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The latest news from the African Leadership Institute and its Fellows.

AFLI Fellows are leaders and change-makers, so this section has a lot of news. Please use the icons below if you want to sort posts by category, such as: regular news posts, video posts, audio posts, by tag, or by blogger. Additionally, all text in all of the posts is fully searchable.

The emperor has no clothes

The emperor has no clothes

The phenomenon of Donald Trump winning the United States presidential elections is tackled by Liberian academic and activist Robtel Neajai Pailey in an article for New African magazine - the cover of which is shown above - in her column Random Acts of Activism.  The 2010 Tutu Fellow examines the contentious US elections and its outcome in her piece Africa's lessons for Trump's America.  It begins by arguing that Trump's victory has exposed the emperor's nakedness and that Africa has much to teach Americans dismayed by the outcome of their election.


In the United States, she says that the least-qualified candidate of all time beat the most qualified through a deeply flawed electoral college system after an election marked by hate speech and mysogynistic vitriol.  By comparison, in her country, Liberia, a highly qualified septuagenarian, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, beat the hugely popular football star-turned-politican George Weah in a high-stakes runoff. With a 70% voter turnout in Liberia versus 56% in the US, Pailey says that the witty observation by Ghanaian scholar Dr. Takyiwaa Manuh was accurate when she encouraged Americans to consult Africa on 'how to trump your Trump.'

The full article can be read on page 28 of the January edition of New African.

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AFLI CEO to serve on ADvTECH Board

AFLI CEO to serve on ADvTECH Board

The CEO of the African Leadership Institute, Jackie Chimhanzi, has been appointed to the Board of ADvTECH.  The Johannesburg Stock Exchange-listed holding company is a leading private sector education organization. It owns and operates schools, colleges, and academies, as well as career placement and HR companies and headhunters.  Dr. Chimhanzi's appointment is as an independent non-executive director, with effect from 1 January 2017.


ADvTECH Board Chair Chris Boulle said that he was pleased that Jackie had agreed to join the ADvTECH Board. He says she has exceptional educational and business insight which will be of significant benefit to ADvTECH's discussions and decision-making.

ADvTECH is one of the largest diversified education, training and placement groups in South Africa. The education division offers education from pre-primary to diploma, degree and post-graduate levels, including adult basic education and training. It has concentrations in the technology, human resource, industrial and manufacturing sectors.

The announcement by the holding company can be read on their website.

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Fellow one of 8 most influential black women writers

Fellow one of 8 most influential black women writers

2015 Tutu Fellow Kopano Matlwa has been included on a list of South African black women writers considered among the most influential in the country by okayafrica's international edition.  The list includes authors like Miriam Tlali, who's semi-autobiographical work Muriel at Metropolitan was banned in 1975 by the Apartheid National Party government at the time, and Sindiwe Magona. Magona's most recent novel, Beauty's Gift in 2008 looks at the stigma around HIV/AIDS in South Africa. 

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Tutu Fellow's foundation wins Google Award

Tutu Fellow's foundation wins Google Award

A not-for-profit organization focused on empowering African girls through education, training, and mentoring in the STEM fields founded by 2014 Tutu Fellow Lade Araba has been recognised by Google for the work it has been doing.  Google announced that the Visiola Foundation would receive a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science  education for youth.

The Google RISE Awards supports informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K-12/pre-university age youth.

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From refugee to Vice President

From refugee to Vice President

2013 Tutu Fellow Nuradin Osman has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager for Africa at AGCO, the third-largest global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. His promotion is part of a restructuring at the company to realign its regional structure with its on-the-ground presence in Africa as well as to further expand the company's operations on the continent.

Osman's steady rise in the ranks belies his difficult beginning.  A Somali, Osman's family lost everything twice due to famine and civil war, prompting him to walk across his country and through Ethiopia and Kenya before arriving in Holland in 1992 aged 17. See video below.

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Bestselling author - and Tutu Fellow - releases her 3rd novel

Bestselling author - and Tutu Fellow - releases her 3rd novel

2015 Tutu Fellow Kopano Matlwa is releasing her third novel, titled Period Pain.  Matlwa, who is a medical doctor, is the author of Coconut, which sold 25,000 copies. The award-winning novel established her as one of South Africa's most vibrant young writers.  It also garnered a European Union Literary Award in 2007.  She followed it up with Spilt Milk, which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for literature in 2010.

Period Pain is about the heartache and confusion experienced by so many South Africans facing the difficulties of xenophobia, rape, corruption and crime set against the backdrop of the nation's ailing public health system.

