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Omidyar Network Supports Innovations in Mobile Technology with Grant to Praekelt Foundation in Africa

Posted: 06.12.2010

REDWOOD CITY, Calif., December 7, 2010 -- Omidyar Network today announced an $825,000 grant to Praekelt Foundation to support its pioneering use of mobile technology to drive positive social change. Funded through Omidyar Network's Government Transparency investment area, the grant will be used to extend the Foundation's mobile technology platforms across Africa. Built to take advantage of rapidly growing mobile penetration throughout the continent, these mobile platforms will provide the technological foundation and infrastructure for a variety of initiatives focusing on healthcare, education, human rights and government transparency initiatives.

"Omidyar Network is deeply committed to furthering the use of mobile technology to engage citizens on issues of importance to them, advance economic opportunity, and catalyze positive social impact," commented Stephen King, investment partner at Omidyar Network. "Praekelt Foundation has been a leader in Africa in providing open source, mobile tools to educate and motivate citizens on crucial issues. Omidyar Network is proud to help extend their successes and apply these tools to advance transparency and accountability across the continent"

Through its Government Transparency investment area, Omidyar Network invests in organizations that use technology and media platforms to provide access to information and tools necessary for citizens to participate in the governing process, shape outcomes important to them, and hold governments to account. Over the last two years, the firm has granted over $30M to organizations such as Ushahidi, Refugees United, Global Voices and FrontlineSMS. In October, Omidyar Network and Hivos announced the creation of the Africa Transparency and Technology Initiative, an investment fund that supports the incubation of technology-driven initiatives in Africa that give citizens the tools to hold their governments to account.

Said Gustav Praekelt, founder of Praekelt Foundation, "We are very excited about this partnership with Omidyar Network, and about the potential for the institutional growth and expansion it holds for the organization. Praekelt Foundation strives to be a leading mobile technology incubator for tools and services that benefit the poor. We believe this relationship with Omidyar Network will bring us closer to achieving this goal - both in Africa and in other emerging markets."

About Praekelt Foundation

Praekelt Foundation is an African organization that develops innovative, scalable mobile technology solutions that benefit people living in poverty. The organisation is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has deployed programmes in over 15 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Apart from designing and implementing new mobile tools, Praekelt Foundation works in close partnership with NGOs and governments to help them reach their constituencies. For more information, please visit http://praekeltfoundation.org

About Omidyar Network

Omidyar Network is a philanthropic investment firm dedicated to harnessing the power of markets to create opportunity for people to improve their lives. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, the organization invests in and helps scale innovative organizations to catalyze economic and social change. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $383 million to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple investment areas, including microfinance, entrepreneurship, property rights, consumer Internet, mobile technology and government transparency. To learn more about Omidyar Network, please visit www.omidyar.com.

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