Juliana Rotich is originally from Kenya where she spent her early life and schooling. She later moved to the US where she majored in IT and has worked in the industry for over ten years. Being an African and having grown up in Africa, she naturally sees the immense opportunity technology has, to impact the lives of many people across the continent. Juliana has been travelling to the continent on a regular basis and has participated as well as engaged with several stakeholders working tirelessly towards getting Africa out of the so called 'Digital Divide'.
Like many Kenyans, Juliana found herself in an awkward situation in December 2008 after the violence that ensued after Kenya's national elections. Being pro-active she collaborated with the online community and helped in founding, Ushahidi which is the Swahili word for testimony. Ushahidi is a web based reporting system that utilises crowdsourced data to formulate visual map information of a crisis on a real-time basis. In the Kenyan scenario it was used to map out incidents of violence and this information has played a crucial role in the continuing justice and reconciliation process in Kenya. Ushahidi then grew to be an open source incident reporting platform that has been successfully deployed in various situations such as the Sichuan, Haiti and Chile earthquakes, the Palestine conflict crisis, heavy snow crisis in Washington. It is also being used to track the recent oil spillage crisis in the Gulf of Mexico. As a Program Director for Ushahidi she manages projects and aids in the development, testing and deployment of the Ushahidi platform.
The role and success of mobile based technologies in the developing world cannot be underestimated. As much these technologies have positively impacted the lives of many, there is still so much more to be done especially in Africa. Juliana has unique sentiments on how mobile technology will exponentially develop in Africa. Most people see Africa as big market for cheap technology from the East or West. Juliana however sees this as a 'game changing' opportunity. She passionately believes that Africa has the capacity to become a net producer of innovative technology rather than being a net consumer as the situation is currently. Furthermore she believes that Africa's problems can be solved by people who really understand Africa.
Her passion for technology and her consistent drive to create a better Africa led to the creation of the 'Afromusing' blog. This blog is a collection of her opinions and has emerged as one of the most widely read blogs about Africa and its constituent technology developments.