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Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Ushahidi Updates from Nairobi

I’ve had a rather active 5 days in Nairobi. Eventful enough to give an update on what’s going on with the Ushahidi developers, the pilot projects and some mobile phone fun. I head out tomorrow for Johannesburg for the MobileActive conference, and will also be attending the Friday night meetup and Barcamp Jozi on Saturday.

Ushahidi Smartphone Developments

(more on the Ushahidi blog)
Steve Mutinda and his Ushahidi Java app

Steve Mutinda put together a working Ushahidi Java application – and surprised me with it, this Saturday. It works well, and he and Wilfred Mworia are hard at work on the Ushahidi API to ensure that this app and the Ushahidi iPhone app both can sync with the database easily.

Speaking of iPhone apps, Chris Blow and Joe Jones have finished making changes from the feedback received on the first mockups. Wilfred Mworia starts this week on his new iPhone to get this working. We’re thinking it will take about 3 weeks.

Ushahidi iPhone Interface v0.3
(We’re still looking for feedback on the iPhone screens)

Ushahidi Devs Meetup

Just last night we had a great Ushahidi dev meetup in Nairobi. The combination of brains and energy in the room was just incredible. We ate good food, got up to speed on the latest Ushahidi news, and had a geeky good time.

Checking out the latest Ushahidi build

One of our advisory board members was there as well, Patrick Meier, from the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. He fit right in, as he also grew up in Kenya and went to secondary school in Nairobi.

Jason Mule and Wilfred Mworia are going to start running monthly Ushahidi dev sessions, so get with them if you want to jump in.

Pilot Project Meetings

The last, but probably one of the more important things that I’ve been doing while in town, is the meetings I’ve been having with the different organizations that have agreed to test out the alpha release of Ushahidi. This is extremely important for us, as it gives us a chance at some feedback and direct hands-on experience with launching Ushahidi instances in the wild.

More updates on this as we get through them, but in short, everyone is very excited about being a part of the pilot and the potential for Ushahidi to change the way the gather and visualize information from the field.


  1. This is extremely inspiring. My question: How can we make Ushadidi into something usable also in the so called affluent West? I’d be eager to participate in some way.

  2. Very inspiring, I agree. I am totally glued to the Ushadidi project and just wish there is something I can do to get involved.

  3. Is that Ushahidi I see running on an N95? Can’t wait to see it on my N82!

  4. Re: iPhone feedback:

    I’d love to see a visual of a scroll bar or something so that I know there’s more content on the screen to scroll down to. On slides 5, 6 & 12.

  5. @Geir – that’s one of the things that we’re doing, making the Ushahidi Engine a platform that can be used globally for far more than we initially imagine.

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