US: Google has hired Ushahidi’s founder and director, Ory Okolloh, to manage its policy in Africa. Ushahidi is an open-source mapping platform for crowdsourcing information, created following the 2007 Kenyan elections as a way for people to report incidents of violence.
Though Okolloh is famous for her work on Ushahidi, she has also worked as a corporate lawyer for an organisation that supports entrepreneurs in South Africa.
On her own blog, Okolloh said, “The role will involve developing policy/strategies on a number of areas of relevance to Google and the Internet in Africa and will involve working with different parties including government leaders, policy makers, regulators, industry groups and so on.”
Google’s interest in Africa is not new. Its Google Africa Blog launched in the summer of 2008, it developed tools designed for the unique needs of people living in the sub-continent, and it has tried to spur the development of “locally relevant digital content.” And last year it began its G-Africa Initiative for software developers, marketing professionals and entrepreneurs.