In 2007, as Kenya fell into sectarian violence following contested elections, Catherine Kipsang huddled with her family in the hallway of their home frightened of stray bullets. She was angry, she said, but she was also incredulous.
"I was upset that Kenyans who had lived together for so long and whose children had grown up together would suddenly start killing each other," said Ms. Kipsang, who addressed delegates in the plenar on transparency.
She concluded it was Kenya's post-colonial history and the number of ethnic minorities that led to instability. But there was also low civic education in Kenya. Politicians tended to exploit sectarian tensions, a fact that Ms. Kipsang said distracted people from their political platforms. So she started a sort of Facebook for politicians, listing biographical information about them and listing their political record. She built it with a friend with some computer know-how. The result was Give Numbers, which gives information on every member of the Kenyan Parliament. She pointed out that even the government's own website doesn't do that.
She's hoping the site will allow voters to "focus on their social and economic policies rather than their ethnic background."
Ms. Kipsang's next goal? The Kenyan presidency.