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Tutu Fellow elected President of African agricultural economists association

Tutu Fellow elected President of African agricultural economists association

2007 Tutu Fellow Edward Mabaya has been elected president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists at the association’s fifth triennial conference at the U.N. Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Mabaya is the associate director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development and a senior research associate at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. His research and outreach work focuses on agricultural development and food security in Africa.

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Tutu Fellow wins 2016 Norman Borlaug Award

Tutu Fellow wins 2016 Norman Borlaug Award

2012 Tutu Fellow Dr. Andrew Mude has won the 2016 Norman Borlaug Award for Field Research and Application.  He and his team are also receiving a USAID award for scientific excellence.  The recognition is for their work developing the innovative use of satellite technology and community outreach to develop livestock insurance for vulnerable herding communities in the Horn of Africa.  The program uses satellite data to help protect livestock herding communities in the Horn from the devastating effects of drought. 

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Tutu Fellow in visit to White House

Tutu Fellow in visit to White House

A 2016 Tutu Fellow, Success Masra, recently was invited to the White House as part of a group of young leaders. It followed the launch of a compilation book on Nelson Mandela for which he was the lead author.  The book, originally published in French, is titled Les Héritiers de Madiba (The Rainbow Heirs of Madiba).  From there, Masra went on to Paris to defend his PhD on the role of development financial institutions in promoting renewable energy. 

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Africa tomorrow - Tutu Fellows offer scenarios

Africa tomorrow - Tutu Fellows offer scenarios

A team of the 2016 Fellows has put together a powerful video in which they look at Africa today and where it may be headed. The group comprises Sureka Asbury, Peter Biar Ajak, Raqiya Yusuf Ibrahim, Andre Hilton Ross, Tshepo Ditshengo, Dorothy Ghettuba, Cumeshan Moodliar and Rinos Mautsa.

They argue that Africa's current relative well-being rests on China's growth, but that corruption and weak governmental institutions prevent the continent from reaching its full potential. In their exposition, which pulls no punches, they outline three scenarios.

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Rules and racism

Rules and racism

South Africa has seen a series of protests at a girls' school prompted by enforcement of the dress code, which impacted students who wanted to be able to wear afro hairstyles. In a piece for the BBC, Nigerian novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani questions whether a South African school's hair rules really were racist.

She recalled her days as a student at one of Nigeria's most prestigious boarding schools for girls where rules were rigidly enforced and falling foul of them could result in a shaven head. 

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Small enterprise needs a big bet

Small enterprise needs a big bet

James Mwangi, the Executive Director of The Dalberg Group, says that small enterprise - if it is given the support it needs - has the power to create growth and prosperity for Africa.  The 2009 Tutu Fellow said that elements like providing early access to small amounts of capital and mentorship could unlock the potential of entrepreneurship. Innovative solutions to problems facing developing countries were likely to emerge with this kind of support.

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Renewable energy a solution for Nigeria

Renewable energy a solution for Nigeria

Tutu Fellow Ifeoma Malo was interviewed by This Day Live on her views on renewable energy in a country with a chronic energy shortage.  Malo is a former senior policy advisor to the Nigerian government on energy and is now active in advocacy for renewable energy use in countries such as her own and others facing the challenge of meeting growing energy demands. She makes the case that renewable energy is the best solution to Nigeria's struggle to meet its energy needs.

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Fellow's juice shop demolished

Fellow's juice shop demolished

Social media in Lagos erupted after police and heavy equipment showed up and a short while later began demolishing a street of shops and small businesses in Ikoyi. Among them was one owned and very recently opened by 2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe.  The shop, Nuli Juice, was just six weeks old.  Local news reports report that officials said the landlord had been given notice after non-payment of taxes. Osakwe said that she had paid all taxes relevant to running an eatery with no notification of impending action.  

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Tutu Fellow wrestling for peace in South Sudan

Tutu Fellow wrestling for peace in South Sudan

South Sudan has been troubled by war since it's inception. 2016 Tutu Fellow Peter Biar Ajak has been trying to bring a measure of peace between the sides through a common passion - wrestling. During the recent cease-fire brought about by the stuttering peace process, he was given just days to organise a wrestling tournament.  At the last moment, nervous government officials wanted to cancel it, but wrestlers from both camps wanted to know from the President, "Is he against peace, or is he against wrestling?"

This documentary, by VICE Sports, covers the tournament.

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