Miami Chirilele is a final-year student studying for a bachelor’s degree in business studies and computer science. During her internship year she worked under the mentorship of the founder of the Zimbabwe Community Network Initiatives (ZCNI, a partner organisation involved in the development of the Murambinda community network) in a setup concerned with finding digital health solutions that target rural areas in Zimbabwe. She also worked as a part-time volunteer with ZCNI. The joint exposure to this group, while working as a partner of a health organisation, gave her an understanding and appreciation of the impact of bringing internet and communications technology solutions to rural societies in Zimbabwe. This inspired her to continue learning to develop these solutions, especially those that get to work in the African context at large. She has also joined organisations such as Girls In Stem Trust and Girls in Computer Society of Zimbabwe, that have allowed her to meet women role models in the tech world and learn how they are thriving in a male-dominated industry. This has instilled in her the desire to one day be “the woman on board” and talk about her career and inspire other female students.
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Connectivity hacking the pandemic, enabling digital inclusion and unlocking treasure in rural areas
Miami Chirilele writes about how Murambinda Works, a community network in North Buhera, Zimbabwe, has been able to connect 108,000 people, and is hacking the crisis bottom-up.