An archive of the 50 previous news items

Fellow publishes his first novel

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2017 Tutu Fellow Mitoha Ondo'o Ayekaba, has published his first novel, titled Claro de Luna, at an event of the Association of Spanish Writers and Artists, in Madrid, Spain. The presentation ceremony took place on June 13 and counted amongst the audience personalities from the Spanish cultural and political world. Guillermina Mekuy, a local writer and businesswoman, read from the novel together with Emilio Porta, the Deputy Secretary of the Association of Spanish Writers and Artists.  During the reading, the two gave voice to the characters in the novel.

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2016 Tutu Fellow sentenced for speaking out against the government

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2016 Tutu Fellow Peter Biar Ajak had his day in court today in Juba, South Sudan, after being detained for almost a year.  He was arrested on 28 July 2018, allegedly for treason.  However, the treason charges were thrown out by a court in April.

In court today, he was sentenced to two years for allegedly disturbing the peace and violence for giving interviews to foreign media that were critical of the government.  His lawyer is contesting the sentence as freedom of speech is constitutionally protected in South Sudan. His term was backdated to the day he was detained, so he still faces a year in prison for his peace activism.

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SA President invites Fellow to SADC Saharawi solidarity summit

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South African President Cyril Ramaphosa extended an invitation to 2013 Fellow and human rights activist Catherine Constantinides to attend the SADC Saharawi Summit in South Africa in March 2019. Catherine has for years worked on behalf of the Saharawi, who live in territory occupied illegally by Morocco. 

The SADC Solidarity Conference with the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic started with a call for unity to ensure the right to freedom and self-determination of the people of the Western Sahara. It was attended by several heads of state, who took a stand for the Saharawi and expressed their support for decolonisation of the region and self-determination for Western Sahara on the basis of the values and principles that have guided the quest for independence throughout Africa.

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Fellow appointed to chair sport broadcasting rights hearing

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2006 Fellow Palesa Kadi has been appointed to chair the ICASA hearings on sport broadcasting rights. Palesa is a media activist, researcher and has worked as a regulator in the broadcasting and telecommunications space, where she serves as an ICASA councillor. ICASA is South Africa's broadcast regulator. 

The hearings - and issue - is politically sensitive, as big-draw sport is currently mainly broadcast on expensive pay channels, locking out many ordinary South Africans from being able to watch sport on free-to-air TV.

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Tutu Fellows' Statement on the Unrest in Zimbabwe

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Statement by the Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellows on the unrest in Zimbabwe
17th January 2019

The Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellows of the African Leadership Institute are a diverse group of civic, political and business leaders from 40 African countries, who are concerned with the governance and development of the African continent. We, the Tutu Fellows, are alarmed by the growing unrest in Zimbabwe and, most worryingly, by the Zimbabwean government’s reaction to it. The unrest by ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe is in response to a hike in the fuel price in Zimbabwe, which is now the most expensive in the region.

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Fellow wins 2018 African Literary Person of the Year

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2008 Tutu Fellow Bibi Bakare-Yusuf has won the 2018 African Literary Person of the Year award from Brittle Paper. 

The Brittle Paper Award recognizes individuals who work behind the scenes to hold up the African literary establishment in the given year.  Bibi Bakare-Yusuf was recognised for her long service and leadership in publishing as well as her disruptive approach.  It celebrates a literary personality who has taken the lead in challenging and expanding assumptions about what it means to be an African creative. Brittle Paper says that it recognizes individuals for this award who explore Africa as a powerful idea that does not restrain creativity but inspires the most boundary-pushing and revolutionary work.

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Ebola update

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Earlier this year, AFLI carried a piece on how 2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum has been engaged in the battle against Ebola in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Yap is a microbiologist and epidemiologist with Epicentre Africa, an association created in the 80's by Doctors Without Borders (MSF) that set up a vaccine trial protocol with the Congolese government using an Ebola vaccine developed by Merck to be given selectively to those most likely to have had contact with a person carrying the disease.  Trial protocols are required for approval for use of experimental drugs. Since then, the battle against the outbreak has been in the news around the planet.

Yap told us as the year draws to a close that the battle continues and that it is serious.  He said that in less than six months, the DRC has seen two unrelated Ebola outbreaks.

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Fellows' agribusiness education project reaches new milestone

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A business school agricultural management program in Kenya started by two Tutu Fellows has reached another milestone. The agribusiness program was hatched by 2013 Fellow Nuradin Osman and 2015 Fellow Martin Mbaya at the 10-year celebration of AFLI in 2016.   The program seeks to be scalable and to teach young people to go into farming professionally, provide support for the African agricultural sector, and help farmers do more with less.  Students are now learning a range of hands-on skills and transitioning into work-placements. 

