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 analyzes impact of coronavirus on Egypt's economy

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2018 Tutu Fellow Mohammed El Dahshan, has written an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy, sector by sector, that has been published in the latest  issue of The Africa Report. Mohammed is also an Associate Fellow with the Middle East and North Africa Programme at Chatham House, where he focuses on economic development, regional cooperation, and fragile states. In his analytical piece, he also provides recommendations to the state on balancing the short- and long-term response to the economic impact of the pandemic.

He makes the point that the ravages caused by the coronavirus have equalised the playing field across the globe and that as states learn to live with this new reality, they must also create policies to minimise the economic impact the crisis brings.

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Fellows donate PPEs to healthcare workers

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A group of Ghanaian Tutu Fellows banded together to collect and donate personal protective equipment (PPEs) to healthcare workers in Ghana in May 2020 to help them stay safe as they treat patients who may have COVID-19.  The group comprised 2019 Tutu Fellow Marcia Ashong; 2014 Tutu Fellow Isaac Fokuo; and 2015 Tutu Fellow Mawuli Dake.  Prior to this, nurses had been forced to work without protection.

The donations were made to the frontline workers at one of Ghana's premier hospitals, Korle Bu Teaching Hospital. The donation included 200 N95 face masks, 100 medical-grade gowns, and 200 gloves.

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Power couple become first to address Harvard Business graduates

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The Nwunelis - a power Tutu Leadership Programme couple - made history by becoming the first couple to deliver the keynote address to Harvard Business School graduates.  The two, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli, delivered the address to the 2020 graduating class in May this year via a videolink as a result of COVID-19. Ndidi attended the Class of 2006, and Mezuo became a Tutu Fellow the following year. Both are also Harvard Business School graduates, which is where they met.  They join a storied list of keynote speakers - last year's was delivered by Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former Mayor of New York.

In their speech to the 2020 graduates, they recognised the unprecedented challenges that the graduates were facing in the midst of a global pandemic and the health, social and economic impact it would have. 

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COVID-19 used as cover to shrink civic space

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A piece by 2016 Tutu Fellow Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri titled COVID-19 and the shrinking civic space in Nigeria has been published in Just Security. Victoria is the founder and director of research and policy at Spaces for Change, a non-profit organization based in Nigeria that conducts research and advocacy that includes a focus on defending the civic space.

Victoria's piece examines how the coronavirus pandemic is being used as a cover to shrink civic in the name of 'national security'.  With people's attention on public health, what is being missed is the more worrying concern that state actors are exploiting the pandemic to stifle dissent, clamp down on civic freedoms, and push through restrictive measures, using COVID-19 as a pretext.

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Using COVID-19 to redesign Africa's economy

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Olugbenga Adesida, an AFLI Director and Trustee, and a 2018 Tutu Fellow, Geci Karuri-Sebina, have written a powerful post in which they call for using COVID-19 as a global opportunity to shift the global economic paradigm. The times are urgent, they say, and the needs globally mutual. The article was published in The Daily Maverick in May 2020. 

COVID-19 is a rude awakening for the world, and they write it has laid bare for the world to see the underlying problems of the current paradigm. "It highlights the unsustainability of the current systems and the need for change – from the US with the biggest economy, to the smallest most fragile economies in Africa.”

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Fellow drafts UN report on the economic impact of COVID-19

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2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo provided a briefing overview on the main points for Namibia and Southern Africa from the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 Report. The UN report covers the impact of the global pandemic and subsequent global economic contraction.  Eunice is the Economist and Development Coordination officer for the United Nation in Namibia.

The UN is projecting an economic contraction of 3.2 per cent this year and says it is likely to be the worst recession since the Great Depression due to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Because of the scale and global nature of the economic impact, it presents unique challenges given how much the global economy has changed since the 1930s.

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Fellow's foundation helps feed the vulnerable

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2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang mobilised the Nelson Mandela Foundation when it became apparent that South Africa would be facing a massive humanitarian crisis. Along with The Kolisi Foundation and the Imbumba Foundation, by the end of April his foundation had set up Each One Feed One with a start-up contribution of R500 000 from its own funds as an emergency relief vehicle, focusing on food security. It shortly thereafter began delivering food to starving people around the country. 

Sello was also joined by 2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides, who is an ambassador to the Each One Feed One programme.

