Juliana Rotich

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Juliana Rotich
Juliana Rotich.jpeg
Juliana Rotich. Image retrieved from Wikipedia “Juliana Rotich” on June 14, 2021.
Born1977 (age 44–45)
Alma materUniversity of Missouri-Kansas City
Known forBeing the Co-founder of BRCK & Ushadidi

Editor: Temoso Sebetha

Juliana Rotich is a Kenyan tech entrepreneur, consultant, strategic advisor, keynote speaker and technologist. She is also the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Ushahidi, a pioneering, free open-source platform for crowdsourcing crisis information, that combines mapping with eye-witness reports and has been used to monitor elections in Kenya, Mexico and India as well as to track violence in the Eastern Congo and map post-earthquake crises in Haiti.[1]

Rotich assumed her position as a Venture Partner with Atlantica Ventures in Nairobi, Kenya, in January, 2020. Atlantica Ventures provides capital and growth support to early-stage companies. They look for the next generation of African entrepreneurs who seek challenging opportunities that are enabled by technology and can be exported to other markets for scale as well as entrepreneurs who are driven to create lasting social impact.[2]

She has worked in the telecommunication and data warehousing industry. Rotich blogs at Afromusing.com where she focuses on African tech and Renewable Energy.[3] [4] [5]

She serves on the Advisory Council for Microsoft 4Afrika and Waabeh Ltd. and was a trustee of the Bankinter Foundation For Entrepreneurship and Innovation in Spain until the end of 2019.[6] [7]


Rotich was born and raised in Kenya, where she spent her early life and attended elementary and secondary school.[8]


She earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from the University of Missouri-Kansas City in the United States. She is also an MIT Media Lab Fellow.[9]


In 1999, Rotich started working at Sprint Nextel Corporation, where she was an accounts specialist and left the company after six years to join InterCall Inc. in Chicago.[10]

Later in 2005, she started working for the National Seminars Group, where she worked to design and maintain SQL Server databases. In 2007, she left the company to join Hewitt Associates to work as a data analyst and remained in this position until June, 2008. In August 2007, she became the Environment Editor for Global Voices until 2009. [11] [12]

In June 2008, after a year of meeting Ory Okolloh and Erik Hersman, they started Ushahidi, where she was a Co-Founder and Project Director until January 2011 when she became the Executive Director of the company and remained in this position until October 2015. The following year she became a Venture Partner for Africa Tech Ventures in February until 2017 in Nairobi.[13]

She also co-founded BRCK Inc, a Kenyan-based hardware and software company that creates solutions to Africa’s connectivity challenges, by making BRCK mobile Wi-Fi and other devices, in February 2016. Rotich was also the company’s Executive Director until April 2017 in Nairobi.[14] [15]

Rotich is a founder of iHub, an Innovation hub and hackerspace for the technology community in Nairobi.[16] She works as a Technologist at MIT Media Lab, a company that creates disruptive technologies pioneering in wearable and affective computing and tangible interfaces.[17]

She started her role as Advisory Council Member in June 2015 to April 2018 in Germany. She then became the Country Cluster Head East Africa from May 2018 to December 2018 in Nairobi for BASF. Rotich is a Board Member of the Digital Impact Alliance (DIAL).[18] [19]

Furthermore, Rotich serves as a member of the World Economic Forum Global Agenda Council on data-driven development. She is also a Board Member of the ICT for peace foundation. Rotich served on the United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon’s Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development.[20] [21] [22]

She is the Head of Strategic Partnerships at Boya Limited, a fintech firm that she co-founded in Nairobi and is also the Instructor for GovLab at NYU. In 2018, she was appointed as a board member for the Standard Media Group as an independent non-executive director. Additionally, Rotich was appointed as a board member of the Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Board.[23] [24] [25]


In 2011, Rotich earned a TED Senior Fellowship and a Director’s Fellowship by the MIT Media Lab. Two years later, she managed to raise 1.7 million dollars to help complete the engineering aspect of the BRCK project.[26] [27]

She was a speaker at the TEDGlobal 2013 event where she spoke about BRCK and how it increases internet access for Africa. The following year Rotich presented at the annual Design Indaba Conference in Cape Town, South Africa.[28] [29]

