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People, Personnel, and Partners

Archived Page

This is a page from the Kamusi archives. The information below may be out of date, and the links may no longer be valid. Please visit for current information. If you know of links or information on this page that can be updated, please let us know.

Kamusi Project Staff
The Executive Director of the Kamusi Project is the organization's founder, Martin Benjamin. Dr. Benjamin received his PhD in Anthropology from Yale University in 2000, with a research focus on poverty, health, and development aid in Tanzania. After teaching Swahili and Anthropology at the university level, he left in 2006 to devote full time to developing resources for African languages. He is currently a research collaborator in Linguistics at the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland, where he lives with his wife and baby daughter.
The Board of Directors of Kamusi Project USA currently has five members:
President : Warigia Bowman holds a doctorate in public policy from Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. She is keenly interested in rural development issues in Africa and in America. She has significant experience consulting with African NGOs on issues around politics and technology, and has worked with NEPAD, ATPS and the Bill Gates Foundation. She has taught at Kabarak University in Kenya, and is currently teaching at American University in Cairo. She is working on a book on information technology policy in East Africa. Dr. Bowman is married and the mother of three children.
Secretary : Charles Riley is the catalog librarian for African languages at Yale University Library, and co-founder of Athinkra, LLC.  A large part of his work involves integrating technical support for African languages into existing systems for information processing, through contributions toward standards development, research on fonts and scripts, and encouraging publishing activity. He is most familiar with the languages of West Africa, where he served as a Peace Corps volunteer and can still occasionally be found.
Treasurer : Susan Werner is an insurance/securities compliance consultant with Northwestern Mutual. She is the founder and director of Hearts in Unity, a humanitarian aid NGO with a mission to feed, clothe and educate orphan and other at-risk children in Tanzania, and is a board member and secretary of the Maasai Outreach Mission NGO (Kenya). She joined the Kamusi Project as an active user seeking to improve her Swahili language skills.
Director: Thomas J. Hinnebusch is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of California at Los Angeles, where he taught Swahili and Linguistics for 32 years. He is currently Director of the UCLA Language Materials Project at UCLA's Center for World Languages. His research interests include historical/comparative Bantu studies, Swahili lexicography, and the lexicography of Swahili poetry.
Director: Don Osborn holds a PhD in resource development from Michigan State University, and has diverse experience in localization of information technology in African languages, agricultural development, community natural resource management, civil affairs, and teaching and training. His international experience includes 12 years in Africa, 2 in China, and one in Israel. Publications include a Fulfulde (Maasina)-English-French Lexicon, and African languages in a Digital Age (HSRC & IDRC, 2010). He is the founder and director of Bisharat, Ltd., a language, technology and development initiative.
The Board of Directors of Kamusi Project International currently has three members:
President: Thomas Bearth is Professor Emeritus in African Linguistics at the University of Zurich. He has conducted theoretical and applied linguistic research in West Africa for 40 years. His numerous publications include the Internet and CD-ROM university courses ALI-Akan and ALI-Swahili, and two books on the Tura language of Côte d'Ivoire. His current research interests focus on the interface between language diversity, communication and knowledge management for poverty alleviation, health and crisis management.
Secretary: Hugh Peterken served as Chief Information Officer of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies. In this role he was responsible for developing and managing the information and communications technologies for the Red Cross in 86 countries. He has worked with a number of not-for-profit organizations at the national and international level, with a focus on gearing technology initiatives to support the outcome objectives of humanitarian programs.
Treasurer : Mohomodou Houssouba has a PhD in English, with a focus on pedagogy. He is a writer and linguist working on language policy and education reform. Resistance to the adoption of national languages has motivated him to explore the relationship between school authorities and other stakeholders in Mali. Since 2005, he has coordinated the translation of software into Songhay. He initiated the online Songhay dictionary project ( in 2008. He lives in Basel, Switzerland.

Our technical development is conducted by several organizations and individuals, depending on specific programming projects. All of our programming is done with a vision to support the growth of IT development capacity within Africa. , based in Pretoria, South Africa, is developing our next-generation multilingual online dictionary editing software (PALDO) and terminology infrastructure (KamusiTERMS). Project programmers are from South Africa and Egypt.

The Kamusi Project works with numerous partners who contribute toward the ultimate objective, documenting every word in Africa. Some of the organizations with which we have worked, currently work, or have proposals under development include:


Kamusi GOLD

These are the languages for which we have datasets that we are actively working toward putting online. Languages that are Active for you to search are marked with "A" in the list below.


•A = Active language, aligned and searchable
•c = Data 🔢 elicited through the Comparative African Word List
•d = Data from independent sources that Kamusi participants align playing 🐥📊 DUCKS
•e = Data from the 🎮 games you can play on 😂🌎🤖 EmojiWorldBot
•P = Pending language, data in queue for alignment
•w = Data from 🔠🕸 WordNet teams

Software and Systems

We are actively creating new software for you to make use of and contribute to the 🎓 knowledge we are bringing together. Learn about software that is ready for you to download or in development, and the unique data systems we are putting in place for advanced language learning and technology:

Articles and Information

Kamusi has many elements. With these articles, you can read the details that interest you:

Videos and Slideshows

Some of what you need to know about Kamusi can best be understood visually. Our 📽 videos are not professional, but we hope you find them useful:


Our partners - past, present, and future - include:

Hack Kamusi

Here are some of the work elements on our task list that you can help do or fund:

Theory of Kamusi

Select a link below to learn about the principles that guide the project's unique approach to lexicography and public service.

Contact Us

We welcome your comments and questions, and will try to respond quickly. To get in touch, please visit our contact page. You must use a real email address if you want to get a real reply!

© Copyright ©

The Kamusi Project dictionaries and the Kamusi Project databases are intellectual property protected by international copyright law, ©2007 through ©2018, under the joint ownership of Kamusi Project International and Kamusi Project USA. Further explanation may be found on our © Copyright page.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.


Discussion items about language, technology, and society, from the Kamusi editor and others. This box is growing. To help develop or fund the project, please contact us!

Our biggest struggle is keeping Kamusi online and keeping it free. We cannot charge money for our services because that would block access to the very people we most want to benefit, the students and speakers of languages around the world that are almost always excluded from information technology. So, we ask, request, beseech, beg you, to please support our work by donating as generously as you can to help build and maintain this unique public resource.


Frequently Asked Questions

Answers to general questions you might have about Kamusi services.

We are building this page around real questions from members of the Kamusi community. Send us a question that you think will help other visitors to the site, and frequently we will place the answer here.

Try it : Ask a "FAQ"!

Press Coverage

Kamusi in the news: Reports by journalists and bloggers about our work in newspapers, television, radio, and online.

Sponsor Search:
Who Do You Know?

To keep Kamusi growing as a "free" knowledge resource for the world's languages, we need major contributions from philanthropists and organizations. Do you have any connections with a generous person, corporation, foundation, or family office that might wish to make a long term impact on educational outcomes and economic opportunity for speakers of excluded languages around the world? If you can help us reach out to a potential 💛😇 GOLD Angel, please contact us!