August 5, 2010 - Grameen Foundation has announced the appointment of Sean Krepp as Country Director and Program Manager for the Application Laboratory (AppLab) Uganda and Community Knowledge Worker Initiative. (www.applab.org and //ckw.applab.org).
AppLab is an initiative of Grameen Foundation’s Grameen Technology Center in partnership with MTN Uganda, the country’s leading mobile network operator. Several investors and donors, anchored by an initial angel investment from Google and subsequent grants from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, support AppLab’s operations. These operations led to the launch of AppLab’s first product suite, Google SMS, which won the GSMA award for Best Use of Mobile for Social and Economic Development, as well as completion of a successful Test of Concept of the innovative Community Knowledge Worker (CKW) initiative in 2009.
As part of this initiative, village-based, peer-nominated information intermediaries (CKWs) are using mobile technology to deliver agricultural information to, and collect information from, poor smallholder farmers about their needs. This model offers the potential to revolutionize agricultural extension, helping farmers adopt better techniques, while receiving better products and extension services from organizations that serve them, with the goal of increasing yields, and ultimately incomes. Grameen Foundation is working with NGO, government and commercial partners, and aims to build a nationwide network of CKWs over the next 3 years.
“Grameen Technology Center is on the cutting edge of where mobile technology meets human empowerment,” Sean said. “I am thrilled to join such a talented team of professionals devoted to improving the livelihoods of the world’s poorest.”
In his new role, Sean will head Grameen Foundation’s technology programs and operations in Uganda, ensuring the ongoing delivery of impact while developing and scaling sustainable business models for the AppLab Uganda and Community Knowledge Worker Initiative. He will provide strategic and operational leadership, cultivate and manage relationships with strategic partners, manage and mentor the local team, and be responsible for all P&L and impact metrics.
Sean comes to Grameen Foundation with more than 11 years of ICT experience. Since 2008, Sean has served as Head of Emerging Market Services, Middle East and Africa, at Nokia. He and his team developed several new services such as Nokia Ovi’s Life Tools for markets in Africa, which support poor farmers and their families with mobile services in the areas of agriculture, education, and health. Previously, Sean served as Deputy Head of the Nokia EU office and secretary of the EU Africa Business Forum. Throughout his career, he has held various positions in strategy, marketing, product, and business development.
About Grameen Foundation
Grameen Foundation, a global nonprofit organization, helps the world’s poorest people access financial services, capital and information, by providing financing, technology solutions and management strategies to the local organizations that serve them, and by spearheading technology initiatives that create new microbusiness opportunities for the poor, and improve their access to information and other services through mobile phones. Founded in 1997, Grameen Foundation has offices in Washington, D.C. and Seattle, Washington. Dr. Muhammad Yunus, the founder of Grameen Bank and the 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, is a founding member of its board of directors and served on the board for 12 years. For more information, please visit www.grameenfoundation.org.