She delivered a keynote address on ‘A Journey in Social Entrepreneurship: Pitstops and Lessons’ at the Metropolitan Pavillion on 07 February, 2017 and hosted the second annual TEDxNairobi conference.[30] [31]

In 2018, she was amongst other finalists for the African Women Innovation and Entrepreneurship Forum (AWIEF) for the Tech Entrepreneur Award.[32]

Awards and Recognition

In 2011, she was named Social Entrepreneur of the Year 2011 by the Schwab Foundation at the World Economic Forum and was recognized as one of the World’s Top 100 Women in Technology by The Guardian. The following year she was ranked among 20 Youngest Powerful Women in Africa by Forbes.[33] [34] [35]

She was awarded the Digital, Life, Design (DLD) Women Impact Award for the Humanitarian Internet Project in 2013. Fortune Magazine has recognised her as one of The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders.[36] [37]

In 2019, the German Foundation for Africa awarded her a prize to recognise her efforts to promote freedom of expression in Africa.[38]


  1. For girls, ‘it is possible to dream big’ – Africa Renewal. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
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  3. Juliana Rotich – LinkedIn. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  4. Overview - MIT Media Lab. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
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  7. Juliana Rotich - Juliana. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
  8. Juliana Rotich – Wikipedia. Retrieved 10 February, 2021.
  9. Celebrating women in STEM: Juliana Rotich – UMKC. Retrieved 10 February, 2021.
  10. Who said girls can’t code? Juliana Rotich’s upscale in tech – Paukwa. Retrieved 11 February, 2021.
  11. This Is Juliana Rotich & She Might Just Change the World Through Tech – Konnect Africa. Retrieved 11 February, 2021.
  12. Juliana Rotich – LinkedIn. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  13. Juliana Rotich – LinkedIn. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  14. Inspirational technologist & social entrepreneur – Lionesses of Africa. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  15. Juliana Rotich – LinkedIn. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  16. Juliana Rotich – Ted. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  17. Juliana Rotich – Crunchbase. Retrieved 11 February, 2021.
  18. Juliana Rotich – LinkedIn. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  19. DIAL Board Member Juliana Rotich Speaks on African Tech Revolution at Social Good Summit 2017 - Digital Impact Alliance. Retrieved 06 September, 2021.
  20. Juliana Rotich – The Lemelson Foundation. Retrieved 09 February, 2021.
  21. Juliana Rotich - ICT for peace. Retrieved 06 September, 2021.
  22. Here’s why Kenyan IT expert won this year’s German Africa Prize - The African Courier. Retrieved 03 September, 2021.
  23. Black Heroes of the Internet – Juliana Rotich - Oxford Internet Institute. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
  24. Juliana Rotich & Former NMG MD Githinji Gitahi appointed to the Board of Standard Group – The Kenyan Wall Street. Retrieved 15 February, 2021.
  25. Vision Delivery Board – Kenya Vision 2030. Retrieved 16 February, 2021.
  26. Juliana Rotich – Thextraordinary. Retrieved 12 February, 2021.
  27. Juliana Rotich: Meet BRCK, Internet access built for Africa – Youtube. Retrieved 12 February, 2021.
  28. Meet BRCK, Internet Access built for Africa - TED. Retrieved 08 September, 2021.
  29. Design Indaba Expo 2014 – Design Indaba. Retrieved 16 February, 2021.
  30. Juliana Rotich - Interaction17. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
  31. Juliana Rotich – This is What I See! Crowdsourced Crisis Mapping in Real-Time - 99 Faces. Retrieved 06 September, 2021.
  32. AWIEF announces the finalists for their 2018 awards – IOL. Retrieved 12 February, 2021.
  33. Top 100 Women – The Guardian. Retrieved 19 February, 2021.
  34. Kenya: Juliana Rotich, a geek committed to better internet access in Africa - Africa Women Experts. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
  35. Three African “Social Entrepreneurs of the Year” announced – World Economic Forum. Retrieved 18 February, 2021.
  36. DLDwomen13: Kenyan Juliana Rotich Receives Impact Award for Humanitarian Internet Project – Cision PR Newswire. Retrieved 19 February, 2021.
  37. Juliana Rotich - Ignite. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.
  38. Kenya: Juliana Rotich, a geek committed to better internet access in Africa - Africa Women Experts. Retrieved 02 September, 2021.