Dorcas Muthoni is founder and Chief Executive Officer of Openworld Ltd, a specialist computer software company she established in Kenya when she was just 24 years old. Today, Openworld is a leading e-Government and business software services firm involved in the delivery of some of the most widely used Web and Cloud applications in Africa, such as ARIS, an African Union reporting application used by all 54 member states; and the Performance Management System for the Government of Kenya, automating performance contracting in the public sector.
Dorcas is passionate about using technology to positively transform African society through the lives of its ordinary people, businesses and governments and is a co-founder of the regional organization LinuxChix Africa. She also serves as a Director at Ushahidi; is a Member of the council of the Free Software and Open Source Foundation for Africa - FOSSFA. Through her day to day work as an entrepreneur and Computer Scientist, Dorcas seeks to see technology positively transforming the lives of the African society, governments and enterprises. In 2012 Dorcas is inducted by the Internet Society into the Internet Hall of Fame.
Dorcas's Startup Story
My story of success started many years back when I started helping to build networks for universities, being amongst the first women engineers to work with the Kenya educational network. Later I started up an open source company called Open World that develops software for e-government, and in 2004 founded an organisation called AfChix, a technical capacity building initiative for women in the region. For over 5 years in Kenya and across Africa, AfChix’s activities have included organising annual career conferences with a special emphasis on the uptake of computer engineering careers amongst young women and high school girls. This is one of my greatest passions. We have trained many women in many of the African countries that have AfChix chapters, who in turn have become trainers and have trained other women. We also started a mentorship programme in high schools and this involved bringing together girls from secondary schools all over Kenya and inviting women engineers, women web developers, and women computer enginers to mentor the girls and give them advice. This has had a major impact over the last 10 years. This gives me great joy to see so many great women engineers from various disciplines emerge.
Dorcas founded OPENWORLD LTD, an open source software company that develops software for e-government, at the age of 24. OPENWORLD is now a leading e-Government and Business Software Services firm in the Eastern Africa region. The company has been involved in the delivery of some of the most widely used Web and cloud applications in Africa, such as ARIS, an African Union reporting application used by all 54 member states; the Performance Management System for the Government of Kenya, automating performance contracting in the public sector; and OpenBusiness, a revolutionary cloud-based small- and medium-size business management tool.