UN reports 3,600 cases of sexual violence over four years in Congo

By Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba| April 15, 2014

Rape and sexual violence remain widespread in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) with more than 3,600 victims registered between January 2010 and December 2013, according to a new report by the UN Joint Human Rights Office in the DRC (UNJHRO) . Continue reading

South Africa Dominates African Twitterverse

By Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefK.Masimba | April 14, 2014

Africa’s richest country, South Africa, dominated conversation on the social networking platform, Twitter, while football was the most discussed topic in the last quarter of 2013 according to a recent study.

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Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt on Women in Tech

During a public talk held recently in Washington DC, Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, said that the impression that the tech industry advances minorities and women is because the hidden biases that drive white male behavior are difficult to hide in the tech industry.

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Africa’s Web Potential Requires Content

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | March 13, 2014

According to the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), content from sub-Saharan Africa is lacking, when measured by the number of Internet servers on the continent compared to other regions. Continue reading

Google Glass: Computer in your Eye

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | March 13, 2014

My first encounter with Google Glass came on a Thursday in March when I responded to a call for a demonstration of the wearable device at the University of Maryland’s McKeldin Library. Yitzy Paul, the tech sherpa, wore the glass beaming and explaining everything that he was doing on a large television screen.

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“I think it’s pretty great. It’s a really interesting device. It puts the computer at your face which is something that you don’t usually have. It helps with ease of use. When I’m in a meeting it’s really inappropriate to look down at your phone when you get an email et cetera but its perfectly fine when its in your line of sight,” he said.

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What the Heck is Right to Privacy?

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | OpEd

THAT the individual shall have full protection in person and in property is a principle as old as the common law; but it has been found necessary from time to time to define anew the exact nature and extent of such protection. – Harvard Law Review, 1890

I was listening to music on the web recently when I felt a sudden jolt  that someone could be snooping on me. Through some mass metadata collection effort, they were making a list of all the music I listen to in order to make a character sketch of me. It was a rather odd feeling that rose inside of me. Not that I was listening to anything out of this world. Being online, of course is exposing oneself.  On another thought, just think of how the mobile phone is like your personal address all wrapped up with information about who you are.

I think technology’s reach into our lives needs to be framed within the context of both its potential and what it is taking away, and not simply hailed as the harbinger of progress.

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Against the background of NSA’s Edward J Snowden’s revelations of mass government surveillance programs last June, I don’t think I will ever go online without imagining that my right to privacy is being violated. However, most of the time, I just ignore it and do what I have to do. I’m a digital native after all. Continue reading

Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, On Shared Leadership

By Chief K.Masimba | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba | February 28, 2014

Leadership is highly rated in population imagination and typified through individuals that supposedly have amazing skills. But, according to Google Chairman, Eric Schmidt, an appropriate leadership model is one that regards leadership as a shared effort.

He said that the idea of an omnipotent, brilliant single leader and decision maker is a wonderful myth.

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Memories of A Grandmother’s Love

By Chief K.Masimba Biriwasha | Global Editor At Large | @ChiefKMasimba

Late 1970. Zimbabwe, then Rhodesia, was burning. I was nearly five years old, already accustomed to fear and terror. Conditioned, so to speak.

A war was raging throughout Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe. Bullets, helicopter patrols, night vigils with guerilla fighters bent on mobilizing the masses, and soldiers from the minority white colonial regime beating the hell out of everybody was the menu of our days.

The war was getting hot, and there was no end in sight. I was living with my grandparents — my pillars of support during that senseless war.  Continue reading