Erik Hersman’s quest for free, open internet across Africa
JOINS THE 2017 ANNUAL DEBATE
Co-founder of Ushahidi, iHub Nairobi, BRCK and Savannah Fund
Erik Hersman is an entrepreneur and technologist focused on advancing the use of technology in Africa. He is the CEO of BRCK a rugged wireless WiFi device designed and engineered in Kenya for use throughout the emerging markets. In 2010 he founded the iHub, Nairobi’s innovation hub for the technology community, bringing together entrepreneurs, hackers, designers and the investment community. He is also a co-founder of Ushahidi, the free and open source software for crowdsourcing crisis information.Most recently BRCK has developed a portable digital classroom known as the Kio Kit, which includes a wifi hotspot, a small server packed with educational content and 40 tablets that can be charged wirelessly and work in the roughest conditions in rural schools. As only a third of Kenyans have access to the internet and many schools suffer from regular power outages, which makes it difficult to charge the devices.
“Digital education is the ultimate equaliser, it doesn’t remove all obstacles but it levels the playing field” says Erik Hersman. Click HERE to find out more.
SEPARATING FACT FROM FICTION: A WORD FROM MANJI CHETO, OUR TECH PANEL MODERATOR
“The key issue to explore is whether the inadequacy of baseline infrastructure for tech – namely affordable broadband and regular electricity – may over the medium term constrain how the industry can expand. The question of regulation will also become increasingly important to watch. How far is too far? Will more regulation stifle the industry?”
Join the debate to find out!
MEET OUR SPEAKERS
• Rolake Akinkugbe, Head of Energy and Natural Resources, FBN Merchant Bank • Lanre Akinola, Editor, African Business • Orli Arav, Soros Economic Development Fund
• Christopher Baker-Brian, BBOXX
• Manji Cheto, Teneo Intelligence
• Ethel Cofie, Edel Technology
• Arnold Ekpe, Honorary President, BCA • Dr. Okechukwu Enelamah, Nigerian Minister of Trade and Investment • Julio Garrido-Mirapeix, IDAS Africa, KPMG
• Erik Hersman, CEO, BRCK
• Dr. Yemi Kale, Statistician General, NBS, Nigeria
• Prof. Thandika Mkandawire, Professor of African Development, LSE • Joshua Oigara, Kenya Commercial Bank Group Ltd
• Jonathan Rosenthal, The Economist • Patrick Smith, Africa Confidential and the Africa Report
• Babatunde Soyoye, Co-Founding Partner, Helios • Fred Swaniker, African Leadership University
• Dr. Albert Zeufack, Chief Economist for Africa, World Bank