ABIE Award Winners, Change Agent

Dorcas Muthoni

2008 Winner of the Change Agent ABIE Award

Ms. Dorcas Muthoni is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of OPENWORLD LTD (www.openworld.co.ke), an Open Source Consulting firm in the East African region.  Through her stewardship, the company was recognized as the Kenya’s best OpenSource Solution Provider in 2006. OPENWORLD has established itself as a open-source center and plays key role in supporting the bi-monthly “skunkworks” technical community forum meetings. This has earned her a role as an open-source enthusiast, supporter and expert in the region, with her organization having an important seat on the Kenya Bureau of Standards Technical Committees a range of public fora speaking opportunities and media article citations.

Muthoni is also a member of the council of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa – FOSSFA. Ms Muthoni was elected, in her individual capacity, during the 3rd African Regional Conference on FOSS and the Digital Commons held in Dakar, Senegal in recognition of her leadership potential and her capacity to contribute to the growth of FOSS in the continent and to the global FOSS community. Muthoni’s trusteeship shall be the driving force behind the vision and the policies of the Foundation till 2010.

In a region plagued by gender inequality, Ms. Muthoni has braved and overcome the social challenges associated with women involvement in computing. She has in return been utilizing her gained experience to provide mentorship and guidance to women and girls in ICT across the African region. This is evidenced by her role as co-founder of the regional organization LinuxChix Africa, a technical capacity building initiative for women in the region. In Kenya, and across other countries, LinuxChix Africa activities have included organizing the annual Software Freedom Day’s (SFD) Computing Career Conferences with a special emphasis on encouraging the uptake of computing careers amongst women and girls for the past four years.This passion and involvement has christened her as an role model for the women and girl folk in the African community.

Previously Ms. Muthoni worked with the Kenya Education Network from its infancy stages where she provided technical leadership for 4 years in the establishment of the pioneer Research and Education Network in Africa. Today, Kenya Research and Education Network (KENET) provides a common digital infrastructure to over 30 universities and research institutions in the country. Her role with the organization included network infrastructure planning, project management and capacity building for its member institutions. This is a role that she has extended regionally as an instructor with the Africa Network Operators Group (AfNOG) and LinuxChixAfrica.

Ms. Muthoni holds a Bsc. Computer Science degree from the University of Nairobi.  She has also received specialized training in Wireless Networking, Radio Communications, Strategic Technology Planning, amongst others. Through her day to day work as an entrepreneur and computer scientist, Muthoni seeks to see technology positively transforming the lives of the African society and enterprises.