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from the L.A. Times

Google hires Kenyan activist Ory Okolloh as policy manager for Africa

Kenyan activist Ory Okolloh is joining Google as its policy manager for Africa, a move reflecting the growth and development of the Internet there.

In a blog post, Okolloh, the 33-year-old Harvard-trained lawyer and blogger who created Ushahidi, a nonprofit which builds free software to help democratize information and increase transparency, said her new role represents a "huge opportunity to bring Google's resources to bear" in Africa.

Okolloh created Ushahidi in 2007 after Kenya was engulfed in violence following a disputed presidential election. Ushahidi is Swahili for testimony. The website collected eyewitness accounts of violence using text messages and Google Maps. The site now has technology that is used for many purposes and in many countries.

Okolloh, who worked in Johannesburg, South Africa, recently predicted that the Web will have its greatest effect on Africa over the next 10 years. You can check out her TED talk from 2007 here.

Google has been expanding in Africa for some time.

-- Jessica Guynn


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