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.

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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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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