All Articles Tagged "google policy for africa"
Ory Okolloh is a woman who juggles it all: she’s a mother of three, a wife and works as Google’s policy manager for Africa and is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. “I don’t sleep much,” she tells Forbes. “It helps that I love what I do and I am very passionate about it, so it doesn’t feel like work.”
The busy Kenyan native says she wants her kids to see how important it is to care about the world and have an impact. Her goal is simple: to focus on Africa’s untapped potential. She is known for her politically aware blogs, digital initiatives and her commitment to helping keep governments accountable. Okolloh stepped onto the scene with Mzalendo, a website that keeps Kenya’s government accountable. Mzalendo tracks each representative’s parliament activities, monitors and analyizes every bill and every speech. She then went on to co-found Ushahidi, a free open source platform for crowdsourcing crisis data. Ushahidi is a combination of eye-witness reports and has assisted in monitoring Kenyan elections, tracking violence in the Eastern Congo and even mapping post-earthquake Haiti.
With her online political accountability experience, Okolloh landed her current position as Google’s policy manager for Africa. In this position, the digital and political saavy young woman says she focuses on three priorities: getting more African users online, content for African online users and the role of technology in various African countries. But even though her professional career centers on digital initiatives, Okolloh believes that technology alone isn’t what Africa needs.
“I don’t think technology or social media alone can bring political change,” Okolloh said to Forbes. “At the end of the day you still need to go offline unto the streets. If you look at the uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia- even Occupy Nigeria here, it might have been spurred and organized online, so technology plays the role of a facilitator, but at the end of the day the real impact was felt when the people went out to the street. So no amount of protests with a popular hash tag would have achieved the kind of impact that happened when people actually went out.”
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