An archive of the 50 previous news items

Keeping the nation in data darkness as a deliberate strategy

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has published a LinkedIn article about serious concerns around Tanzania’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aidan writes that Tanzanians have been allowed to continue moving around and trading freely, with only minimal requirements being observed like being required to wear a mask in public. Thus while it appears the country has adopted the controversial 'herd immunity' approach to the pandemic, it is doing so in data darkness.

Aidan is an economist, scenario practitioner and is a board member on the Global Steering Committee of the Open Government Partnership.

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COVID-19 exposes the ways in which black lives don't matter

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2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang is raising questions about the worrying intersection of the political economy in a time of COVID-19 with the continuing issue of racism and white supremacy.  He questions what will be necessary for South Africa to do to see this moment as an opportunity to fundamentally restructure.  In a Daily Maverick Op-Ed published in June 2020, Sello, who is CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation, reflects on the global Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement as well as numerous incidents of police brutality in South Africa during the lockdown. 

He says that he has felt keenly the extent to which 'black lives don't matter' and he poses the question of when the country will start prioritising its most vulnerable?

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Five Fellows in The Africa Report's Top 50 Disruptors list

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Five Tutu Fellows are named in the annually released Top 50 Disruptors by The Africa Report.  The report names the top 50 firebrands making waves on the continent, who are 'shaking up the status quo, asking uncomfortable questions, upending business models and fighting preconceptions' and who are 'transforming the African continent. The Fellows are Mitchell Elegbe, Oluseun Onigbinde, Bibi Bakare, Edwin Macharia and Ahmed Zahran. Of the exclusive list, 10% are Tutu Fellows. 

The publication ranks these exclusive 50 individuals based on three factors: innovation, disruption and heft.   According to The Africa Report, these criteria take into account how new the idea is, how big the change is and how many people are impacted.

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Fellow sets up emergency ICU field hospital for COVID-19 patients

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Re'ayit Misr emergency ICU field hospital has been set up by Tutu Fellow Ahmed Zahran’s company, KarmSolar, to aid Egypt’s COVID-19 response. He pulled together a coalition of experts from KarmSolar and it's partners and designed a functional, modular solution for an emergency ICU field hospital. The Re'ayit Misr emergency ICU field hospital is a product of the coalition’s combined expertise in energy, architecture design and construction.

Their expertise was used to develop a modular, pre-fabricated structure, to properly serve the needs of healthcare institutions and patients combating the pandemic, by providing additional ICU capacity.

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Fellow starts directory site to help the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria

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Adebola Williams, 2018 Tutu Fellow and Media Entrepreneur, Journalist, Political Activist and co-founder and Group CEO of Red, has launched the Beating Corona website. This comprehensive and accessible website details information on what organizations, brands, groups, corporations, and individuals are doing to assist in the fight against Covid-19 in Nigeria.

Through the website you can access information according to region, resources and organisations and centres distributing resources as well as up to date information on interventions and donations nationwide.

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Fellow analyzes impact of coronavirus on Egypt's economy

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2018 Tutu Fellow Mohammed El Dahshan, has written an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy, sector by sector, that has been published in the latest  issue of The Africa Report. Mohammed is also an Associate Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, where he focuses on economic development, regional cooperation, and fragile states. In his analytical piece, he also provides recommendations to the state on balancing the short- and long-term response to the economic impact of the pandemic.

He makes the point that the ravages caused by the coronavirus have equalised the playing field across the globe and that as states learn to live with this new reality, they must also create policies to minimise the economic impact the crisis brings.

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Fellows donate PPEs to healthcare workers

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A group of Ghanaian Tutu Fellows banded together to collect and donate personal protective equipment (PPEs) to healthcare workers in Ghana in May 2020 to help them stay safe as they treat patients who may have COVID-19.  The group comprised 2019 Tutu Fellow Marcia Ashong; 2014 Tutu Fellow Isaac Fokuo; and 2015 Tutu Fellow Mawuli Dake.  Prior to this, nurses had been forced to work without protection.

The donations were made to the frontline workers at one of Ghana's premier hospitals, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The donation included 200 N95 face masks, 100 medical-grade gowns, and 200 gloves.

