Tobias is the founder of Kabissa - Space for Change in Africa?, an organization that helps African civil society organizations to put ICT, especially the internet, to work for the people they serve.

"Africa has always been part of my life. My parents, both German, moved to Washington DC during the raging 1960s, and were very concerned with events on the continent as countries gained their independence. My mother was a doctor who sympathized with the people at the grassroots and my father was a manager at the World Bank, so of course dinner-table conversation was always very heated!

We also lived in Africa - in Botswana as a young child (1973-75) and again in Kenya where I graduated from high school (1988-90). It was in the last place that Africa really got under my skin, and of course where I learned the kiswahili word 'kabisa' (meaning 'completely').

Since I was 15 I've been into computers and modems, and very quickly specialized on 'Internet in Africa' at a time when most countries still did not have much in terms of Internet access. The work, especially with Kabissa for the last five years, has taken me to many African countries and allowed me to work with many inspiring Africans throughout the continent.

Recently I returned to Kenya?, for the first time as a grown-up, together with my colleague Kim Lowery. After running a training workshop for democracy activists in Nairobi, we drove out to a tented camp near the equator for a strategic planning retreat. It was a fantastic feeling to be back in Kenya after all these years and to be reminded of the first time I fell in love with Africa."