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.

Tutu Fellows and AFLI mourn the passing of Archbishop Desmond Tutu

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Today, 26 December 2021, we lost our beloved Patron, Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

But even as we mourn the passing of our dear Patron, we celebrate a life of service well lived and the values and ideals he espoused and bequeathed to us - ubuntu, servant leadership, integrity, humility, compassion and courage. We remember a man who was diminutive in stature but larger than life in his boldness, always speaking truth to power when the occasion demanded.

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Africa Communications Group acquired by Marco

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2017 Tutu Fellow Mimi Kalinda says that her company, Africa Communications Group, has been acquired by Marco.  The sale to Marco, which purchased a 51% stake, happened in November 2021.  Mimi is delighted with Marco’s investment in ACG, as it means the company she began can expand across other continents and make a bigger contribution to the growth of African economy.

She says ACG is the first African-owned, pan-African communications and strategic reputation management firm handling communication solutions for global clients across the entire continent. It is headquartered in Johannesburg, South Africa, with additional offices in Abidjan in Ivory Coast and Nairobi, Kenya.  It also has long-standing partners in Kigali, Rwanda; Harare, Zimbabwe; and Lagos, Nigeria.  There are also additional affiliated offices in 40+ additional countries across the African continent.

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The COVID-delayed Class of 2020 readies for programme resumption

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In March 2020, the African Leadership Institute announced the Associates who had been selected for the 2020 Class of the Tutu Fellowship programme.  As has been the case with previous cohorts, the people selected were exceptional emerging African leaders. AFLI received more than 300 nominees of outstanding quality from 36 African countries, from which the cohort was selected. Before the class could begin, COVID intervened and the programme was deferred until conditions allowed for an in-person convening.

Since that initial announcement of the cohort was made, not all of the candidates were still able to participate in the programme. The names below represent the final cohort who begin the first workshop in the programme in South Africa next week.

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Elsie Kanza posted to the US as Ambassador for Tanzania

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Back on 22 May 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan appointed Elsie Kanza PhD as one of 22 ambassadors for Tanzania. Elsie is a 2008 Tutu Fellow.  On 17 August, she was posted to the Embassy in Washington, DC, as Tanzanian Ambassador. The US Embassy is considered a senior posting in diplomatic circles.  In May, President Hassan made the appointments, but did not at that time name the posts to which the appointees would be stationed. 

The appointments included senior government officials, members of the military, and government and cabinet advisors.  Prior to her appointment, Elsie's most recent position was as the Special Advisor to the President of the World Economic Forum.

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COVID holds up a mirror to the face of African governance

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2019 Tutu Fellow Ronak Gopaldas has written a paper on the double-edged sword that COVID-19 presents to Africa. It is forcing a re-emphasis of the role and importance of the state in a post-COVID-19 era. Bigger government with an expanding reach and relevance has significant governance implications for Africa, which has a record and history of weak governance, ineffective institutions, limited resources, corruption, and mismanagement.

Ronak says that if Africa uses the pandemic effectively for effective structural transformation, it could usher in significant opportunity for political and economic improvement.  If not, pressures will intensify, leaving Africa floundering under the impact of economic and COVID-19-induced shocks.

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Ladé Araba joins Advisory Committee for unique green fund for SMMEs

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2014 Tutu Fellow Ladé Araba is serving on the Green Outcomes Fund Advisory Committee.  Ladé Araba is a senior development finance executive and board member with more than 18 years of experience.

The Green Outcomes Fund (GOF) incentivises local South African fund managers to increase investment in green, small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).  The GOF is a new and unique structure that aims to catalyse higher quality and consistent green impacts. It has as one of its key goals the building of a common set of green metrics within the local investment industry.

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Oluseun Onigbinde launches new book - The Existential Questions

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2018 Tutu Fellow Oluseun Onigbinde has launched his debut book The Existential Questions: Uncomfortable facts confronting Nigeria after a 60-year journey.  Nigeria's 60th anniversary took place in October 2020. He asks the question 'why has the country failed to live up to its potential', and his answers lie within the 285-page softcover.

Oluseun looks at where his country is and how it got there by examining Nigerian leadership, the country's socio-economic status, its weak legal and judicial systems, and other human development systems and arrives at the conclusion that Nigeria has been grossly mismanaged.  But he doesn't stop there.

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Tutu Talks: Nozipho Tshabalala speaks about having the courage to confront

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In the second of our Tutu Talks series, 2018 Tutu Fellow Nozipho Tshabalala says that in her role as a facilitator of conversations, she has drawn, and continues to draw, inspiration and guidance from the teachings of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. She says she continues to carry these as tools of her trade as she moderates confrontational conversations. 

If you're wondering why she uses the term 'confrontational conversations', she says that in a well-designed confrontational conversation, 'something has to yield', making space for change.  A confrontational conversation is not the same as violence, she says, nor is the fruit that it bears the same.  Rather, she says, questions can be used to reframe the understanding of issues.