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Unlocking Africa's Business Potential

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Unlocking Africa's Business Potential by 2015 Tutu Fellow Landry Signé has recently been released and has had good feedback and editorial reviews. Landry makes the case that Africa welcomes business investment and offers some of the world's highest returns and impacts.  The book examines business opportunities in the eight sectors with the highest potential returns on private investment in Africa.  These sectors include: consumer markets, agriculture and agri-processing, information and communication technology, manufacturing, oil and gas, tourism, banking, and infrastructure and construction.

He says Africa is one of the world's fastest growing regions and by 2030 will be home to nearly $1.7 billion people and an estimated $6.7 trillion in consumer and business spending.  Landry is a prolific writer and thinker, having authored or co-authored more than 27 manuscripts, books, articles and book chapters, with several books dealing with Africa's economy. 

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Providing coronavirus information in local languages and colour

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Tomiwa Aladekomo, a 2013 Tutu Fellow, who has wide-ranging experience in media, marketing and publishing as well as being the former Art Manager at Atlantic Records in New York, where he received art management credits on nine albums. Channelling this incredible experience into combating the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent, he has built a colourful, user-friendly and data-rich website with live updates and critical information about the COVID-19 pandemic.

The website sources local and international data to display up-to-date statistics, colourful and interactive graphics, and updates on the number of cases, recoveries and deaths across the continent and globally.

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Fellow funds solar to power COVID-19 emergency response centres

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2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer’s investment fund is backing solar power companies providing renewable energy to critical emergency response centres across Nigeria during the Covid-19 crisis. Wiebe’s company, All On, realised quickly that COVID-19 was placing intense demands on Nigeria’s healthcare system due to the COVID-19 pandemic. So All On created an emergency relief fund to provide healthcare organisations with reliable local solar power.  It is allowing frontline healthcare workers to have essential services they need to combat the virus and care for patients.

The relief fund provides $500,000 to selected renewable energy companies for rapid installation of solar installations to critical emergency relief centres across Nigeria.

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Two Fellows in Nollywood-Bollywood movie

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Two Tutu Fellows - Omoni Oboli and Jude Abaga - are collaborating on a movie called Namaste Wahala. Jude, a 2017 Tutu Fellow is a producer on the movie, while Omoni, a 2018 Fellow, is an insider of the Nigerian movie scene.

Namaste Wahala is at the intersection of bollywood and nollywood, featuring a cast drawn from both the Indian subcontinent and Africa. ' It is directed by businesswoman-turned-filmmaker, Hamisha Daryani Ahuja

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Tutu Fellow interviewed on CNN about small business

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2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe was interviewed by Richard Quest on CNN regarding the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Nigeria and how she has helped her employees. Ada is the Chief Executive of Agrolay Ventures, an investment firm dedicated to growing the agricultural and food sector in Africa and the owner of Nuli, which has multiple stores selling health-conscious foods. With the coronavirus ravaging economies across the globe, the media is looking at how small businesses are coping with the pandemic. 

Richard Quest, is a journalist and the CNN Business Editor at Large, and interviewed her on his programme Quest Means Business.

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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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Skewering COVID-19 conspiracy theories

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2010 Tutu Fellow Bright Simons insightfully unpacks the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories during the pandemic and the danger they present.  Bright is a Ghanaian policy activist and social entrepreneur. In his piece in The Africa Report, he kicks off his piece by saying "Because all of us are so damned scared and anxious, conspiracy theories, alternative facts, folk science, and fringe beliefs that would ordinarily not get more than a tiny fraction of our saturated attention, now flood news bulletins and timelines."

He writes that while Africa is not any more susceptible to fringe beliefs than elsewhere, during a time of crisis it can seem as if they are on the verge of overwhelming mainstream and traditional media.

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Fellow's food company supports the vulnerable impacted by COVID-19

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2013 Tutu Fellow Monica Musonda has mobilised her company, Java Foods, to donate food to those in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. Monica is a lawyer-turned-entrepreneur and the CEO and Founder of Java Foods, one of the leading food manufacturers in Zambia. Java Foods is a food processing company established to provide affordable nutrition using locally acquired raw materials to the Southern African market. 

In response to the perilous impact on the vulnerable as a result of the economic slowdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, Java Foods has been helping out. Monica explained that at the beginning of the year, no one understood the impact COVID19 would have on our lives, our businesses and our economies.

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