An archive of the 50 previous news items

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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.

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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Aidan Eyakuze elected to lead at the Open Government Partnership

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has been elected as Civil Society Co-Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP). Aidan is the Executive Director of the policy and civil society nonprofit, Twaweza, in Tanzania.  Twaweza works to demonstrate how citizens can come together to collectively address their problems and make government work better for them.

His term as Lead Co-Chair alongside the government of Italy will begin next year.  Until then, and in collaboration with the government of Italy, he will support the new Lead Co-Chair, Maria Baron, the Executive Director of Directorio Legislativo, and the government of South Korea, to advance the work of the Open Government partnership.

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Bibi Bakare Yusuf wins Distinguished Africanist Award

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2008 Tutu Fellow Bibi Bakare Yusuf has won the Distinguished Africanist Award from ASAUK. The ASAUK - or African Studies Association of the United Kingdom - is a scholarly organization with a membership that includes academics, journalists and broadcasters, civil servants and many others with an interest in Africa. 

Bibi is the award-winning Co-Founder and Publishing Director of Cassava Republic. Bibi explains: “I am a publisher because I am interested in the future. I am interested in contributing to and helping to shape what people in 100, 200 or even 500 years will be discussing and mulling over when they take a walk into the labyrinth of their past that is our present moment. I am interested in how we can create the archive of the future in the present.”

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Zimbabwean Fellow jailed for 'inciting violence' finally released on bail

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2008 Tutu Fellow, Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono, an award-winning journalist, was seized in a raid on 20 July, 2020 at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe. On Facebook Live, he managed to capture the moment the security agents entered his house to arrest him. The clip went viral and captured the imagination of the world, making headlines on various leading channels such as CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, SABC and newspapers like the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the UK’s Guardian.

The government seized Hopewell without a warrant and jailed him on a charge of inciting violence after he tweeted about a protest being organised by political activist Jacob Ngarivhume. During court proceedings, Hopewell’s lawyer Doug Coltart said that under cross examination, even the investigating officer admitted there was nothing in Hopewell’s tweets that formed the basis of the charge to incite violence.

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A ringside seat to history

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BBC Radio has celebrated the 60th Anniversary of its Focus on Africa programme, and as part of its look back, it interviewed 2015 Tutu Fellow, Uduak Amimo.

In the interview, Uduak discussed joining the BBC's Africa service in 2002 and having to cover hostilities in Sudan, Nigeria and other countries.  When she became a senior producer and presenter on Focus on Africa it was a time when the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) insurgency was being waged in Uganda.The LRA was a cult-like movement that initiated conflict in northern Uganda, South Sudan, the Central African Republic and the Democratic Republic of Congo.  The insurgency was accused of human rights violations and the use of child soldiers.

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If you don't do politics, politics will do you

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2007 Tutu Fellow Niven Postma has launched her book If you don't do politics, politics will do you...A guide to navigating office politics effectively and ethically (And yes, it is possible.)  Her publication seeks to raise awareness on what office politics actually are, and how being politically intelligent is the single biggest determinant of personal and professional success. The book was launched on 04 August 2020.

Niven reveals that you can use politics to advance your career, benefit your team and build the organisation you are part of.  She points out that politics needn't be unethical, unpleasant and unfair as most people perceive it, so so they shouldn't be avoided.

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Tackling venture capital bias in Africa

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Two Tutu Fellows are featured extensively in an article in TechCabal by Eghosa Omoigui, the managing partner at EchoVC Partners.  The article, titled Nudges and shoves : Tackling venture capital bias in Africa, deals with how historic inequalities are impacting venture capital investment in Africa.  The two Fellows mentioned extensively in the piece are Swaady Martin, a 2002 Fellow, and Ada Osakwe, who was in the Class of 2014. 

Eghosa begins his piece by offering an explanation of how prosperity happens, then qualifies it by saying that unfortunately, economics cannot presume rational actors.  The playing field, he says, is skewed, and this impacts how investors pattern match when making decisions on where to invest.

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Two Fellows named in 2020’s List of 100 Most Reputable Africans

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Two Tutu Fellows have been named to this year’s 100 Most Reputable Africans by Reputation Poll International. The two are 2008 Fellow, Elsie Kanza, and 2010 Fellow and AFLI CEO, Jackie Chimhanzi.  The annual Poll lists 100 Africans who are celebrated for their good governance, leadership, and a range of other criteria. 

The two Fellows are joined by a range of luminaries that include two African presidents and a number of policymakers. The selection criteria are integrity, visibility and impact.

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Tutu Fellow writes moving tribute for the late President Mkapa

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2013 Tutu Fellow January Makamba has written a moving tribute for the late Tanzanian President, Mzee Mkapa, who died in July 2020. The tribute is a heartfelt and poetic portrait of a graceful leader, and the leadership he inspired in January and many others. Poignantly, he writes that, “Mkapa taught me that prominence is good when it comes to you, not when you seek it.”

January Makamba is a political leader, a former cabinet minister, and a Member of Parliament for the Bumbuli constituency. 

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Fellow opens new medical clinic in Accra

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2019 Tutu Fellow Sangu Delle's  company has opened a new Rabito Clinic in Accra, Ghana.  Sangu's company, Africa Health Holdings, opened the clinic in East Legon in July. 

The services the clinic will provide include general medicine, dermatology, urology, gynecology, physiotherapy and speech and language therapy.  Rabito Clinic’s main area of practice is in dermatology, offering a wide range of treatments for patients with skin problems, including acne, autoimmune and connective tissue disease, HIV-related skin disorders, moles, melanoma surveillance, pigmentation disorders, wound and ulcer care, and more.

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Amplifying Africa's creative potential and telling its stories

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2016 Archbishop Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been interviewed by CNN on how she is growing streaming viewership in Africa and bringing more African stories to the lineup.  Film and television productions worldwide have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, but the Kenyan Netflix executive has said that she is using this time to find the best stories, to make the best use of the interruption.

At the same time, for international streaming giant Netflix, lockdowns have translated into nearly 16 million new paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 alone, followed by another 10 million during the second quarter. 

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