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10 years of change-making

10 years of change-making

AFLI’s inaugural leadership workshops were held in 2006. 2016 is, therefore, a significant year for AFLI! I have become the CEO of AFLI at a time when the Institute has commemorated its 10th anniversary and celebrates its 11th class of young African leaders – an opportune time to pause and reflect on what AFLI has achieved but, more importantly, what lies ahead and what AFLI can still achieve. It is also a time to thank our wonderful sponsors for making this happen over these 11 years – notably Investec, GSK, Rio Tinto, Centum, AGCO, and our Chairmen, Sean Lance and Strive Masiyiwa for their individual donations.

I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the sponsors of the forthcoming alumni gathering – Barclays Africa Group, Investec, AGCO, Pulse Health and Yswara. We anticipate the reunion to provide an opportunity for the Fellows to connect across the years, make new friendships and renew existing ones. We also anticipate some very lively debates on the state of Africa! Mostly, we should rekindle our sense of community and leave inspired to continue working towards a better Africa.

AFLI now boasts an impressive network of some 250 Fellows: self-aware game-changers who represent the brightest and most dynamic young leadership on the continent. In 2016 alone, Monica Musonda was appointed by the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, to the Scaling Up Nutrition Lead Group to end malnutrition. Bright Simons, President and founder of mPedigree was named one of Fortune magazine’s 2016 50 World’s Greatest Leaders. mPedigree, his technological solution to combat counterfeit medicines is #34 on the Fortune 2016 Change the World List. Victor Ochen, a 2015 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee was named Global Goals Ambassador for Peace and Justice to UNHCR. Andre Ross was nominated for the 2016 Marsh Awards for peace-making and peacekeeping. Dr Andrew Mude won the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application for his work in providing insurance to livestock herders in East Africa’s drylands through innovative, state-of-the-art technologies. Girls from Lade Araba’s coding camp demonstrated their STEM skills to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry during his visit to Abuja. Five Tutu Fellows were chosen as World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leaders (YGLs). They are James Mworia, Zukie Siyotula, Juliana Rotich, Victor Ochen and Ada Osakwe. Linda Kasonde was elected President of the Law Association of Zambia. Elsie Kanza and I were amongst five Africans invited to address the European Parliament on issues of industrialisation and economic transformation on the African continent. Dr Edward Mabaya was elected President of the African Association of Agricultural Economists.

This list is but a small fraction of this year’s accolades and recognition for the work the Fellows are pursuing. I could go on and on, or you can read it here in the AFLI website's busy News section.

There is no doubt that the programme is making a difference and transforming how the Fellows view their role in shaping Africa’s trajectory. Some excerpts, from the Fellows, of their experience of the programme:

  • The programme made me feel that I have a responsibility. It’s made me realize that my leadership is null and void if it doesn’t affect and touch the people around me. The whole programme made me conscious about the issues that our continent faces and it made me start asking myself – about how and what can I do to make a small difference.
  • Powerful, impactful, structured, intense and insightful. It is a life-changing experience that brings the leader out of you.
  • A truly transformative experience which has left me feeling empowered, anchored and focused.
  • I am a better version of myself after this experience.
  • This programme was incredibly life-affirming.
  • This programme changed my life by raising a mirror that enabled me to learn about myself on a much deeper level. It also gave me new family members, not only people who share a deep love for the continent of Africa and building a prosperous future, but also people who will hold me to account and who genuinely want to see me succeed. I cannot recommend it enough.
  • This experience has been truly life-changing. I have learned a lot about myself and have become aware of my emotions and how they respond to various situations. I have become aware of my ‘internal rhythm’ and I am now in the process of getting to know it better.
  • The understanding of self within the context of corporate and political leadership is one important lesson I am taking away. Understanding self encompasses being aware of my strengths, limitations and roles in every situation where my input/contribution is needed.
  • A moment in time to introspect, reflect and connect. I left inspired and energised by the diversity of leadership talents of the group. It will continue to inspire me going forward.

Going forward, my priorities include entrenching and institutionalising the work of the Institute, scaling up the impact of the Institute and exploring how we tap into the collective strength of the network to drive the African development agenda forward. This is what keeps me awake at night as CEO! As a stakeholder, with a vested interest in Africa’s bright future, I invite and welcome your ideas. On a continent that is disproportionately young, AFLI represents an important demographic and Africa’s future.

Warm regards.

Dr Jackie Chimhanzi AFLI CEO

Tutu Fellow wins 2016 Norman Borlaug Award
It's the end of the world as we know it


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Saturday, 28 May 2022

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