14 March 2016

2013 Trudeau scholar and former journalist Gerald Bareebe is a doctoral candidate in political science at the University of Toronto. He is interested in the personalization of power in sub-Saharan Africa. Last month during election day in Uganda, his home country, he put into practice what drives him: promoting the rights and freedoms of those who cannot speak for themselves.

As Ugandan authorities shut down social media and chat apps during election day, Bareebe and his colleagues helped their fellow citizens bypass censorship. They spread the word with information on how to install a virtual private network, or VPN, and thus get back on blocked media platforms. A VPN hides a user’s identity and location. It is the same technology that a web audience uses to watch international Netflix or that the Chinese use to access websites blocked by government firewalls. This way, you can tweet from Canada and vote in Uganda.

Because local media houses are very scared of the regime, we have used Twitter and Facebook to break stories about opposition arrest and published images of voters being beaten by the military on polling station.”

To read National Post article
To read CBC News article

To know more about Gerald Bareebe’s research

Gerald Bareebe

The Role of Military in State Consolidation, Regime Legitimation and Nation-Building in Uganda and Rwanda

2013 Scholars