An archive of the 50 previous news items

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The latest news from the African Leadership Institute and its Fellows.

AFLI Fellows are leaders and change-makers, so this section has a lot of news. Please use the icons below if you want to sort posts by category, such as: regular news posts, video posts, audio posts, by tag, or by blogger. Additionally, all text in all of the posts is fully searchable.

Banking on Refugees

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Refugees have long been excluded from financial services, leaving them struggling to integrate into host economies. But new technologies have made the lack of an identity card, loan collateral, or a fixed address irrelevant, and the world's displaced people may be only the first to benefit.
 
Every minute, on average, 31 people are displaced – forced to leave their jobs, homes, and even their families. These refugees often arrive, after arduous journeys, in new countries with no money or identification, and few possessions. Yet, far from securing a safer, more prosperous future, they often find themselves marginalized, excluded, and even demonized, denied opportunities to integrate into their host societies or contribute to the local economy. One straightforward way to empower refugees is to give them access to financial services.
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Better the Balance for a Better Zambia

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As a woman CEO in the manufacturing sector, it’s been a lonely journey to say the least. When I started Java Foods, I didn’t realise how difficult it was going to be. I looked around me and most of the businesses were either multinationals or local businesses all run by MEN. At first, I thought it wasn’t an issue, after all, I was a maverick. But as months rolled on, I realized that I was in fact the odd one out.
 
I would go into meetings with my male Sales Manager and they would address him as the boss and ask me to take notes (and by the way this still happens – recently in a meeting of fellow CEOs, I was asked to take minutes…I rolled my eyes and asked my Sales Manager to do it). Or one time, I was asked what I did, to which I proudly responded, ‘I run a food company’. He then asked, “what’s the name of your restaurant?”
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Fellow wins banking award

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2018 Tutu Fellow, Sizwe Damane, was honoured at the 2018 ABSA Corporate Investment Banking (CIB) Excellence Awards for his work in risk management. The awards were announced at a corporate black tie event held on Friday, 22 February 2019, at the prestigious Inanda Polo Club in Sandton, Johannesburg.
 
Sizwe joined a list of 18 very exceptional colleagues who were also finalists; and who, according to the CIB ABSA CEO, Charles Russon, demonstrate the breadth of talent showcased in the banking sector. 
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Fellow honored for leadership on diversity and inclusion

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2013 Tutu Fellow Nuradin Osman has been honored as one of the top global leaders for diversity and inclusion, at the 2019 Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards in Mumbai. Nuradin is a Vice President of AGCO, a global agricultural equipment manufacturer and distributor.
 
The Diversity and Inclusion Excellence Awards were made at the third World Diversity and Inclusion Congress in February 2019.  The award identifies and celebrates individuals, advisory firms, industry partners and social community and institutions for their work around diversity and inclusion initiatives. The awards are aimed at one or more individuals/organizations whose achievements are not part of their everyday assignment, but who continue to show a distinct passion for diversity and inclusion.
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The marathon for the freedom of the Saharawi

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2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides headed out for the 2019 Sahara Marathon, which took place on the 26th February in the Sahara Desert. The South African Earth Warrior and social justice activist is running a marathon that's a shorter than the path facing the Saharawi people to freedom. 
 
The Sahara Marathon is an international sport event hosted in the Sahara Desert every year. The aim of the marathon was designed to demonstrate solidarity with the Saharawi people, first initiated in 2001, and organised by the Secretary of State for Sport, under the auspices of the Government of the Saharawi Arab Democratic Republic and with the help of volunteers from all over the world. 
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Award-winning children's book gets a sequel

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2010 Tutu Fellow, academic, activist and author Robtel Neajai Pailey PhD has released her second book, Jaadeh!, the highly-anticipated sequel to her previous book, Gbagba, the anti-corruption children's book that has transformed elementary classrooms in Liberia.

