Kenyan ISP Pioneer Amolo Ng'weno Leaves Gates Foundation to Join Digital Divide Data

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Ms. Amolo Ng’weno, a Kenyan Internet pioneer, has taken the position of Managing Director of Digital Divide Data Kenya, leaving her post as Deputy Director of the Financial Services for the Poor program at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Amolo Ng’weno represents the best of Digital Divide Data--a commitment to making a difference, combined with a dedication to high performance and delivery of high-quality services to clients.” - Jeremy Hockenstein, CEO

Digital Divide Data (DDD) announced today that Ms. Amolo Ng'weno has been appointed as Managing Director of DDD Kenya. In this new role, she will lead the organization’s expansion to East Africa. Ms. Ng’weno is a Kenyan ISP pioneer and entrepreneur who most recently worked at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, as Deputy Director of their Financial Services for the Poor program.

Jeremy Hockenstein, CEO of DDD, said he is very happy to have Amolo onboard to help the organization grow. “Amolo Ng’weno represents the best of Digital Divide Data--a commitment to making a social difference, combined with a track record that shows her dedication to high performance and to delivering high-quality services to clients,” he explained.

Ms. Ng’weno was a co-founder of the first East African internet service provider, Africa Online, which still operates in eight countries. She also co-founded an online shopping company, Biashara.biz, which won several awards, including recognition from the Kenya Bureau of Standards for best small company in Kenya in the services industry.

“The opportunity to work on the frontlines of the data conversion industry, while also being able to give back to my native Kenya, was something I couldn’t turn down,” said Amolo of her recent decision to join Digital Divide Data. “DDD’s model is unique because clients are offered world-class, competitively priced data conversion services, while also providing opportunities for youth in the developing world. I’m excited to take the lead on bringing this sustainable business to Africa.”

Currently, Digital Divide Data operates in Cambodia and Laos, but the organization plans to launch its first African operation in early 2011. The new office will be located in Nairobi, Kenya and will serve clients in Kenya, the regional East African market, and globally.

Amolo came to the US to join the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she served as a leader of the foundation’s Financial Services for the Poor program. Prior to that, she was the Chief Operating Officer of the Trust for African Rock Art. Among her key accomplishments there was managing a major data conversion project, the digitization of 12,000 fine art photos.

Ms. Ng'weno holds a B.A. in Psychology and Social Relations from Harvard University and a Master's in Public Affairs from Princeton University. She has returned to her native Kenya to take on this new position.

Digital Divide Data (DDD) is an innovative, internationally acclaimed social enterprise. We create jobs for talented youth in developing countries by delivering high-quality content business process outsourcing services to clients globally. This business empowers our staff with the skills and experience they need to lift themselves out of poverty. When our business grows, so does our impact.

Links:

http://www.gatesfoundation.org/financialservicesforthepoor/Documents/mobile-money.pdf

http://www.microfinancepodcast.com/mfp-123-amolo-ng%E2%80%99weno-kenya-experience-beyond-m-pesa/

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Geoffrey Benjamin

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