Ushahidi which means “testimony” in Swahili, was a website that was initially developed to map reports of violence in Kenya after the post-election fallout at the beginning of 2008. Since then, the name “Ushahidi” has come to represent the people behind the “Ushahidi Platform”.
Our roots are in the collaboration of Kenyan citizen journalists during a time of crisis. The original website was used to map incidents of violence and peace efforts throughout the country based on reports submitted via the web and mobile phones. This website had 45,000 users in Kenya, and was the catalyst for us realizing there was a need for a platform based on it, which could be used by others around the world.
Fast forward six years and Ushahidi has grown into a global non-profit technology company with origins in Kenya. Today Ushahidi’s mission is the change the way information flows in the world and empower people to make an impact with open source technologies, cross-sector partnerships, and ground-breaking ventures.
Ushahidi is responsible for founding the iHub, a technology hub in Nairobi which has helped build the technology community in East Africa, growing to over 14,000 members, has incubated 150 tech startups that have created over 1000 jobs. Ushahidi, together with partners Hivos and the Institute of Development Studies, implements the Making all Voices Count Grand Challenge, a $55 million fund which focuses global attention on creative and cutting-edge solutions to transform the relationship between citizens and their governments including seeding innovative solutions.
Lastly, as a group of technologists spread around the world who get really frustrated when the internet doesn’t work, Ushahidi built and spun out BRCK, which builds rugged internet for people and things.At Ushahidi, it isn’t just about building software, it is about solving problems. With Ushahidi we build open source software tools, at BRCK we build a platform for access to the web, and iHub we help build the Kenyan tech sector by creating a community with access to services like the mLab, UX lab, and Gearbox. We build these organizations because we want to see more stories like Ushahidi’s in the world.