East Africa Today: An interview with Teddy Ruge
In Episode 16, East Africa Today speaks with Mr. Teddy Ruge, Co-Founder of Project Diaspora and a recipient of the White House Champion of Change award. Mr. Ruge talks to the podcast about the fallout from the Kenyan elections and how the result was a vote of no confidence of the Western media and International Criminal Court (ICC). These two actors were seen as the main losers of the election, while the Kenyan people, after making history, were the winners. Mr. Ruge also shares his views about why certain international media outlets always have a negative tilt to their reporting when covering African stories. Were the headlines of Western media already written before Kenya’s election? How should journalists write about Africa? We then discuss Project Diaspora and the relationship between Africans living abroad and living in Africa. Has social media improved the disconnect between the Diaspora and those living in Africa?
In 2007, Mr. Ruge co-founded Project Diaspora, an online platform for mobilizing, engaging and motivating members of African Diaspora to engage in matters important to the continent’s development. He is also the co-founder of HiveColab, Uganda’s first technology incubator and co-working space. He is the founder of Uganda Medicinal Plan Growers Ltd., an agricultural value-added exporter in his hometown of Masindi, Uganda. In 2010, he launched Villages in Action, the first social media powered, live-streamed conference from a village to mark the 10th anniversary of the Millennium Development Goals.
A technology enthusiast, Mr. Ruge writes and speaks extensively on Africa’s current renaissance driven by technology, youth and the Diaspora. A year ago Mr. Ruge wrote about the 'Kony 2012' buzz that received significant attention and explained why such a social media movement made the news for the wrong reasons, something discussed in this podcast.
He is a frequent contributor to several online publications including CNN, Globe and Mail, Wall Street Journal and The Guardian. He hosts a program called the Digital Continent Podcast which can be found on iTunes.
He was born in Masindi, Uganda and grew up in Uganda, Kenya and the United States.
You can follow Mr. Ruge on Twitter: @tmsruge
Photo: Teddy Ruge (via Project Diaspora)