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.

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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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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New Kisua store opens in the mother city

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2014 Tutu Fellow Samuel Mensah, the founder and CEO of Kisua, has opened his second store at the Waterfront, in Cape town, South Africa. This comes just a few months after his collaboration with the Nelson Mandela Foundation and the Albertina Sisulu family on their Centenary lines.  Samuel has created a business providing a quality product with a strong brand that's available anywhere in the world. Seeing as the production is done in Cape town, it seemed ideal to also open a store in the mother city. 'Kisua' means 'Well-dressed person' in Swahili.  

Sam Mensah said that a spark behind Kisua was the appropriation of African design and fashion in London, Paris and New York while not bringing any jobs, income or benefits to Africans. 

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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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Fellow addresses US Africa Command military leadership

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2014 Tutu Fellow Mireille Tushiminina has given a keynote address to the US military Africa Command leadership (AFRICOM) in Garnish, Germany, where she spoke about the socio-economic dimension of conflict in African fragile states and the dire need for security reform. She was joined on stage by United States Marine Corps General Thomas D. Waldhauser, who is the fourth Commander of the United States Africa Command.

Addressing an small, select audience consisting of the senior US Africa Command leadership, people from the US State department and USAID, some spouses, and other diplomatic corps officials, Mireille’s half-hour keynote speech was part of an initiative aimed at understanding how Africans perceive the military and other security forces.

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When Life Ends In Death: The Face of Maternal and Infant Mortality in Zambia

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I recently came across the story of a young African-American man, Charles Johnson IV, who is fighting for legislation to increase the quality of health care to reduce maternal mortality among African-American women. His own wife died after delivering a healthy baby via caesarean section. She bled to death because doctors at a very prestigious hospital in the U.S. ignored her haemorrhaging for several hours. Her name was Kira Dixon Johnson. She was very well educated and reasonably well-off and yet she became another statistic. In America, African-American women are 243% more likely to die to child-birth than their white American colleagues. Even wealthy, educated African-American women are still more likely to die in child-birth than white women.

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Fellow wins Anti-Corruption Award

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey was celebrated as one of two winners of the 3rd annual International Anti-Corruption Excellence (ACE) Awards, in the Anti-Corruption Academic Research And Education category. The ceremony took place at the Putrajaya International Convention Center in Malaysia, on December 7th, 2018.

The award was established to shine a light on the fight against corruption across the world. Pailey's position has long been that in the fight against corruption, it is vital to begin educating the next generation as early as possible, and it was part of why she wrote children's books about the subject, Gbagba and Jaadeh.  Only eight winners were recognised at the event.

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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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Why do we blame women for rape?

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There is always an outcry when a child gets raped, except of course in Zambia we do not call it rape. We euphemistically call it “defilement” because an innocent child’s virtue has seemingly been destroyed. No one can fathom that a child would ever want to be raped, and when it happens, no one blames them for it.

But when it comes to women, it is a different story. It becomes about sex. In normal circumstances, sex between adults is consensual or something that women submit to.

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