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.

The hunger-buster 2.0 as a pathway out of poverty

The hunger-buster 2.0 as a pathway out of poverty

In this TEDx talk, Tutu Fellow Ed Mabaya talks about his childhood growing up in rural Zimbabwe and how it gave him the insight into the power of improved seed to provide a pathway out of poverty. He left the small family farm where he grew up. But when he returned, it was to the realisation that food security remains a problem for too many parts of rural Africa. Successful farmers are able to make enough money to invest in their children's educations. A key element to better farming outcomes is better seed.  Mabaya calls this improved seed the 'hunger buster 2.0'.  Climate smart varieties of non-GMO, conventionally-bred seed offer opportunities for bigger harvests.

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Feeling the void as we reflect on a great man

Feeling the void as we reflect on a great man

Nelson Mandela called him “a person of strong opinion and sharp insight”.

To all of us at the Nelson Mandela Foundation (NMF), Ahmed Mohamed Kathrada is more than a hero of the South African liberation struggle. He is “Mr K” – a lovable and loving friend of Nelson Mandela for 67 years and a long-time friend of the NMF. Having served Mr Mandela as his Parliamentary Counsellor for the five years of his term as President of South Africa, Mr K stepped down when Mr Mandela decided not to run for a second term. Mr Mandela invited him to serve as a Trustee of his post-presidential office – which became known as the Nelson Mandela Foundation – which he did from 1999 until 2016.

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A tribute to Ahmed Kathrada

A tribute to Ahmed Kathrada

Where do I even begin to describe how much you meant to me. Words fail to adequately describe my love, respect and admiration for you, my dearest K! Not only were you a man I deeply respected, a freedom fighter and iconic South African, but I had the privilege to call you my dearest friend. Thinking back, I cannot help but chuckle at how you insisted I drop the 'Uncle' nonsense, and just call you Kathy, because you loved that it made you feel much younger.

As I think back at the beautiful box of memories, moments and deep conversations shared with you, I am comforted by the time we got to spend together. I am comforted by the fact that your strength, conviction and bravery have left a great legacy and a lifetime of lessons for us all.

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Conteh selected as a 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year

Conteh selected as a 2016 Social Entrepreneur of the Year

One of the candidates participating in the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme, Sonkita Conteh, has been selected by the Schwab Foundation, in partnership with the World Economic Forum as a Social Entrepreneur of the Year awardee for 2016.  The Schwab Foundation drafts the list annually from a global pool of candidates.  The annual selection usually comprises about 20-25 people who join the 260 social entrepreneurs in a global network that fosters the peer-to-peer exchange of ideas.  The foundation works closely with the World Economic Forum to integrate their awardees into regional and global meetings of the WEF.

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Introducing the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme cohort

Introducing the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme cohort

The African Leadership Institute has a strong cohort of candidates for the prestigious Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  Amongst nearly 300 nominees from over 30 African countries, 26 of Africa’s highest potential young leaders were selected to take part in the programme. Spanning various industries, representing eleven African countries and ranging from 29 to 39 years of age, the selected candidates demonstrate the wealth and breadth of leadership talent that exists in Africa’s youth.  The biographies of the 2017 candidates follows:

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Non-violence instead of xenophobia

Non-violence instead of xenophobia

The United Nations has called attention to the wave of attacks in South Africa targeting foreigners living in the country. The attacks in South Africa have spawned calls for retaliation on South African businesses and nationals in Nigeria. The UN news site, the UN Dispatch, reports that youth groups have been the major drivers in this violence, and it goes on to quote an open letter by Ugandan youth leader and Tutu Fellow Victor Ochen. In his open letter, Ochen says that while the youth have been at the center of the attacks, they can also be part of the solution. He called on youth leaders in Africa to embrace non-violence. 

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The 6%

The 6%

There were 283 nominations of Africa’s finest young leaders from over 30 countries for the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship, which starts on 22nd April. Applications closed on 15th January 2017.  Since then, a selection panel of past Fellows and AFLI Board Members have been working tirelessly to draw up a short list of candidates for final evaluation by the selection panel. The short list of 52 candidates was finalised on 7th February, and the plan is for the final selection of the 2017 Tutu Fellows to be agreed upon by the AFLI Board at the end of February. Only 17 candidates are finally selected.

