Patrick Gathitu

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2004
Etang Kenya


This profile was prepared when Patrick Gathitu was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2004.
The New Idea
Patrick sees that scattered access to information about affordable technologies and simple innovations is a primary deterrent to the productivity of Kenyans—many of them rural people whose livelihoods are tied to the land. Without this access, small-scale business efforts, even of enterprising people, are doomed to low productivity and earnings.
In an environment in which tradespeople buy and sell for profit, not bothering about the product’s usability to its purchaser, Patrick helps Kenyans make good choices about what technologies to buy and how best to use them on their farms, in their microentreprises, and so on. He identifies several hundred promising, affordable, and appropriate technologies. He shows people how to use them and offers continued support to small-scale business owners as they expand their ventures. Having begun his work in Western and North Rift Kenya, Patrick hopes to build a network of inventors, farmers, and civil society groups across East Africa to foster efficiency and entrepreneurship.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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