An archive of the 50 previous news items

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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Tutu Fellow helps develop Zimbabwe's COVID-19 guidelines

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Dr Tariro Makadzange, a 2007 Tutu Fellow, has participated in the development of Zimbabwe's Guidelines for the Management of COVID-19. She worked with the Physicians Association (NAPAZ) and the Essential Medicines List (EDLIZ), submitting inputs. The document is published by the National Medicine and Therapeutics Policy Advisory Committee of the Zimbabe Ministry of Health.  The document will serve as the national guide and standard for Zimbabwe for management of COVID-19 pandemic.

The foreword says the document reflects the consensus of local experts, and takes into consideration factors such as the Zimbabwean setting, prevailing economic climate, practical experience as well as evidence-based therapeutics.

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Fellow and Africa CDC partnering to reach remote areas in local languages

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2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani is using his technology company to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering support for tech and communication projects related to the virus. The Nigerian entrepreneur and co-founder and CEO of Co-Creation Hub is partnering with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) to launch a call for innovative communication projects on COVID-19 based on indigenous African languages targeted at the semi-urban and rural population across Africa.

Co-Creation Hub is a technology innovation centre that catalyses solutions for pressing social problems in Africa through the application of social capital and technology.

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GenU appoints Adebola Williams as a Global Champion

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2018 Tutu Fellow Adebola Williams has been appointed as a Global Champion by the United Nations Generation Unlimited. Adebola is a media entrepreneur, journalist, political activist and the co-founder and Group CEO of Red Media.  He is the youngest Global Champion appointed so far by GenU. 

His appointment sees him join GenU ranks that include Rwandan President Paul Kagame; Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta; the First Vice President of Costa Rica, Epsy Campbell Barr; the African Union’s Moussa Faki Mahamat. Their role is to help steer the United Nations Generation Unlimited vision.

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Fellows assist Africa CDC with logistics in combatting COVID-19

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2009 Tutu Fellow James Mwangi - along with several other Fellows - are helping the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) combat COVID-19.  The group is helping to Africa CDC with the logistics of receiving donations and accelerating the distribution of supplies. James is the Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, a consulting group with extensive contacts across the continent. 

The Africa CDC has received a number of donations of medical equipment and supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation that arrrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These donations are to support COVID-19 response by African Union Member States.

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Reflections on working for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey is an academic, activist and author is perhaps best known for her children's book on corruption, Gbagba, but she has also published monographs like Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia.

In another literary piece published by Warscapes, an independent online literary magazine that provides a lens into current conflicts, Robtel reflects on a period of her life when she worked for former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration as a young idealist. In this pensive, powerful and insightful piece, at once relatable and a zeitgeist for a formative period for Liberia, she offers a personal perspective of a seminal decade of Liberian history. The piece is titled This is Our Country.

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Tutu Fellow to head 4IR programme at ASU Global Management School

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2015 Tutu Fellow Landry Signé has been appointed to head a new programme at Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management, that has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Globalization 4.0 Initiative. He is the new professor and Founding Co-Director of the inititiative. 

The Director General and Dean of Thunderbird, Sanjeev Khagram, says that the school is excited that Landry is joining them. He said Landry 'is a terrific scholar, respected worldwide for his grasp of the political economy of growth, sustainable development, governance, fragile and failed states, regional integration, and business in Africa.

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