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Fellow's Social Impact Center in top five

Fellow's Social Impact Center in top five

The Bertha Centre, which is run by 2013 Tutu Fellow Dr. Francois Bonnici, has been profiled as one of the top five university-based social impact centres in the world.  The Bertha Centre for Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship is at the University of Cape Town and is part of the Graduate School of Business.  The nonprofit organisation the Bridgespan Group published the report which was done by the Skoll Foundation

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Can China help higher education in Africa?

Can China help higher education in Africa?

2014 Tutu Fellow Isaac Fokuo has written a thought piece for African Business in which he considers the potential impact of China on Africa, not from the typical perspective of trade or infrastructure, but in terms of education. Fokuo, who is the co-founder of the Sino-Africa Centre of Excellence makes the point that higher education is one sector that could benefit from greater involvement by China.  One area in which the impact could be profound is in the area of technical and vocational training. 

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"Waiting for Hassana" premieres at Sundance

"Waiting for Hassana" premieres at Sundance

A film dedicated to telling the story of the Chibok girls kidnapped from their school by Boko Haram is being premiered at the Sundance film festival this month. Waiting for Hassana tells the story of the kidnapping through the eyes of one of the girls - named Jessica - who escaped from Boko Haram. 2015 Tutu Fellow Uzodinma Iweala produced the documentary after being encouraged to do so by his mother.  Waiting for Hassana is the first Nigerian production ever selected to debut at the prestigious international film festival.

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A lobola ceremony in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg

A lobola ceremony in the leafy suburbs of Johannesburg

What happens when a man from Pretoria, part Afrikaans and part English heritage, decides to marry a woman from Soweto with Pedi heritage?

Well, the first thing they decide is to go through a mahadi ceremony, where lobola is negotiated and agreed. They accept that this is an important process to honour. It brings the two families together in a way that builds resilience for their relationship as a married couple.

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Tutu Fellow on 2016 M&G Young South Africans' List

Tutu Fellow on 2016 M&G Young South Africans' List

2016 Tutu Fellow Nhlanhla Dlamini has been included in the Mail & Guardian's 2016 annual edition of Young South Africans. The prestigious list, now in its 11th year, features 200 notable South Africans under the age of 35.  The list includes categories such as Arts & Culture, Education, Environment, Politics & Government, and the category in which Nhlanhla was selected, Business and Law.  This year, the M&G received more than 1,000 nominations for inclusion on the list.


Nhlanhla is quoted by the publication as saying that a goal for the company he started, the Maneli Group, is to address some of the biggest challenges the world is currently grappling with, including food security and sustainable farming.  Fellows on previous editions of the list include Zukie Siyotula, Craig Wing, Catherine Constantinides, and Gareth Morgan.

You can take a look at the entire list on the Mail & Guardian.

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Fellow's teas featured on CNN

Fellow's teas featured on CNN

The CNN International Edition segment that features African Start-ups has interviewed Tutu Fellow Swaady Martin, the founder of Yswara Teas.  Africa is one of the top exporters of tea in the world, but none of the top three tea companies are African.  Yswara was started in 2012 and Martin set about changing perceptions about the quality of African teas, which is better known for its low-quality teas.  Her company currently exports 27 varieties of high-quality premium tea to 16 countries. 

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Fellow joins Presidential Youth Advisory Group

Fellow joins Presidential Youth Advisory Group

2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe has been asked by the President of the African Development Bank Group, Dr Akin Adesina, to serve on a 12-member Presidential Youth Advisory Group (PYAG). The members of the group will advise the President and the Bank on innovative ways for rolling out the bank's Jobs for Youth in Africa Initiative, which aims to create 25 million jobs and equip 50 million youths with skills in Africa by 2025.

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Boys, born with no natural inclination to share

Boys, born with no natural inclination to share

The Tutu Fellowship Programme requires each participant to write an essay on leadership in Africa. Each year, some of the best are selected for publishing by the African Leadership Institute. This is the third of the essays to be published from the 2016 Fellows. It is by Andre Ross and it is a deeply personal account of his views on leadership.  It presents ideas on what Africa has to offer the world, along with some thoughts on what it could do to sow the seeds of improvement.

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