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.

January 6th American Struggle

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Like many of you, I watched yesterday as rioters and terrorists desecrated the United States Capitol Building. I was not shocked. That such violent opposition to U.S. democratic institutions would manifest after years of sustained assault should not be shocking.

The images from January 6th should not be considered an anomaly. We should resist the urge to label such acts as un-American and we should not move too quickly towards an overused rhetoric of healing. If this country is to survive the next few years, let alone thrive, we will have to face the aspects of our American identity that make so many people feel it is acceptable to deny reality—the reality of election results, the reality of a pandemic, and the reality of deeply rooted racism that manifests in the care with which law enforcement treated (mostly) White men rampaging through the halls of the Capitol Building.

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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 to coordinate global programme against female genital mutilation

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2014 Tutu Fellow Mireille Tushiminina has been appointed the Global Coordinator for the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to Eliminate FGM is the largest global programme to accelerate the end of FGM and advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls.

Despite being internationally recognized as a human rights violation, some 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM, and if current rates persist, an estimated 68 million more will be cut by 2030. Female genital mutilation refers to any procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genitals for non-medical reasons.

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Fellow appointed as Acting National Chair of the Youth Party in Nigeria

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2013 Tutu Fellow Tomiwa Aladekomo has been been appointed as the Acting National Chair of the Youth Party, a registered political party in Nigeria, in preparation for the 2023 general elections. This appointment was announced by Party Chairman Seun Sule and the Board of Trustees in a statement in late October 2020. Tomiwa's appointment is expected to be ratified at the party’s convention in March 2021.

The Youth Party recently regained the right to compete in all elections moving forward till 2023, following a Federal High Court ruling.

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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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Fellows contribute to the AfCFTA Futures Report on women and youth

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Professor Jumoke Oduwole, a 2013 Tutu Fellow, and Ada Osakwe, a 2014 Tutu Fellow, are among 20 contributors to the UNDP in Africa’s The Futures Report: Making the AfCFTA Work for Women and Youth.

AfCFTA - or, the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area  is a legal instrument – among the African Union Member States to create a single market. This report argues that the AfCFTA represents much more: “on the one hand, it is a significant milestone on the journey to African integration and development. On the other hand, it is a catalyst for new ways of doing business, producing, working and trading within Africa and with the rest of the world.”

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Fellow launches independent publishing house for children

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2012 Tutu Fellow Swaady Martin has launched an independent publishing house and online store called Loving Kindness Boma. It provides resources to help cultivate a culture of love, kindness, compassion, understanding, mindfulness, introspection and self-love within the family. Loving Kindness Boma provides a selection of beautifully illustrated stories with diverse main characters created to foster conscious values, social-emotional wellbeing and mindfulness in children.

Swaady explains on the site that the choice of the name borrows from the African tradition of a Boma being a place for storytelling and a coming together of people.

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Sickle Cell consortium awarded 2020 Dr Lee Jong-Wook Memorial Prize for Public Health

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A 2009 Tutu Fellow, Dr Julie Makani, has been awarded the Dr Lee Jong-wook Memorial Prize for Public Health. The award, which was made in November 2020, is awarded annually to a person, institution, a governmental or nongovernmental organization that has made an outstanding contribution to public health. It was presented at a special ceremony during the World Health Organisation Assembly.

Julie was awarded the prestigious prize at the WHO event due to her leading work at the Sickle Cell Disease Consortium in Tanzania, which provides an academic and scientific environment that serves as a platform for the professional development of clinicians and scientists working to combat sickle cell disease.

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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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Fellow pays tribute to the late former Ghanaian President JJ Rawlings

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2007 Tutu Fellow Brilliant Mhlanga has written an intimate and moving tribute for the late former Ghanaian President and military officer, Jerry John Rawlings. JJ Rawlings - as he was commonly known - led the country from 1981 to 2001, a period that included a military junta until 1992. He went on to serve two terms as the democratically-elected president of Ghana, stepping down at the end of the constitutionally-limited time frame.

Brilliant describes Jerry Rawlings as a “true Pan African” and a “Giant of Africa”, giving us an intimate look into this man's personality, political views, and dreams for the African continent.

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Fellows feature on cover of Forbes Africa Special Edition on Private Equity

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Forbes Africa Magazine has profiled 2013 Fellow Danladi Veheijen and Eric Idiahi who was selected for the Tutu Fellowship Class of 2020 in their cover story of the October/ November 2020 Special Edition on Private Equity in Africa.  Danladi and Eric are co-founders of Verod Capital Management Limited. They founded the company at the apex of the global financial crisis in 2008, and it was one of the first indigenous venture capitalist firms in Nigeria.

Verod is a $300 million Africa-focused private equity firm which invests in high growth, medium sized companies across several sectors, including consumer products, manufacturing, technology/media and real estate.

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Lydie Hakizimana to lead pan-African maths organisation

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The African Institute for Mathematical Sciences (AIMS) has announced the appointment of 2012 Tutu Fellow Lydie Hakizimana as its Chief Executive Officer. The AIMS International Governing Board (IGB) made the announcement on the 4th of November 2020, following a unanimous decision.

Founded in 2003, AIMS is a pan-African network of centres of excellence for post-graduate training in mathematical sciences, research and public engagement in STEM. With centres in South Africa, Senegal, Ghana, Cameroon and Rwanda, AIMS is leading Africa’s socio-economic transformation through innovative scientific training, cutting-edge research, and public engagement.

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Fellow appointed Visiting Professor of Health Economics at the University of Oxford

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2019 Tutu Fellow Edwine Barasa PhD has been appointed visiting Professor of Health Economics at the University of Oxford. In this role, he will be responsible for Health Economics research, student supervision, and teaching at the Centre for Tropical Medicine and Global Health at the Nuffield Department of Medicine at Oxford.

Edwine is already a professor, and the Director of the Nairobi Programme of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme and also heads the Programme’s Health Economics Research Unit. He has a PhD in Health Economics (University of Cape Town), a Master’s degree in Health Economics (University of Cape Town), and a Bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy (University of Nairobi).

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Tutu Fellow champions a constitutional democratic win in Zambia

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2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde has been at the forefront of a legal battle since 2019 to prevent a change to the constitution by the Zambian government. Zambia’s Constitution Amendment Bill (No. 10 of 2019) aimed at weakening the legislature, judiciary, and state institutions that provide necessary checks and balances. “Bill 10”, as it was known, also threatened to change the electoral system to make it easier for the incumbent to win the 2021 presidential election and to hold on to power through gerrymandering. In a victory for the people, the bill has been defeated in the legislature.

Chapter One Foundation - which she founded - and the Law Association of Zambia, sued the state on the basis that the proposed Constitutional Amendment Bill was unconstitutional when it was first proposed.

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New short course on financing for community health programmes

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Financing Alliance for Health - the company 2019 Fellow Dr Angela Gichaga leads - has developed a seven part series of courses on financing in public health. Financing Alliance serves government Ministries of Health and Ministries of Finance, globally, in building resilient and sustainably-financed health systems. At a time when the global coronavirus pandemic is affecting people everywhere, financing stretched public health systems is a hot topic, so the timing of the programme is fortuitous.

The newly-developed Financing Community Health Programs for Scale and Sustainability course presents an in-depth exploration of the financing value chain needed to understand resource needs as well as to mobilize resources for community health.

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