Speakers

Justin Arenstein

He is an award-winning investigative journalist and digital strategist currently helping Google and the International Centre for Journalists strengthen Africa’s watchdog media by working with newsrooms to implement better forensic research and evidence-based reportage. This includes helping media adopt digital tools and data journalism strategies. Justin manages the $500,000 impactAFRICA data-driven storytelling fund, is rolling out HacksHackers chapters across Africa, and supports newsroom-based experiments with citizen reporting, mobile news, and augmented reality platforms. Justin is a former Press Councillor in South Africa, and continues to serve on several media industry bodies and think tanks. His investigative reportage has helped put a senator, two legislature speakers and a provincial cabinet minister behind bars, and contributed to the ouster of two provincial premiers and several other cabinet ministers and state officials on charges ranging from child rape to corruption.

Serah Rono

Serah Rono serves as Code for Africa’s Developer Advocate, championing its software solutions and also serving as community coordinator, based in Kenya, working with its technical pan-African projects/programmes. She also serves as a web developer in Code For Africa, building web applications at CitizenLab accelerators, is the pan-african coordinator for Hacks/Hackers Africa and a data wrangler at ANCIR and for afriLEAKSCode for Africa (CfAfrica) is the continent’s largest open data initiative, using technology and data to help citizens shape their governments and hold those in power to account. CfAfrica currently has country-based programmes in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa.

Solomon Mekonnen

Solomon Mekonnen is an Academic Staff with rank of Lecturer and a System Librarian at the Addis Ababa University (AAU). He is also a Co-Founder of Code4Ethiopia which advocates for open data in Ethiopia. He is the national coordinator for Electronic Information for Libraries (EIFL), an open access program representing Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries as well as Open Knowledge whose focus is on open data and open science.
Solomon has graduated with MSc. in Information Science from AAU and currently he is a PHD candidate in Information Systems at the University of South Africa.

Mesfin Gezahegn (LIS, MBA)

Mr. Mesfin is a chief Librarian at the Addis Ababa University (AAU). He is also a chair for Consortium of Ethiopian Academic and Research Libraries (CEARL). Mesfin is also a Lecturer at Department of Management at AAU. He has led various projects nationally and internationally related to Library automation, digitization and public library development. He initiated and managed a Digital Library project was implemented at 22 Branches of AAU. Mesfin has also participated in a research projects related to Library and Management nationally and internationally. He is an open access and open data advocator.
Mesfin studied BSc in Information Science and Master of Business administration at the Addis Ababa University.

Martha Yifiru

Martha Yifiru is an Assistant Professor at the School of Information Science, Addis Ababa University. Currently, she is the head of the School of Information Science. Besides teaching and supervising MSc. students, Martha has been and being working as a principal and co-investigator in various research projects (in the area of speech and language processing) funded by international organizations like Google Inc. and national organizations such as The Federal Ministry of Information and Communication Technology (MCIT). She also serves as a reviewer for national (ICT Conference) and international (EEE Africon, INTERSPEECH) conferences. She obtained her PhD degree in Computer Science from University of Hamburg, Germany. She has also worked as postdoctoral researcher at Joseph Fourier University, Grenoble, France.

Daniel Beyene

Daniel Beyene is a Lecturer at Addis Ababa University, School of Information Science. He has graduated with a MSc. In information Science from Addis Ababa University and currently, he is a PhD student at AAU IT doctoral Program. His PhD dissertation focuses on exploring the utility of Big Data Analytics for sustainable tourism development in Ethiopia.  He is a co-founder of Code4Ethiopia which advocates for open data in Ethiopia and has been actively participating in various open data initiatives in Ethiopia. Daniel is also a columnist at AddisGets Magazine which is a bi-monthly Amharic Magazine.

Melkamu Beyene

Melkamu Beyene is a lecturer at Addis Ababa University, School of Information Science. He has graduated with a Msc in information Science from Addis Ababa University. He is a PhD candidate at the IT Doctoral Program of Addis Ababa University and currently writing his final PhD Dissertation report. His PhD dissertation focuses on cross-lingual dataset linking in the linked open data cloud. He is a co-founder of Code4Ethiopia. Melkamu published one article in international peer-reviewed conference proceedings, present in many national conferences about open data, open research data, semantic web, linked data and information retrieval. His research intersect includes semantic web, linked data, open data, big data, data science. He also openly contribute codes to projects on Github.

Teshome Alemu

Teshome Alemu is a Lecturer at Addis Ababa University, School of Information Science. He is also Co-founder of Code4Ethiopia.org, volunteer team that advocates Open Data in Ethiopia. Teshome has M.Sc. in Information Science and B.Sc. in IT education. Currently he is attending his PhD in Information Systems specialty truck at Addis Ababa University, IT Doctoral Program. His PhD project focuses on Factors Influencing the Use of Open Government Data in Ethiopia. His research interest includes Optical Character Recognition, IT security and adoption, and open data. Among his published works is e-banking adoption at International Journal of Information Systems in the Service Sector.

Tamrat Giorgis

Tamrat G. Gebremariam is the Managing Editor of the largest English weekly in Ethiopia, Fortune, which covers largely business and also politics. He has travelled to and attended various trainings and seminars in over 21 different countries in different parts of the world. He has over 24 years of experience in nearly every aspect of publishing for over 11 different publications. He is a member of the Alumni of the University of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Policy and contributed regularly to international specialized publications such as the Global Integrity’s Index on Government Corruption, Transparency and Accountability, and the Federation, a flagship publication of the Forum’s for Federations.

With Support From:

Craig Hammer

Craig Hammer leads the World Bank Institute’s Global Media Development program, a partnership-driven initiative which focuses on information and media as drivers of good governance. A licensed attorney, his work at the World Bank has included strengthening laws, policies, and regulations to enhance the enabling environment for media and access to information, as well as collaborative approaches with media practitioners (journalists, editors, media owners/managers, students, developers, and more) to strengthen the role of media as a key driver of the global knowledge economy, and as a tech-enabled, institution of transparency and accountability.

Sandra Moscoso

By day, Sandra is the deputy program lead of the World Bank’s Global Media Development Programme, a partnership-driven initiative which focuses on information and media as drivers of social accountability and good governance. Sandra also launched and managed the World Bank’s Open Finances program, where she worked to open financial data, make it digestible, and supported the use of open data in development. She has worked on open data efforts in Kenya, Moldova, Afghanistan, Nigeria, and across Latin America. By night, Sandra works on local community efforts related to schools and education, active transportation, and open government. For this work, the Sunlight Foundation recognized Sandra as an Open Gov Champion. Prior to the World Bank, Sandra worked as a change management consultant for enterprise systems implementations. A graduate of James Madison University, Sandra lives in Washington, DC with her husband, two children, and the ‘village’ that makes every-day life possible.

Nqobile Buthelezi

Nqobile is the programme manager for AMI’s Digital Innovation Programme, including the African News Innovation Challenge (ANIC). She manages the Hacks/Hackers Africa network and helps in expanding the Code for Africa network of CitizenLabs that provide technology support to ANIC winners to coverage of four “hub” countries in Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa. She previously worked as conference manager for the continent’s largest annual gathering of journalists and news technologists, at the Rhodes University School of Journalism and Media Studies’ (JMS) Highway Africa. She has also worked as a journalist for the magazine division of Media24, in KwaZulu Natal.

Our Mission

To boost analytical, evidence-based public discussion
by giving citizens, journalists and civil society
access to the data, digital tools, and computational skills
necessary for transforming our societies into digital democracies.