In December 2018, Robtel also received an international anti-corruption excellence award for both books at a ceremony in Putrajaya, Malaysia for her work in shining light on corruption.

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Fellow premieres powerful film on child brides

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2018 Tutu Fellow, Omoni Oboli, premiered her latest movie, Wings of a Dove, in Los Angeles California in February 2019, as part of the ongoing Pan African Film Festival in Los Angeles, much to the audience’s delight. The Award winning actress has proven herself to be a powerhouse in the Nollywood industry, and is ready to take the message of her new movie to every corner of the world. 

Her movie, which deals with child marriage, brought the audience to its feet for a standing ovation. It is an emotionally-charged story of two young Northern Nigerian girls who are married off to much older men at the age of 13 and 14 years of age, but all they want is the freedom to be children. The movie takes viewers on an emotional roller coaster ride, tackling issues like the loss of childhood innocence; the consequences of being in a forced, arranged marriage; and the hopes and dreams of a future that is stolen from them.

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Saving Wakanda from Creeping Dictatorship

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Wakanda is a fictional East African paradise made famous by the 2018 blockbuster film ‘Black Panther’. It is a well-developed, high-tech, highly functional country inhabited by warriors who possess mystical powers through a special substance only found in Wakanda called vibranium. Wakanda is a powerful and well-governed country. It is a proud nation which has its own official African language. As a result, it has garnered the respect of countries far outside of its borders.

Back on the real African continent, one struggles to find a country that matches the description of Wakanda in all respects. If anything, there is a growing instability around the continent that is unsettling.

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The Founding of AFLI

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The African Leadership Institute was founded by Sean Lance and myself – Peter Wilson. Sean is a very successful South African businessman, now retired and living in Plettenberg Bay. I had known Sean for many years as a fierce competitor on the sports field, and as we knew each other’s capabilities, Sean contracted me to do some scenario-based strategy consulting work for his team when he was Chief Operating Officer and a Board member of Glaxo-Wellcome in London – and scheduled to become CEO of the second biggest company by market capitalisation on the London Stock Exchange. A few weeks before he was due to become CEO he disagreed with the Board over the proposed merger with SmithKlineBeecham and thus left Glaxo to become CEO and ultimately Chairman of Chiron, a big-four biotechnology company based in San Francisco. Having established a working relationship at Glaxo, when he moved he asked me to help him restructure the strategy of this fast-growing company. Sean and I worked closely on this task for five years, and during this time, we often spoke after hours about what we could do to give back to the continent of our heritage. Both of us have deep roots in Africa going back about 200 years.

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Tutu Fellow serving on the U.N. Development Policy Committee

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2011 Tutu Fellow Jacqueline Muna Musiitwa has been appointed to the United Nations Committee for Development Policy. She joins 23 other experts. 

The Comittee for Development Policy is a subsidiary of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and advises the Council on a wide range of issues that are relevant for the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The 24 members who serve on the committee are nominated in their personal capacity by the U.N. Secretary-General and are appointed by ECOSOC to reflect a wide range of development experience as well as geographical and gender balance.

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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 Appointed as CEO of FUNDI

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2016 Tutu Fellow, Tshepo Ditshego, has been appointed as the CEO of Fundi, a fintech group across South Africa and Zimbabwe that offers technology services related to education like educational loans, bursary management and cashless payment solutions for schools. 

A play on the African word 'fundi', which means a learned person and the association with funding, Fundi is a leading education finance organisation in Southern Africa.  Access to finance to fund an education is a barrier many potential students face.

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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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Fellow elected as Board Member of Save the Children Africa Advisory Board

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2018 Fellow Temi Marcella Awogboro has been elected as one of the Board Members of Save the Children Africa Advisory Board. 

Save the Children is a global fund that was established in the United Kingdom in 1919 in order to improve the lives of children through better education, health care, and economic opportunities, as well as providing emergency aid in natural disasters, war, and other conflicts.

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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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