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Power couple become first to address Harvard Business graduates

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The Nwunelis - a power Tutu Leadership Programme couple - made history by becoming the first couple to deliver the keynote address to Harvard Business School graduates.  The two, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli, delivered the address to the 2020 graduating class in May this year via a videolink as a result of COVID-19. Ndidi attended the Class of 2006, and Mezuo became a Tutu Fellow the following year. Both are also Harvard Business School graduates, which is where they met.  They join a storied list of keynote speakers - last year's was delivered by Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former Mayor of New York.

In their speech to the 2020 graduates, they recognised the unprecedented challenges that the graduates were facing in the midst of a global pandemic and the health, social and economic impact it would have. 

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Fellow drafts UN report on the economic impact of COVID-19

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2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo provided a briefing overview on the main points for Namibia and Southern Africa from the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 Report. The UN report covers the impact of the global pandemic and subsequent global economic contraction.  Eunice is the Economist and Development Coordination officer for the United Nation in Namibia.

The UN is projecting an economic contraction of 3.2 per cent this year and says it is likely to be the worst recession since the Great Depression due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the scale and global nature of the economic impact, it presents unique challenges given how much the global economy has changed since the 1930s.

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Providing coronavirus information in local languages and colour

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Tomiwa Aladekomo, a 2013 Tutu Fellow, who has wide-ranging experience in media, marketing and publishing as well as being the former Art Manager at Atlantic Records in New York, where he received art management credits on nine albums. Channelling this incredible experience into combating the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, he has built a colourful, user-friendly and data-rich website with live updates and critical information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website sources local and international data to display up-to-date statistics, colourful and interactive graphics, and updates on the number of cases, recoveries and deaths across the continent and globally.

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Fellow funds solar to power COVID-19 emergency response centres

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2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer’s investment fund is backing solar power companies providing renewable energy to critical emergency response centres across Nigeria during the Covid-19 crisis. Wiebe’s company, All On, realised quickly that COVID-19 was placing intense demands on Nigeria’s healthcare system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So All On created an emergency relief fund to provide healthcare organisations with reliable local solar power.  It is allowing frontline healthcare workers to have essential services they need to combat the virus and care for patients.

The relief fund provides $500,000 to selected renewable energy companies for rapid installation of solar installations to critical emergency relief centres across Nigeria.

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Skewering COVID-19 conspiracy theories

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2010 Tutu Fellow Bright Simons insightfully unpacks the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories during the pandemic and the danger they present.  Bright is a Ghanaian policy activist and social entrepreneur. In his piece in The Africa Report, he kicks off his piece by saying "Because all of us are so damned scared and anxious, conspiracy theories, alternative facts, folk science, and fringe beliefs that would ordinarily not get more than a tiny fraction of our saturated attention, now flood news bulletins and timelines."

He writes that while Africa is not any more susceptible to fringe beliefs than elsewhere, during a time of crisis it can seem as if they are on the verge of overwhelming mainstream and traditional media.

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Fellow's food company supports the vulnerable impacted by COVID-19

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2013 Tutu Fellow Monica Musonda has mobilised her company, Java Foods, to donate food to those in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Monica is a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and the CEO and Founder of Java Foods, one of the leading food manufacturers in Zambia. Java Foods is a food processing company established to provide affordable nutrition using locally acquired raw materials to the Southern African market. 

In response to the perilous impact on the vulnerable as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Java Foods has been helping out. Monica explained that at the beginning of the year, no one understood the impact COVID19 would have on our lives, our businesses and our economies.

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Fellow's network pulls together to create food bank during COVID-19

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2015 Tutu Fellow Mosunmola Cynthia Umoru has drawn on her contacts and network to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable in her community. She is the Founder and Chief Realization Officer, of Honeysuckles PTL Ventures, which engages in farming, food production, processing and distribution of a wide range of products.

In one week, she and her network jointly raised a total of N6,866,800 in cash, and food valued at N750,000 (about $20,000USD).

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'Africa Unusual' focuses on practical solutions to the pandemic

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The Africa Unusual Working Group is a cohort of professionals working across the African continent who have come together to generate and lobby for practical solutions that can help combat COVID-19 within Africa. A great number of its members are Tutu Fellows, truly attesting to the wealth of not only the programme itself, but also the power and potential of the Fellowship that it continues to create. In an Op Ed to CNBC Africa, the group pointed out that even as countries had shut borders and begun isolating, more than ever there was the need for cross-sectoral collaborations and for governments, the private sector, NGOs, multilateral institutions, and individuals to collaborate.

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