WhiteAfrican

Where Africa and Technology Collide!

Heading Home

You might have noticed a lack of posts, or at least an erratic nature to my blogging over the last 6 weeks. This is due to the fact that I’ve been packing up and getting ready to move my family back to Kenya after living the last few years in the US. I won’t lie, it’s been pure madness and I apologize to all the people who I didn’t answer emails from, return calls or tweets…

Nairobi Skyline

I’m very excited though, as this is where it’s happening. Nairobi, where I’ll be living, is one of the four main technology hubs in Africa (Jo’burg, Accra and Cairo being the others). Nairobi is also home, that’s where I grew up and where I know the most people. It’s where I can relax and eat nyama choma (which I will do in abundance). 🙂

Why?

Checking out the latest Ushahidi build

Nairobi is also where Ushahidi started almost 2 years ago (wow, time flies!), which is providing the means and the reason for this move. There will be two main activities that I’ll be involved with:

  1. I’ll be working with the Nairobi programmers, designers, end users and members of the Ushahidi community in person. (These guys and gals are already rockin’ it, wait until you see the “Mogadishu” release of the code next week!)
  2. My other main focus is opening up an innovation hub, a physical nexus point for the tech community in the city. This hub will also be a place for us at Ushahidi to reach out and better engage with our own user and dev community.

There is a slew of big announcements coming out on the Ushahidi-front over the next week. I’ll be in the air for the biggest of them, but will link to it when I land. Keep an eye on our blog and twitter feed for more.

Leaving

Alex and Me

Orlando has been a good home base for us. While it might not be the tech capital of…well, anywhere, it’s still home to some amazing people and we’ve loved being a part of it. A big thanks for the friendships and a shoutout to those techies who have made Central Florida home:

Chris Scott, Alex Rudloff, Josh Hallett, Ted Murphy, Scott Allen, Dawn Hatton, Gregg Pollack, MindComet, Paul Lewis, Cory Collier, Bill Ferrante, Celly, Bill Dean, Etan Horowitz, Ryan Price, Eric Marden, Jason Seifer, John Rife, Ochie, Alex Spoerer, Doug White, Robert Jordan, Jim Hathaway, Robert Shade, Scott Toncray, Damian Scott, Chris Droessler, Allison Jordan, Gavin Hall, Gabriel Chapman, Jermaine Pulliam, Josh Lindsey, Marcelle Turner, Jon Shuler, (and many others I’m forgetting)…

I think of all the great BarCamp Orlando’s, BlogOrlando’s, Likemind and Florida Creative meetings… For a small tech community, it does throw an awfully big punch.

So, a big thank you to all the friends and family that have made this next chapter in our lives possible. We’re looking forward to it. All will be the same, just from the Kenya primarily.

29 Comments

  1. Best decision ever. Have a wonderful start!

  2. Congratulations on the big step, I look forward to joining you and helping move the Kenyan tech and entrepreneurial scene forward!!

  3. Welcome back home 😉

  4. You might be going back to Nairobi, but we all know Mombasa is secretly where the up and coming Kenyan Software Revolution is going to take place…

  5. Karibu nyumbani 🙂

  6. Karibu nyumbani Eric !!

    “It’s where I can relax” – Relax in Nairobi ??

  7. Welcome back to Nairobi, land of goats aplenty (and now an innovation centre); we’ll continue our discussion on the funding gap

  8. Karibu nyumbani.
    WA I have to warn you though, things here are thick. You are in for a rude shock especially since you are true and proper nyamchom connoisseur. An evil movement has started and has quickly gained momentum, would you actually believe that there are people who put avocado in kachumbari?! Yeah I know. We will have to eat in each and every nyamchom joint in town to fight this movement.
    Either that or we will be forced to join JKE at his undisclosed location where, rumours state, that he can roast a whole goat in 30 mins using his soldering iron.
    Bankelele can hook you up with a GK Passat. Apparently Passat is the new Benz.

  9. Welcome back chief. First beer on me. Now you can watch real rugby (American football kitu gani?!

  10. Be well, my friend. Good luck!

  11. Thanks everyone! Mental, we will solve this “Avacado” problem promptly. This is serious business…

  12. I affirm you, your work and your future coworking space.

  13. Congrats Erik on all the amazing things you are doing!

  14. Congrats man! When are you setup so that we can visit? 😉

    Keep kicking ass and let me know how we can help

  15. We are going to miss you big guy! I still hope to make it over there one day.

  16. That’s awesome! Now I know someone that I can come visit :).

  17. I can’t tell you how proud I am of you, brother. I’ll miss you all like crazy, though!!

  18. Congratulations- some of us are not too far behind. We look forward to joining you and helping cement/establish Kenya as a major software hub. Please save us some Avocadoes tafadhali–

  19. This is actually better news than the big Ushahidi announcement. Glad to know you made the right choice. Good luck!

  20. Welcome home, buddy! A great move and I’m excited about your plans. The “big news” is also richly deserved. All of this equates not only to a gamechanger for you, but also for everyone who works *with* you. You’ve built up something pretty amazing. Major kudos.

    Now, I have an excuse to get my butt down to .ke some time!

    Ken

  21. Wishing you a safe trip. All the best in your endeavors in Nairobi

  22. I’m so happy for you and the family! I know this has been a dream of yours for a long time. I look forward to seeing all the wonderful things that you continue to do and that unfold around you.

  23. Wewe Mzugu Kichaaaaaa 😉 All the best Eric… Hope you give the updates coming especially on the new Internet start ups and services riding the new wave of submarine cables… Hope to join you in the neighborhood (TZ) in 2010.

  24. Karibu Nyumbani boss. Its has been a long time coming and we are waiting for you.

  25. What great news Hash! I think this is going to be some of the greatest news for Ushahidi and the tech dev community in Nairobi. I’m sure we’ll eventually run into each other. Keep us posted.

  26. Good luck, hopefully we will meet up and collaborate – i’m on they way home too just took some side trip to south america and west africa

  27. You will be missed bwana. We’ll drop you a line the next time we head to the Mara. Cheers and best of luck with Ushahidi and all that you have you hand in.

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