An archive of the 50 previous news items

Fellow behind the first African original from Netflix

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2016 Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been busy in her new role as Manager of International Originals at Netflix since she took the post in 2019. She has been working with African creatives and in February 2020, Netflix released worldwide its first African original series, Queen Sono.

It's a series created entirely by Africans, with a majority African cast and produced on a Netflix budget. As such, Queen Sono is already different from the streaming channel's more typical fare, and its freshness has been drawing audiences in markets in which Netflix seeks to grow. Rumors are already circulating that the landmark spy drama will see a second season. The series taps into South Africa's divided history for Pearl Thusi's backstory as the title character and the plot unfolds against the backdrop of a South Africa still trying to find its footing in the world, 30 years removed from Apartheid.

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Tying party membership to prospects

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has co-authored an academic article which was published in the Local/ Global Encounters Journal in February 2020. Co-authored with Khalifa Said, a freelance investigative journalist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the article is titled The Weaponization of Identity and Citizenship: The Case of Tanzania.  The article explores the weaponization of identity and citizenship in Tanzania, which is becoming increasingly authoritarian. Aidan is an economist and heads Twaweza East Africa.

It illustrates the types of discrimination that a citizen can face for not affiliating with the ruling political party. Penalties range from unemployment to statelessness; even refugees escaping persecution can’t find refuge and are expelled in such a climate.

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Ify Malo named as an African Power & Energy Elite 2020

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2013 Fellow Ify Malo has been named as one of the African Power & Energy Elites 2020 Projects and Leaders in their annual industry journal. Those selected were named by their industry peers. In a collaborative effort, the African Power & Energy Elites publication and the 2020 African Power, Energy and Water Industry Awards worked together in a unified nomination and selection process.

The journal said that these were people who were leaders in their industry at a time in which the world was entering a Peak Decade that would disrupt business and investment across all sectors. At the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, this decade was described as including Peak Globalisation; Peak Capitalism; Peak Inequality; Peak Youth; Peak Climate Change; Peak Oil Demand; Peak Cars - all of which were directly or indirectly connected to the modern power and energy network.

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A letter from China, by January Makamba

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At around the time the coronavirus outbreak was about to happen, 2013 Tutu Fellow January Makamba was wrapping up a visit to the country.  During his time there, he penned a post titled: Letter from China: Two stories and the fortune of nations that provides a great deal of insight into the country.

The political leader and former cabinet minister from Tanzania went to China to see the country first hand. January points out that China is the largest source of imports for 65 countries and that no country has achieved this feat in modern history. He notes that it shrank and completed the basic industrialization process within the span of 30 years, something that took the earlier industrial countries 100 years. This speed and scale has been disorienting to many, he says. The next stage will be even more so because the Chinese think and plan for centuries.

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South Sudan peace activist Peter Biar Ajak freed from prison

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The detention of 2016 Tutu Fellow, Peter Biar Ajak, has ended.  His wife Nyathon Hoth Mai confirmed in a Facebook post that he had been released. His release came several days after his pardon was first announced by South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir. 

The peace advocate was detained without trial by the South Sudan National Security Service on 28 July and held for almost a year.  When he was finally brought to trial on unsubstantiated charges, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.  President Kiir issued a decree of pardon on 01 January to 30 people, most for minor offenses.  Kiir's list also included two critics of his regime - Peter, and Keribino Agok Wol.  Both were detained in 2018. 

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Rethinking the concept of digital disruption in new decade

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2010 Fellow Bright Simons spoke to the Daily Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.  Bright is the President of mPedigree, a social entrepreneurship and technology company perhaps best known for its work in using SMS texts to reduce the counterfeiting fraud of prescription medicines. Recently, his technical paper published by the Centre for Global Development, A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World, drew global attention as it questioned common narratives such as ‘data is the new oil’ and ‘Big Data is everything’ in a period of rapid technological change.

He spoke to Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.

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Fayelle Ouane joins Africa-only SME investment fund

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2017 Tutu Fellow Fayelle Ouane has joined Adenia Partners as an investment manager for their Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) fund. She remains a co-founder and board member at Suguba, the company she and 2019 Tutu Fellow Issam Chleuh started up together. Adenia is a private equity firm that specialises in private capital management, buyouts and investments.

Adenia is active in agribusiness, manufacturing financial services, IT and telecoms, hospitality and healthcare. It has offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar and its head office is based in Mauritius.  It invests only in companies based in Africa.