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Essay - the transformational power of blockchain for African development

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2018 Tutu Fellow Temi Marcella Awogboro has written thought piece titled Blockchain: The Opportunity for the Africa Market.  In it, she poses the question as to whether blockchain technology can not just open new vistas for African business and society, but go further - help developing nations leapfrog more developed economies?  She points out that a lack of existing infrastructure has been used as an opportunity by developing nations in the past. An example has been the early adoption of digital technology, leading developed nations with heavily established analogue infrastructure.

She says the potential benefits for a developing economy being early adopters of blockchain are extensive. These include increased transparency, more efficient and cost-effective transactions, and growth in local technological centres to build up infrastructure and export knowledge learned.

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AFLI CEO, Dr Jackie Chimhanzi, joins ONE Board of Directors

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A 2010 Tutu Fellow and the CEO of the African Leadership Institute, Jackie Chimhanzi PhD, has been appointed to the Board of the international organisation, the ONE Campaign.  ONE is a global movement, campaigning to end extreme poverty and preventable disease by 2030. ONE’s Board of Directors includes individuals with extensive experience in advocacy and activism, policy, politics and business.

The board includes Aliko Dangote, the President of the Dangote Group; U2's Bono; the former British Prime Minister, David Cameron; African good governance advocate, Mo Ibrahim; Susan Buffett of the Susan Thompson Buffett Foundation; Facebook's COO, Sheryl Sandberg; and the former US Secretary of the Treasury, Lawrence Summers. Jackie, a 2010 Tutu Fellow, was appointed to the 20-person board in May 2020.

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Elsie Kanza made an Ambassador for Tanzania by President Samia Suluhu Hassan

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On 22 May 2021, President Samia Suluhu Hassan appointed Elsie Kanza PhD as one of 22 ambassadors for Tanzania. Elsie is a 2008 Tutu Fellow.  

A statement issued by the director of communications at State House, Gerson Msigwa read that "The appointment of these Ambassadors commenced today, May 22, 2021 and they will be sworn in on dates to be announced later."

Elsie's most recent position was as the Special Advisor to the President of the World Economic Forum.

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Fellow selected for 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy list for 2021

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Apolitical has published its list of 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy, a prestigious international list that honours and celebrates people working on gender policy who are making the world more equitable. They made their selection by considering people in areas that include policymaking, public service, research, philanthropy, advocacy and activism. Drawn from more than 1,100 nominations, 2018 Tutu Fellow Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg was selected in the Economic Justice and Rights category. 

Apolitical is an organisation that seeks to empower public servants through education, skills training, networking and 21st century digital tools.  Wanjiru is joined in the category in which she was honoured by 13 other women.

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Nitesh Dullabh joins Environmental Resources Management

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2008 Tutu Fellow Nitesh Dullabh has been appointed as Partner, Corporate Sustainability and Climate Change (CS&CC) at Environmental Resources Management, or ERM.  He began his new position in April 2021.

ERM is a leading sustainability consultancy, and the global sustainability and climate change practice provides innovative advisory services from Board engagement to operationalizing sustainability.  Environmental sustainability has become a business-critical issue for many enterprises. Nitesh intends to building on his sustainability experience and leverage ERM’s business process transformation capability, deep subject-matter expertise, and experienced teams.  This includes assisting local and global clients to integrate environmental sustainability practices into the fabric of their organizations for continuous improvement and to unlock business value for current and future generations.

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Chad opposition leader Succès Masra offers condolences on President's death

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2016 Tutu Fellow Succès Masra PhD has offered condolences to the Deby family in a gracious message via social media on the death of Chad’s President, Idriss Deby, who was killed by rebels in the north of the country in April.  Succès thanked the former president for the thirty years he had had as leader of the country. 

Succès is a prominent opposition politician who had to seek shelter within the US embassy perimeter in N'Djamena only the month prior to Deby's death because of a security crackdown on his supporters. Protests erupted when Deby announced he was running for a sixth term, along with changes to the qualifying age of presidential candidates in a measure to disqualify the opposition. Deby was controversially re-elected to a sixth presidential term, only to be killed just hours later in circumstances in the north of the country.  His government played an important role in countering Islamic terrorism in the region and was supported by former colonial ruler, France, to that end. 

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Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg appointed to Rise as inaugural Executive Director

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2018 Tutu Fellow Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg PhD has been appointed as Rise’s inaugural Executive Director. Rise is an initiative of Schmidt Futures and the Rhodes Trust – the anchor program of a $1 billion philanthropic commitment by Eric and Wendy Schmidt. The website says Rise is a talent programme designed to increase opportunity for exceptional young people who need it to do more for others, together, throughout their lives. Wanjiru joined the organisation in April 2021.

Rise says that exceptional talent drives the pace and scale of global progress. But the identification and support of that talent is often ad hoc and fragmented across countries, educational institutions, and industries. As a result, some of the world’s most talented people go undiscovered, are inefficiently matched to development opportunities, or are limited in their opportunity to work in service of the public benefit as they enter the workforce. The initiative seeks to change that.

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