An archive of the 50 previous news items

Fellow’s Community Project Boosted by another Fellow

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A 2009 Tutu Fellow’s Community project, Tswelopele Sisterhood and Girls Club in Alexandra, which was co-founded by Geci Karuri-Sebina PhD, recently got a boost from another Tutu Fellow.  2018 Fellow Edzai Zvobwo and his nonprofit, The Education Support Forum, have partnered with Tswelopele to facilitate the girls' skills development by donating 30 tablets to help expand virtual learning. The tablets will also help supplement tutoring and access to e-resources during this period as schools are disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to be awarded the Tutu Fellowship, participants are required to complete three assignments, one of which is a community project in keeping with the servant leadership tenet that underpins the programme.

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Fellow launches political debate series in Zambia with local TV channel

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2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde's non-profit, Chapter One Foundation, has partnered with Diamond TV to broadcast a series of election debates ahead of the national elections that will take place in August this year in Zambia.  The series began in January and ended in March 2021. 

It featured leading officials from the most prominent political parties in Zambia to discuss various issues. The TV series form part of Chapter One's civic education and human rights mission and set out to provide a space in which political candidates could share their public policy proposals and political opinions with potential voters. Additionally, the debate series provided a platform for potential voters to engage with candidates, comparing and contrasting their policies, and allowing for informative discourse that will hopefully result in voters making informed decisions during the August 2021 national elections.

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Fellow part of Evercare, which is seeking to transform healthcare in Nigeria

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Evercare Hospital Lekki, a private multispecialty tertiary care facility, was officially unveiled by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on March 11 2021. The building is a concrete example of efforts by 2018 Tutu Fellow Temi Marcella Awogboro to bring it into being and she currently serves as an Executive Director with Evercare Hospital Lekki. The hospital is wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a $ 1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund managed by The Rise Fund, the impact investment platform of global alternative asset manager TPG Capital. Temi played a key role in bringing this deal together and she was the West Africa deal lead of the fund.

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Succès Masra Presents Strong Opposition in Chad

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On 6 February 2021, 2016 Tutu Fellow Succès Masra PhD, sought shelter within the US Embassy security perimeter in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena. The President of the National Human Rights Commission negotiated his exit and the US Embassy received assurances from the government of Chad that Succès would not be arrested if he left the embassy grounds and would be allowed to return home unhindered.  Succès refused this negotiated settlement for only himself and instead demanded the release of his fellow companions who were arrested and charged during protests. The United States issued a statement emphasizing their commitment to defending democratic values, but asked Succès to leave, none the less.

The US has also called on the government of Chad to respect the rule of law, to respect the right of the people to demonstrate, and to ensure a transparent and fair judicial process for those persons detained following protests demanding social justice and political change.

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Beating the odds recounts stories of new young officeholders in Nigeria

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The organisation led by 2019 Tutu Fellow Samson Itodo has published a book about the impact of young legislators who are, in the words on the cover, "changing the face of politics in Nigeria". Beating the Odds is a compilation of powerful stories of young people - especially the beneficiaries of the Not Too Young To Run law - who ran for public office and won seats in the National and State legislature in the 2019 general election in Nigeria.

Samson is the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, a community of change makers focused on building sustainable democracies in Africa, anchored on the principles of inclusion, justice, accountability and constitutionalism. He was also the convener of the #NotTooYoungToRun movement that led the successful advocacy for the reduction of age limits for running for public office in the Nigerian constitution.

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Fellow elected to the African Climate Foundation Advisory Council

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The African Climate Foundation (ACF) has elected 2018 Tutu Fellow Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg PhD to their Advisory Council. She is the Director of African Women in Agricultural Research and Development (AWARD), which works towards inclusive, agriculture-driven prosperity for the African continent, by strengthening the production and dissemination of more gender-responsive agricultural research and innovation.

The ACF is the first African-led, strategic, climate-change, grant-making foundation on the continent.

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Mokena Makaka joins Dalberg as head of the South Africa office

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2014 Tutu Fellow Mokena Makeka was appointed Principal at Dalberg, and Director of the South Africa Office commencing January 2021. In his role, he will have a particular focus on the following areas: cities and urban development; the built environment and natural infrastructure; digital communities, innovation and entrepreneurship; transport and renewables; green livelihoods; forest economy; beyond smart cities and spatial and social transformation through design.

Dalberg Global Development Advisors is a strategy and policy advisory firm. Founded in 2001, it specialises in global development.

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Elsie Kanza wins a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship

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2008 Tutu Fellow Elsie Kanza has been selected for a Richard von Weizsäcker Fellowship, a program of the Robert Bosch Academy. With this Fellowship, the Robert Bosch Academy offers outstanding personalities from over the world a residency of several months in Berlin.

