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.

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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Introducing the 2020 Tutu Leadership Programme cohort

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The African Leadership Institute is pleased to announce that once again, a set of really exceptional emerging African leaders has been selected for the prestigious Tutu Leadership Fellowship for 2020. We received more than 300 nominees of outstanding quality from 36 African countries, from which 21 of Africa’s highest-potential young leaders were selected to take part in the programme. Including the candidates nominated by our sponsoring organisations, the candidates represent 11 different African countries, ranging from 30 to 39 years of age, and span several industries. The selected candidates demonstrate the incredible wealth and breadth of leadership talent that exists in Africa’s youth, which bodes well for Africa’s future.

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Guest — Odeyemi Matthew
This will be a great experience from you all, although I haven't been aware of such program but this seems very impressive .... Read More
Tuesday, 28 April 2020 05:46
Guest — Ikhidero ikhide Francis
TUTU was a great Leader, and stood for Peace and Human right, I believe the Tutu's Programme, will inculcate the right values in a... Read More
Wednesday, 06 May 2020 01:11
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Akim Daouda to head Gabon's Sovereign Investment Fund

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2019 Tutu Fellow Akim Daouda has been appointed as CEO of Gabon's Sovereign Investment Fund.  He takes over from Serge Mickoto as the leader of the Fonds Gabonais d’Investissements Stratégiques (FGIS). Akim was the fund's Chief Investment Officer and had been managing the fund's entire portfolio before stepping up as head of the organisation.  Serge Mickoto had headed the FGIS since its founding in 2012; Akim joined the fund in 2013 and was promoted three years later to Chief Investment Officer. 

The change in leadership came just days after FGIS' official acquisition of BNP Paribas’ assets in Banque Internationale pour le Commerce et l’Industrie du Gabon.

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Fellows collaborate to create agri-food entrepreneurial hub

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Two Fellows, Aderonke Onadeko of the Class of 2006 and 2007 Fellow Mezuo Nwuneli have partnered together to launch Nourishing Africa, a hub for entrepreneurs to accelerate their work, connect with funders, markets, talent, and celebrate their successes.

It connects agtech and digital innovators to ensure that Africa nourishes itself and becomes a net exporter of food by 2050.  On the site, they explain the simple math: by 2050, 2.4 billion people will live in Africa. If they spend $1 a day on food, this represents a $876 billion annual market. If they spend $10, its an $8.76 trillion annual market. A key goal is to empower Africans to sustainably grow and supply this massive market, reaping the benefits of local jobs.

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Fellow pens editorial on leadership during a pandemic

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2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has written an article titled Leadership in the time of Covid-19 pandemic for Business Daily Africa. As a global managing partner of Dalberg Advisors, Edwin explains that leaders must be intentional in how they exercise influence and responsibility to the demands of this pandemic.

In his piece, Edwin says that history will judge the impact of leaders’ decisions during this virus and it will impact their legacies. For Edwin, empathy and compassion are vital anchors in times of crisis and having this perspective will lead to answers that are not always obvious.

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Zeinab Camara wins seat in National Assembly in Guinea

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2014 Fellow Zeinab Camara has run for office for her first time in the Guinean elections and won her seat in the National Assembly.  She stood for election in Boffa as a candidate for the governing party, Rassemblement du Peuple Guinéen or RPG, and won her seat with 62.4% of the vote. She ran against Abdoul Aziz Keita, the UDG candidate. 

The elections took place on March 22nd - along with a constitutional referendum - after being postponed four times from the original date in January 2019. As of March 26th, the country was waiting for judicial validation of the results. 

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Lessons for Africa in the COVID-19 pandemic

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2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has written a post titled Coronavirus: Amid the global pandemic, lessons for Africa which was published by the Brookings Institution on 20 March 2020.  Yap, who is a microbiologist and epidemiologist and the regional representative for Epicenter Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, started the article by saying that the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic is unprecedented in modern times, bringing enormous human, social, and economic disruption. It's been a busy time for Yap, with the Coronavirus pandemic following the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where he was on the frontline in a Phase III trial ebola vaccine to reduce the numbers of people infected by the disease.

In the article, Yap says that for Africa, where most countries have relatively weak health systems, the relatively slow arrival of COVID-19 bought Africa time to prepare.

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Listen loudly with your whole heart

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2018 Tutu Fellow Nozipho Mbanjwa took part in the TEDxGreshamPlace session in Durban, South Africa in March 2020. She begins her talk by saying that she is a 'Conversation Strategist'. 