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Dalberg Advisors Elects Edwin Macharia as Global Managing Partner

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2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has been elected by Dalberg's equity partners to serve a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2020 as their Global Managing Partner.  He will be the fourth Global Managing Partner since Dalberg’s founding in 2001.  Dalberg Advisors is a leading global consulting firm and social impact group specializing in inclusive and sustainable business, policy, and investment strategy. Edwin succeeds Yana Kakar who was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, serving the maximum of two terms.

Edwin has been with Dalberg for a little more than a decade, during which time he has served in a range of leadership roles.

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Digital Dictatorship versus Digital Democracy

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2019 Tutu Fellow Ronak Gopaldas has had a paper, Digital Dictatorship versus Digital Democracy in Africa, published by SAIIA – the South African Institute of International Affairs. The paper kicks off with a quote from writer Umair Haque, ‘Twitter could have been a town square. But now it’s more like a drunken, heaving mosh pit.’ The quote illustrates the gap between the potential of social media and the internet, and its dark side.

Not that long ago, social media fueled the Arab Spring, bringing down governments. Since then, though, bots, trolls and disinformation campaigns pushing trending algorithms have subverted campaigns such as Brexit and the 2016 US elections and how smartphones and privacy have blurred the line between engagement and surveillance.

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Being honest about mental health

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2019 Tutu Fellow Sangu Delle delivered the keynote speech at the 65th Annual Employee Benefits Conference in San Diego in October 2019 and his topic was one that is often responded to with discomfort - that of mental health. The conference is the largest gathering of multiemployer and public employee benefit plan representatives, with nearly 5,000 people attending. In prepared remarks, the President of the Foundation, Gene Price, set the tone for Sangu's speech in which he himself shared a personal story that had deeply affected him and he implored all attendees to drop the social pretense and find solutions to help those struggling with mental health issues. Sangu picked up where Gene left off, sharing his own struggles with depression. He recounted how, when stress got to be too much for him, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn't take care of their mental health.

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Documentary examines the politics of pesticides

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Award-winning journalist John-Allen Namu's production company has released a new documentary series, Bitter Harvest. The 2017 Tutu Fellow examines the growing negative impact of pesticides on food being grown in Kenya.

Released on World Food Day, the series notes that importation of agrochemicals increased by 144% over the course of the past four years into Kenya.  Many of these are pesticides and herbicides linked to cancer and being used by small-scale farmers. Additionally, protective gear is frequently not used and workers are dying from exposure to these products.

The series is broken into three chapters.

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Tutu Fellow's company wins Nigerian Impact Investing Award

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2007 Tutu Fellow Mezuo Nwuneli's Sahel Capital team has won the Impact Investment Award given by the Impact Investors Foundation at the Blending Finance for Social Investment Conference in Nigeria. The foundation says that the award honors and recognises a leading social enterprise and an investor within the Nigerian impact investing space who have made significant impact by providing solutions through their innovations, products, services or investments.

The award recognises entities who are able to set high standards through their business activities and investment decisions which further underscores the possibility of “doing good while doing well.”

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Fellow is an Apple Music African album chart topper

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2017 Tutu Fellow Jude Abaga - known more famously in the music world as M.I Abaga, the Nigerian hip hop star - became the first African artist with five albums in Apple Music's Top 100 Album Charts.  In his Twitter feed, he thanked his fans for helping all his albums reach that pinnacle. Doubtless the smack talk amongst rappers is going to be fierce, but it is an accolade that speaks for itself.

Jude is a producer and has been the CEO of Chocolate City since June 2015.  He won Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards, and was nominated in the Best International Act category at the BET Awards in 2010.

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Tutu Fellow on the front line of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC

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2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has been on the front line of the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since it began more than a year ago, in one of the deadliest  ebola epidemics on record.   In July, the outbreak was designated a an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

Yap is the regional representative for Epicentre Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, and has been directly involved in a Phase III trial ebola vaccine that is being used to reduce the numbers of people infected by the disease. Al Jazeera interviewed him about how the struggle to contain the disease is going.

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Fellow's malaria project wins US State Department Award

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A project implemented on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea by 2017 Tutu Fellow Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba to prevent malaria has won the P3 Impact Award at the 2019 Concordia Summit. In 2016, malaria killed 445,000 people, most were young children in sub-Saharan Africa.  The award was announced by the Office of Global Partnerships at the US Department of State, along with the University of Virginia and Concordia.  The P3 Impact Award recognizes leading cross-sector collaborations that feature public, private, nonprofit, or non-governmental organizations addressing societal challenges.

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