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Social Networks Fight Against African Violence


I grew up in South Africa. We watched as democracy transformed our country from the poster child of modern fascism to the world’s newest democracy. One of the most powerful forces that lead to the transformation was the ability for common people to organize themselves against a seemly immovable repressive government.

Those were the days before cells phones and social networks. Now in Zimbabwe, South Africa’s neighbor, the common folk are using technology to organize themselves against one of Africa’s worst despots, Robert Mugabe. Jonathan Gosier has noticed a very exciting trend in African political movements against violence and voter fraud.

Sokwanele is a civic action support group campaigning for freedom and democracy in Zimbabwe. Their website includes an ‘election violence map’ that provides detailed information related to localized occurrences of violence related to the election. During the most recent crisis in Zimbabwe, Sokwanele was used to get information out of the country when the government began restricting communication.

Author Richard Banfield

As CEO, Richard leads Fresh Tilled Soil’s strategic vision. He’s a mentor at TechStars and BluePrintHealth, an advisor and lecturer at the Boston Startup School, and serves on the executive committees of TEDxBoston, the AdClub’s Edge Conference, and Boston Regional Entrepreneurship Week.

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