From iHub To The BRCK: How Ushahidi Became An African Success Story

Lauren Granger | VentureBurn | February 26, 2014

If you’ve spent more than a minute in the African tech scene, you’ve probably heard of Ushahidi — and the Kenyan team behind the non-profit software didn’t stop with its crisis mapping, crowd sourcing service. It went on to create iHub, a space for Nairobi’s geeks and innovators to meet, collaborate and turn their ideas and code into the next wave of exciting startups. It then rocked Kickstarter with the BRCK — its backup generator for the internet, which is designed to ensure its owners can get online wherever they are, even without a reliable connection or electricity.

So, how did they do it?

Speaking at Design Indaba, co-founder and executive director of Ushahidi Juliana Rotich shared some insights into the group’s journey working in and growing the tech community in Africa and beyond. While Ushahidi started out as a way to centralise and share information during the chaotic Kenyan elections in 2008, it grew into a platform that has been used around the world to map everything from the 2011 Japanese Tsunami to the earthquake in Haiti.