Dr. Dorcas Muthoni: The Founder Of OpenWorld Limited Behind Web Platform Used By 54 African Union Member States

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Dr. Dorcas Muthoni: The Founder Of Openworld Limited Behind Web Platform Used By 54 African Union Member States
Dr. Dorcas Muthoni Photocredit/TheStandard

Over the years we have witnessed women taking up positions and careers that were previously male dominated. Dr. Dorcas Muthoni is one such woman who has taken the ICT sector by storm through her company OpenWorld Ltd. The company developed ARIS – an African Union reporting application that is used by all 54 member states. Openworld is also behind the Performance Management System used by the Government of Kenya-that automates performance contracting in the public sector. 

Here is Dr. Dorcas Muthoni illustrious career as told by WoK.

Background

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Dr. Dorcas Muthoni was born in 1979 in Nyeri County. After clearing her primary and secondary school education, she joined theUniversity of Nairobi to pursue computer science. She acquired specialised training in radio communications, wireless networks and strategic technology planning, among other subjects.

Founding Open World Limited

Muthoni founded Openworld Ltd– a software company that provides IT support, IT Consultancy, Cyber security, cloud computing and Managed IT-when she was only 24 years. The company has over 200 experts in different specializations, over 30 offices across Africa and was able to grow from 0 to US$15 million revenue in under 3 years. It has been instrumental in developing numerous web and cloud applications that are used by mega businesses and government institutions across Africa. For instance, the company developed ARIS – a reporting application that is used by all 54 member states of the African Union (AU). It is also behind Open Business – a cloud based business management tool for small-medium sized enterprises as well as the Performance Management System for the Government of Kenya.

Establishing AfChix

After successfully founding Openworld Ltd, she established Linux Chix Africa together with her business partner Ana Badimo. The organization was later rebranded to AfChix in 2004. It offers mentorship to young African girls and women to encourage them to pursue IT and computing field. Some of the activities conducted by the organization include the annual Computing Career Conference, role-modeling for women in technology and career development. In a span of 10 years, AfChix has provided career mentorship and guidance to over 7,000 girls secondary schools across Kenya and Uganda.

Other Activities

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Apart from Open World and AfChix, Muthoni serves as Director at Ushahidi- an open source software application. She is also a member of the council of the Free Software and the Open Source Foundation for Africa (FOSSFA). She has been an Internet Society (ISOC) Fellow to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) and World Bank infoDev Global Forum.

In 2020, The techpreneur joined the HF Group Board as a non-executive director of its mortgage subsidiary, HFC, effective May.

Achievements and Awards

In 2007, Muthoni received the Anita Borg Institute for Women and Technology’s Change Agent award. A year later, she was recognized as a Women’s Forum Rising Talent. In 2012, which is probably the highlight of her career, she was inducted to the Internet Hall of Fame by the Internet Society. A year later, she was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum. In 2017, she received an honorary degree from the Pompeu Fabra University in Spain in recognition of her efforts in mentoring young people, promoting engineering studies among girls in Africa and her social commitment in the fight against poverty.

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