Entrepreneur". New York City: TED Conference. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b BASF (23 May 2018). "BASF Appoints Kenyan Juliana Rotich as Country Cluster Head for East Africa". Ludwigshafen, Germany: BASF. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  3. ^ a b c d Madalyn Weston (10 October 2019). "Celebrating women in STEM: Juliana Rotich". Kansas City, Missouri, United States: University of Missouri–Kansas City. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  4. ^ a b c Patrick Barkham (8 March 2011). "Top 100 Women In Technology: Juliana Rotich". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  5. ^ Fast Company (24 February 2020). "Most Innovative Companies: BRCK". Fast Company. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  6. ^ UN Data Revolution (2014). "The Secretary General's Independent Expert Advisory Group on the "Data Revolution for Sustainable Development": Independent Expert Advisory Group Members". New York City: United Nations Data Revolution Organization. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  7. ^ Salzburger Nachrichten (25 April 2017). ""First Daughter" Ivanka Trump visits Germany" (Translated from the original German language). Salzburg, Austria: Salzburger Nachrichten. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  8. ^ Hubert Burda Media via PRNewswire (17 July 2020). "DLDwomen13: Kenyan Juliana Rotich Receives Impact Award for Humanitarian Internet Project". Munich, Germany. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  9. ^ Deutsche Welle (24 October 2019). "Kenyan Juliana Rotich receives German Africa Prize". Bonn, Germany. Retrieved 2 August 2020.
  10. ^ Mfonobong Nsehe (6 December 2020). "The 20 Youngest Power Women In Africa 2012". Forbes.com. Retrieved 2 August 2020.

External links[edit]