Ms. Ciepiela-Kaelin’s contribution to the mobile technology revolution in Uganda, was recognized in a September 2014 article in Forbes Magazine. In 2001, Cecilia Ciepiela-Kaelin was part of a team supporting Uganda’s competitiveness strategy, when she designed and implemented Uganda’s first mobile phone based information system. The system was launched on February 14, 2002 to provide fish market price information to fishermen on Lake Victoria. She led a unique partnership among the US Government, South Africa’s telecommunications giant, MTN, and two Uganda small businesses, IMPACT Associates and SMS Media–now leaders in Uganda’s vibrant technology innovation ecosystem. She designed a successful pilot to test the market viability of mobile phone content services as a driver for phone penetration into rural areas of Uganda. The pilot led directly to the engagement of Grameen Foundation in Uganda.
Victor Hwang, Vice President of Entrepreneurship at the Kaufmann Foundation, shared this story as a contributor Forbes. Hr. Hwang was formerly currently CEO of T2 Venture Creation, a firm that designs innovation ecosystems, and co-author with Greg Horowitt of the award-winning The Rainforest: The Secret to Building the Next Silicon Valley.