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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.

Archbishop Tutu Fellows appeal for the South Sudan Peace Agreement to be rescued

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On Africa Day, 2017, an open letter to African Heads of State from Archbishop Tutu Fellows, appealing for the South Sudan Peace Agreement to be rescued.

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Kisua Fashion at WEF and in Pretoria

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2008 Tutu Fellow Elsie Kanza helped organise and stage the successful WEF Forum On Africa, which was held in Durban earlier this year.  For fashion watchers, they'll have noted that the Senior Director and Head of Africa at WEF was wearing Kisua, founded by Sam Mensah, another Tutu 2008 Fellow and who is becoming a global fashion force.  As colleagues from the same leadership cohort, Kanza not only looked the part, but was able to show off an outfit of his surrounded by heads of state and other African leaders.  This kind of high visibility is not out of line for Mensah's brand, which has just launched a new Kisua shop in Menlyn Mall in Pretoria. 

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Changing young hackers to white hat coders

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2007 Tutu Fellow 'Gbenga Sesan, a tech entrepreneur and educator, has a program underway in which he is turning Nigerian hackers into tech entrepreneurs.  With 43% of Nigerian youth unemployed, it is little wonder some have turned to cybercrime.   His organisation, Paradigm Initiative Nigeria, is retraining them to use technology constructively.  "If you're smart enough to scam, you're smart enough to design an app", he says. One hacker he has worked with has created an app for patients to view their medical records in real time, another to help protect young people from inappropriate online content.  The work he is doing with Nigeria's 'Yahoo Boys' was highlighted by the WEF on Africa. 

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Making business work in Nigeria

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2013 Tutu Fellow Jumoke Oduwole is working on reforms that should have a dramatic impact on the economy of the country. Expectations are ambitious: for Nigeria to move 20 places up in the World Bank 'Doing Business' Rankings by October 2017, and into the Top 100 by 2019.  As a senior advisor to the Nigerian Vice President on Trade & Investment, who in turn has an executive role in transforming the economy, many of the changes will make it easier for micro, small and medium sized businesses (MSMEs) to do business in the country. 

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The State of the Fellowship is Stronger

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Following the 10th anniversary celebration, it is encouraging to see how the sense of fellowship amongst the Fellows is developing and growing stronger.  To give you a sense of this, we celebrate the fellowship through the obligatory WhatsApp pics that are always posted whenever two or more Fellows gather and ‘check-in’ with the broader community.  It is only through greater networking and connectedness that we will harness the collective potential of the network. 

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Fellow wins Agribusiness of the Year Award

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2013 Tutu Fellow Monica Musonda has won the 2017 African Agribusiness of the Year Award.  The African Agribusiness Entrepreneur of the Year Award recognizes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated outstanding achievements in agricultural input and value-added industries, serving food and fiber production in Africa. The award is conferred by Market Matters every year to an agribusiness entrepreneur whose efforts have made a outstanding positive impact on African rural communities.

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Courage under fire

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As an ardent student of history, the subject of leadership has fascinated me for years. In particular, I look for insights into what makes great leaders so great - Mandela, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr. to name but a few.

For me, more than anything the pattern that emerges amongst all exceptional leaders is the ability to have the courage of their convictions.

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Two Fellows on global Top 100 Influential Africans list

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Two Tutu Fellows have been selected by MIPAD for its list of the 100 Most Influential People of African Descent under 40 for 2017. Both were in the category Business & Entrepreneurship.  The other categories were Politics & Governance; Media & Culture; and, Religious & Humanitarian. The Fellows who were selected are 2014 Fellow Ntombenhle Khathwane, the Founder of AfroBotanics; and 2013 Fellow Ally Angula, the Co-Founder and Managing Director of Leap Holdings.

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Tutu Fellows at Mo Ibrahim Governance Weekend

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Tutu Fellows have attended and participated in the Mo Ibrahim Foundation's Governance Weekends' for several years.  The organization and the event deals with many of the issues that Fellows grapple with in their various sectors and countries and it provides an excellent forum to network and gain feedback on developments.  This year was no exception.  The Governance Weekend was early in April this year and was held in Marrakesh, Morocco.  This year, the focus was on leadership in the 21st century.

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Fellows attend the WEF Conference in Durban

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A number of Tutu Fellows attended the 2017 World Economic Forum, which was held in Durban, South Africa, this year, as Young Global Leaders with the WEF; in their personal capacities; or as invited speakers. Thirty seven Tutu Fellows are Young Global Leades. More than a thousand people attended the event from more than 100 countries, including many leaders and several heads of state.

The Fellows included Victor Ochen, Bright Simons, Monica Musonda, Landry Signe, and others.  2008 Tutu Fellow Elsie Kanza is also to be congratulated for the event as Senior Director and Head of Africa at WEF.

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2017 Leadership Workshop at Mont Fleur

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The first workshop of the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme was held at Mont Fleur Conference Centre from the 22nd to the 29th of April. The 26 Fellowship candidates, selected from more than 300 nominees, were from 11 African countries such as Equitorial Guinea, Sierra Leone and Egypt. 

The intensive leadership learning activities at the retreat in the Stellenbosch mountains provided space for introspection and time for friendships to develop among the cohort. This will serve them in good stead when they return home, ready to tackle and make a difference in the challenges of leadership in Africa.

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Don't be a spectator in your own economy

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2013 Tutu Fellow Monica Musonda narrates her journey into entrepreneurship as a Zambian woman in this TEDx talk in Euston in the United Kingdom.

She tells how, working for the richest man in Africa, her former employer Dangote asked “Where are the Zambian Banks & Factories?”  Monica reflected on how Nigerians run their economy and this inspired her to actively participate in her own country’s economy.  It is a funny story about the trials and tribulations of being an entrepreneur, but also about the impact that steps such as these can have in building the African economy.

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The hunger-buster 2.0 as a pathway out of poverty

The hunger-buster 2.0 as a pathway out of poverty

In this TEDx talk, Tutu Fellow Ed Mabaya talks about his childhood growing up in rural Zimbabwe and how it gave him the insight into the power of improved seed to provide a pathway out of poverty. He left the small family farm where he grew up. But when he returned, it was to the realisation that food security remains a problem for too many parts of rural Africa. Successful farmers are able to make enough money to invest in their children's educations. A key element to better farming outcomes is better seed.  Mabaya calls this improved seed the 'hunger buster 2.0'.  Climate smart varieties of non-GMO, conventionally-bred seed offer opportunities for bigger harvests.

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Fellows attend UNECA Development Week 2017

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African experts in finance and economics gathered in Dakar, Senegal in March 2017 to discuss growth, inequality and unemployment as part of the weeklong activities marking the Africa Development Week 2017.  A theme that emerged was a call for policies that cater to youth. The conference is organized by the UN Economic Commission for Africa.  Two Tutu Fellows who attended were Dr Geci Karuri-Sebina, a 2009 Tutu Fellow, and 2015 Fellow, Dr Wiebe Boer.

Drs Geci Karuri-Sebina & Wiebe Boer

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Feeling the void as we reflect on a great man

Feeling the void as we reflect on a great man

Nelson Mandela called him “a person of strong opinion and sharp insight”.

To all of us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada is more than a hero of the South African liberation struggle. He is “Mr K” – a lovable and loving friend of Nelson Mandela for 67 years and a long-time friend of the NMF. Having served Mr Mandela as his Parliamentary Counsellor for the five years of his term as President of South Africa, Mr K stepped down when Mr Mandela decided not to run for a second term. Mr Mandela invited him to serve as a Trustee of his post-presidential office – which became known as the Nelson Mandela Foundation – which he did from 1999 until 2016.

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