t: @joshuaokello In: linkedin.com/in/joshuaokello
Joshua Okello (or Josh as he is most commonly known in tech and writing circles) is an innovative and passionate tech-preneur, computer programmer/developer, and poet/writer. He is a self-proclaimed knowledge junkie with a seemingly insatiable curiosity.
He is co-founder of two start-ups – Cipher256 Co. Ltd which focuses on delivering disruptive high-quality, affordable and contextually relevant community-centric tech solutions (like multi-award-winning smartphone-based ultrasound-like solution, WinSenga); and Diet Assistant, a start-up aiming to use technology to improve nutrition, especially in low-resource settings. He is CEO/Team Lead at Cipher256 (@cipher256) and Lead developer on WinSenga (@winsenga); and Director, Product Development at The Diet Assistant (@dietassistantug).
Joshua became the youngest ever finalist in the Innovation Prize for Africa, a prize celebrating African ingenuity across the continent and recognizing the continent’s innovative leaders. He quit the path to becoming a medical doctor and instead pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Systems from Makerere University graduating summa cum laude. In 2014, he was awarded the Future Africa Prize in Technology at the Future Africa Awards; as well as the Made In Uganda award at the Celebrating Womanhood Festival for his work and efforts to improve healthcare for mothers in rural, remote and low-resource settings.
In addition to previous work at Orange Uganda (now Africell) in Marketing (VAS – Value Added Services), he has worked as a volunteer in various different capacities with Microsoft Developer Platform Evangelism & Microsoft Innovation Centre (Microsoft Student Partner) and Microsoft 4Afrika (Microsoft Student Champ & Microsoft 4Afrika AppStar). He continues to volunteer with Microsoft Citizenship/Microsoft YouthSpark (Microsoft’s youth-targeted program to help impart skills, inspire youth to pursue their dreams, fund youth-led entrepreneurial efforts and connect youth with networks that build them) as a YouthSpark Advocate and with the Lantern Meet of Poets (East Africa’s largest and Uganda’s oldest poets’ and writers’ association) as technology consultant and resident geek/techie.
Josh is passionate about technology and writing and how they can be used for socio-economic change. In particularly, he has a strong bias for African solutions for African problems and what role the youth can play in that. As such, he mentors a number of university students and student teams including an all-girl team (mDex – @afrigaltech) building one of the world’s first smartphone-based sickle-cell diagnosis tools.
When he isn’t trying to impact the world with crazy ideas and solutions, work or inspire/mentor other youth, he runs free boot-camps as universities focusing on mobile app development and how to turn tech ideas into businesses. He occasionally writes tech articles for magazines, blogs or newspapers. He is a Liverpool FC supporter, loves parties and music – unless it is hip-hop or rock, which are a far cry from his favorite genres of reggae/dancehall, country and jazz/swing.