Kim Harrisberg profile background image
Kim Harrisberg profile image

Kim Harrisberg

South Africa correspondent

Thomson Reuters Foundation

Kim Harrisberg is the Southern Africa correspondent for the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Johannesburg covering technology’s impact on society, as well as climate change and inequality on the continent. Before joining the Thomson Reuters Foundation, Kim was a multimedia journalist with South Africa’s oldest health news agency.

11 hours and 53 mins ago

Cleaners, couriers and cabbies from around the world are creating new apps to better balance their gig work with the chores of motherhood and marriage, skirting sexist algorithms that penalise women who put home before work.

From Brazil to South Africa, female gig workers are on a mission to design, build and own their own apps to counter what they see as entrenched sexism on existing job platforms.

September 06, 2023

At Africa's first-ever climate summit in Nairobi this week, government and U.N. leaders sought to promote the continent as a source of solutions to the world's global warming challenge, rooted in its rich natural resources from sunshine to forests.

But they identified one big snag: a lack of finance to turn that potential into the reality of a green and fair transition.

August 30, 2023

When 46-year-old data collector Mfanzile Msibi and his team started mapping slums more than a decade ago near Johannesburg, they realised that tens of thousands of slum dwellers were unaccounted for in government records.

The local Ekurhuleni government, a city east of Johannesburg, had recognised 102 slum settlements in 2009, but the Informal Settlement Network (ISN), a South African social movement, found that over a dozen communities were missing from records.

August 18, 2023

It is 150 years since hundreds of Mozambican slaves were freed by the British, only to be forced into indentured servitude in South Africa.

Now, their descendants are calling for reparations.

August 09, 2023

Called Lelapa AI, the artificial intelligence research lab headed by Pelonomi Moiloa means home in southern Africa's Sotho and Tswana languages - a name that reflects its goal of building algorithms designed by Africans, for Africans.

Lelapa AI is one of a clutch of African startups that aims to offer an alternative to AI systems being built by Western firms such as OpenAI and Google as "digital colonialism" concerns grow about how Big Tech harvests and uses people's data.

July 19, 2023

From Zimbabwe's lithium-rich rocks to Democratic Republic of Congo's cobalt, minerals critical for clean energy technologies are increasingly in demand from Africa's trade partners as part of the global green transition from planet-warming fossil fuels.

Yet on a continent long blighted by the so-called "resource curse" - whereby nations rich in oil or gold, for example, have failed to convert this into wider prosperity - governments have increasingly restricted or banned mineral exports in recent years in a bid to boost processing and retain more of the gains.

July 11, 2023

Mawere Taona says he never had time to get mixed up with drugs in Johannesburg's crime-ridden inner city - he was far too busy getting addicted to basketball.

His love of the sport was nurtured through local charity Boundless City, which maintains local courts and organises practices - one of dozens of social projects to benefit from a fund established by South Africa's presidency in late 2020.

July 03, 2023

Vying for the presidential nomination, Ron DeSantis attacked his Republican rival Donald Trump last month with a weapon the former president put on the political battlefield - fake news.

Images posted on Twitter by the Florida governor raised eyebrows - not least because they showed Trump hugging immunologist Anthony Fauci, a controversial figure among conservatives due to his push for COVID-19 curbs.

June 20, 2023

Social media platforms are approving xenophobic online ads and failing to take down other hate-filled content in South Africa, according to research published on Tuesday.

Social media firms are under scrutiny worldwide - from the United States to Kenya - for content moderation practices that rights groups say allow hate speech like racism and xenophobia to spread online.

June 20, 2023

Mental health counsellor Nicole Doyle was stunned when the head of the U.S. National Eating Disorders Association showed up at a staff meeting to announce the group would be replacing its helpline with a chatbot.

A few days after the helpline was taken down, the bot - named Tessa - would also be discontinued for providing harmful advice to people in the throes of mental illness.