The pilot programme was launched towards the end of last year and more can be read about it here in AFLI News (see below). 

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Fellow recognised for her work on Sickle-cell Anaemia

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2009 Tutu Fellow Dr Julie Makani is on the 2018 list of the 100 Most Influential Africans compiled annually by New African Magazine.  She joins other Fellows in previous years who have been selected for this prestigious list. For years, she has been steadily working towards improving outcomes for people born with sickle-cell anaemia, a condition that disproportionately affects Africans, with more than 210 thousand children in Africa born each year with it.  

She is a Principal Investigator in Clinical Medicine at Oxford University and has researched the genomics of the disease to better understand the genetic and environmental factors affecting sickle-cell disease (SCD).  

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Book examines Africa's continental development institutions

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Prolific author, academic, political economist and 2015 Tutu Fellow Landry Signé has released his latest book titled: African Development, African Transformation: How Institutions Shape Development Strategy. In it, he makes the case that Africa is home to many of the world's fastest-growing economies. The book traces new continental institutions for development and their capacity to affect economic growth, regional integration, and international cooperation in Africa.

More specifically, Landry examines the role of the African Union Development Agency (AUDA) in transforming African economies and facilitating interstate cooperation.

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Fellow appointed to UN digital task force

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2017 Fellow Natalie Jabangwe has been appointed to the global Task Force on Digital Financing by the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres.  It caps a headline year for Natalie, who is the head of the company she founded, EcoCash.  In 2018, she was an AABLA Young Business Leader finalist, was selected as one of  four Tutu Fellows on the Choiseul 2018 list, and was also selected as a World Economic Forum 2018 Young Global Leader

She has also just listed CassavaSmarTech on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange, which brings together a mobile money operator, a bank, and various smart tech services under one banner.  The digital task force to which she has been appointed will recommend strategies to harness the potential of financial technology in advancing the UN's Sustainable Development Goals.

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Profitable small farmer outgrower program

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A small farmer development project launched by 2017 Tutu Fellow Samuel Kariuki as part of his Fellowship is bringing new hope to a troubled area of Kenya.  The area is one of the country's most populated rural districts and once a leading coffee producer.  But social decline has led to poverty and hopelessness, something Sam is turning around by giving locals tools to succeed.  In an outgrower program that occurred in conjunction with the Fort Hall Eye project, he recently shared some examples.  One is of a farmer growing organic sweet potatoes.

He said that a typical sweet potato, planted in the traditional way, weighs about 750 grams.  The lead small farmer in his outgrower program has produced a 6 kg sweet potato (see photo top) and over a 90-day period, earned about $3,600 USD from his patch of land. 

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Holding leaders accountable

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2018 Tutu Fellow Alice Namuli partnered with the British Council of Uganda to collaborate on an event titled: Accountable Leadership - a tool for promoting good governance in Uganda for sustainable development.  It comprised a panel that included a Justice Kenneth Kakuru, a judge in the Appeal Court; Asan Kasingye, the Assistant Inspector General of Police; Francis Gimara, a partner in a Kampala law firm; and Perry Aritua, the Executive Director of the Women's Democracy Network.  Alice moderated the panel, which was sponsored by the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission in the UK and held in Kampala on 6 December. 

She said that the discussion was on how to learn to raise personal accountability in our work, family and communities to better hold leaders accountable.

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Fellow appointed to senior banking position in South Africa

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2013 Tutu Fellow Peggy-Sue Khumalo has been appointed as the new chief executive for Standard Bank's Wealth South Africa Division.  She leaves Investec, where she's been for much of her career, to join Standard Bank in February.  She will be responsible for the South African operations of Standard Bank's wealth business, which includes short and long-term insurance, asset management, pension fund operations, and fiduciary services.  The division serves high net-worth individuals, corporate clients, and commercial and retail clients. It has a footprint in a number of other Sub-Saharan Africa countries as well as international offices in London, Jersey, the Isle of Man and Mauritius and the sum Peggy-Sue will be responsible for will total around R175 billion in earnings.

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Detainees revolt against being held without trial in South Sudan

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A mutiny is occurring in the notorious prison in South Sudan called Blue House, where people are being detained without trial.  The prison is also where 2016 Tutu Fellow and peace activist, Peter Biar Ajak, has been held since the end of July 2018.  He has yet to be charged.  News sources say about 200 detainees broke into a weapons store in the prison and are holding two guards.  They are demanding the government provide prisoners with due process. 

The detention centre called Blue House is at the headquarters of the National Security Service in South Sudan's capital, Juba.  A national security service statement released to the media says the standoff began when a prisoner, Keribino Wol, overpowered a guard and seized his weapon. 

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