Buhle Mbabo-Thata

Researcher, Zimbabwe

Buhle  Mbambo-Thata is the Executive Director, Library Services, University of South Africa.  At the time of the research in 2006-2007, she was University Librarian, University of Zimbabwe in Harare. She has extensive knowledge of  the information and communication technology (ICT) environment in Africa through her involvement with African Libraries. Her research interests are in information literacy, and women and ICT. She holds a DPHIL in Information Science.

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Learnings from GRACE 2

Research Title: How can university level computer education contribute to the preparation of women for careers in design and development computing? How can training of women computer science students be instrumental in increasing women graduates’ empowerment so that they have the capacity to select careers in design and development?

Lesson learnt through the GRACE project

I increasingly learn new things during research. It takes discipline to put aside all the interesting things that I meet and hear and focus on the information that I am looking for that answers the research question. I find that I learn important lessons that seem to have nothing to do with what I am researching. The ideas that respondents shared were profound and at first glance have little to do with “how does training help women to choose careers in computer science". During our research we were exposed to the inequalities and the gender blindness of learning process. As an educator this continues to beg my question "how can investment in ICT by universities help women learn?" One finds that there are layers of traditional inequalities that block access. I also learnt that one does not leave their socialization outside the classroom. It comes into the classroom, sits in their head, on their shoulders and in their heart and affects the way they learn.

Related activities

I have done a lot of work on Open Access to knowledge which has more to do with sharing knowledge. (Buhle’s presentation on Open Access in Developing Countries: http://www.ustream.tv/recorded/7398116 ). I am tempted to do a study on gender issues in Open Access but not yet. My activities were limited during the last two years by poor health. I have recovered now and will get more work done next year.



Learners in a computer class

Participants of a focus group discussion


Dr. Buhle Mbambo-Thata was elected as the 2010 Unisa Woman of the Year at a prestigious UNISA Women's Forum (UWF) Luncheon on 13 October 2010.

The UNISA Women's Forum considered a number of portfolios of nominees with outstanding performance across all sections in the University. Criteria used by the UWF Adjudication Panel were: Leadership, Mentoring women in the workplace, Gender Activism and promotion of women's rights, Courage in adversity and Community service. Read more...








Grace is an initiative envisioned and funded by
the International Development Research Centre (IDRC), developed by Research For the Future (RFF) and managed by The GRACE Project Voluntary Association
Grace est une initiative initiée et financée parle Centre de recherches pour le développement international (CRDI), développée par Research For the Future,
et gérée par l'Association Volontaire Projet de GRACE .