The residency provides Fellows with the intellectual and physical space to pursue individual research and outreach activities on future-oriented topics in an international context. The Fellowship enables them to engage and study beyond their normal professional commitments. The highly-individualized stays offer these Fellows the intellectual freedom to deal with a variety of topics and issues beyond their regular duties and obligations. 

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16 Fellows on the prestigious Choiseul 200 Africa 2020 list

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The seventh edition of Choiseul 100 Africa – the Economic Leaders for Tomorrow 2020 has been released, honoring the most talented leaders of their generation who have had a positive impact on the continent's economic development, on society, and Africa’s success. Over the years, a number of Tutu Fellows have made previous lists. In this latest edition, eight were selected for the 2020 100 listing and a further eight for the 2020 200 listing.

The list is compiled independently by the Choiseul Institute every year, identifying and ranking African leaders under the age of 40 who are playing an important role in Africa’s future.

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Tutu Fellow listed on The Agile 50: The World’s Most Influential Revolutionising Government

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze is listed among The Agile 50: The World’s 50 Most Influential People Revolutionising Governance 2020, which lauds politicians, civil servants and entrepreneurs who are driving agility in governments around the world. The list recognises “both high-profile icons and shines light on the unsung heroes whose work is indispensable in transforming government to respond to rapid technological change.” Apolitical made the announcement at the end of 2020.

It is compiled by Apolitical, an organisation that equips public servants to better do their jobs through courses, information, events and networking. It says that government is critical to solving global challenges, but that public servants often lack access to the best solutions because good ideas are often siloed in country's cities or sometimes even departments, leading to a duplication of effort, wasted taxpayer money, and poorer services.

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Technology won't solve inequality

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2007 Tutu Fellow 'Gbenga Sesan, who has been immersed in the tech sector for most of his career, has warned that technology alone isn't a solution to inequality.  Tech evangelists have waxed poetic about the ubiquitous nature of technology might be the rising tide that lifts those in poverty out of that state.  In a TED talk, Gbenga argues that centuries of inequality can't be solved with access to technology alone - as limited as that may be. Instead, improved access must be coupled to training and support too.

Sharing the work behind the Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise in Nigeria that's empowering young people with digital resources and skills, Gbenga details his vision for creating life-changing opportunities for generations of people across Africa.

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A personal account of a harrowing recovery from COVID-19

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The pandemic has affected everyone, but it is often the personal stories of those known to us that inform and shape our behavior regarding COVID-19. As the months of social distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing continue, pandemic weariness is setting in. 2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides offers her experience with COVID-19 as a cautionary tale. She was young, healthy and with no comorbidities, and when she caught the virus in July it almost killed her. She describes her recovery as a nightmare.

She says, “For weeks I was too scared to fall asleep as I just couldn’t breathe. The idea of falling into a deep sleep and never waking up again terrified me. There is nothing more frightening than gasping for air and feeling as though your lungs are trapped in concrete."

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Fellow writes open letter to AU Chair on Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara

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2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides has written an open letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Chair of the African Union, about the plight of the Saharawi people and their homeland, Western Sahara. The letter was published publicly on the eve of an Extraordinary African Union meeting on Silencing the Guns.  It calls for AU action on the illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and on the military attack by Morocco in violation of a UN ceasefire agreement on Saharawi civilians in November 2020.

Catherine is a board member of the Saharawi Commission for Human Rights as well as a human rights and climate activist.

President Ramaphosa used his opening remarks as AU Chair to put the issue on the table.

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Fellow to serve on WEF's Global Future Council on Work, Wages and Job Creation

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2019 Tutu Fellow Robin Miller has been appointed to serve on the World Economic Forum's Global Future Council on the New Agenda for Work, Wages and Job Creation.  The council considers what the new pathways are to creating more and better jobs in the new economy. The work of the council is possibly more relevant than ever when seen against the backdrop of the COVID-19 crisis that has led to significant economic and social disruption with sharp increases in unemployment and underemployment and radical changes in how work is done. This disruption could accelerate previous trends towards the displacement of workers through automation and digitalization – possibly leading to a jobless recovery – without proactive efforts by governments, business and workers.

Robin is a Partner and founding member of Dalberg’s Africa Team and has been recognized as a thought leader and expert on the topic of digital transformation on a range of global platforms, including the BBC, Financial Times, and the World Economic Forum.

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Fellows host Zoom on running for local government office in Nigeria

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In October 2020, two Nigerian Tutu Fellows, Akin Oyebode and Serah Ugbabe, co-hosted a Zoom discussion, entitled, Let’s Run for Office: Spotlight on Local Government Chairman. The guest speaker for the event was Folarin Gbadebo-Smith PhD, the Director General for the Nigerian Institute for Social and Economic Research as well as the Local Government Chairman for Lagos from 2003- 2007.

In the Zoom discussion, Folarin shared his history, personal anecedotes, and insights into working and rising through local governance in Nigeria.

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