For those unfamiliar with the term, she is in demand for her ability to moderate global conversations - often difficult conversations - with insight, courage, depth and breadth. These have been for global and African institutions, leading listed and unlisted multinational corporations, business schools, and civil society organisations seeking to leverage conversations for change.

So the topic of her TED talk is entirely fitting.  Listen loudly with your whole heart, she says. 

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An account of violence for Women's Day 2020

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2018 Tutu Fellow Lynette Ntuli posted a thread on Twitter on International Women's Day 2020 that speaks directly to the reasons why the day is still needed. The powerful account highlights why Gender Based Violence (GBV) has no bounds: no age, demeanor, class, access, education, public standing, or colour will protect women from it. She says that for most women, it’s not a matter of if, but when it will affect them directly. It’s waiting at the supermarket, in the boardroom, in Direct Messages.

The thread begins in January 2020, when Lynette joined the legions of women in South Africa whose right to safety and justice had to be upheld by a court of law. Why? She did not respond to WhatsApp messages on her phone from a stranger.

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Francophone Africa faces triple penalty

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The Lancet has published an article by 2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum titled: Burden of disease in francophone Africa 1990–2017: the triple penalty? Yap co-authored the article with Yvonne Mburu. He looks into the triple penalty of disease burden faced by francophone African countries and unpacks why this is the case.

He outlines what this triple penalty is. The first is that francophone countries bear the highest burden of diseases in Africa; the second is that, despite carrying the highest burden of disease, francophone countries receive the lowest amounts of medical research funds globally. The third is linked to the inequalities arising from the dominance of the English language in global health.

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Fellow behind the first African original from Netflix

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2016 Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been busy in her new role as Manager of International Originals at Netflix since she took the post in 2019. She has been working with African creatives and in February 2020, Netflix released worldwide its first African original series, Queen Sono.

It's a series created entirely by Africans, with a majority African cast and produced on a Netflix budget. As such, Queen Sono is already different from the streaming channel's more typical fare, and its freshness has been drawing audiences in markets in which Netflix seeks to grow. Rumors are already circulating that the landmark spy drama will see a second season. The series taps into South Africa's divided history for Pearl Thusi's backstory as the title character and the plot unfolds against the backdrop of a South Africa still trying to find its footing in the world, 30 years removed from Apartheid.

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Ify Malo named as an African Power & Energy Elite 2020

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2013 Fellow Ify Malo has been named as one of the African Power & Energy Elites 2020 Projects and Leaders in their annual industry journal. Those selected were named by their industry peers. In a collaborative effort, the African Power & Energy Elites publication and the 2020 African Power, Energy and Water Industry Awards worked together in a unified nomination and selection process.

The journal said that these were people who were leaders in their industry at a time in which the world was entering a Peak Decade that would disrupt business and investment across all sectors. At the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, this decade was described as including Peak Globalisation; Peak Capitalism; Peak Inequality; Peak Youth; Peak Climate Change; Peak Oil Demand; Peak Cars - all of which were directly or indirectly connected to the modern power and energy network.

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A letter from China, by January Makamba

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At around the time the coronavirus outbreak was about to happen, 2013 Tutu Fellow January Makamba was wrapping up a visit to the country.  During his time there, he penned a post titled: Letter from China: Two stories and the fortune of nations that provides a great deal of insight into the country.

The political leader and former cabinet minister from Tanzania went to China to see the country first hand. January points out that China is the largest source of imports for 65 countries and that no country has achieved this feat in modern history. He notes that it shrank and completed the basic industrialization process within the span of 30 years, something that took the earlier industrial countries 100 years. This speed and scale has been disorienting to many, he says. The next stage will be even more so because the Chinese think and plan for centuries.

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South Sudan peace activist Peter Biar Ajak freed from prison

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The detention of 2016 Tutu Fellow, Peter Biar Ajak, has ended.  His wife Nyathon Hoth Mai confirmed in a Facebook post that he had been released. His release came several days after his pardon was first announced by South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir. 

The peace advocate was detained without trial by the South Sudan National Security Service on 28 July and held for almost a year.  When he was finally brought to trial on unsubstantiated charges, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.  President Kiir issued a decree of pardon on 01 January to 30 people, most for minor offenses.  Kiir's list also included two critics of his regime - Peter, and Keribino Agok Wol.  Both were detained in 2018. 

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Rethinking the concept of digital disruption in new decade

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2010 Fellow Bright Simons spoke to the Daily Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.  Bright is the President of mPedigree, a social entrepreneurship and technology company perhaps best known for its work in using SMS texts to reduce the counterfeiting fraud of prescription medicines. Recently, his technical paper published by the Centre for Global Development, A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World, drew global attention as it questioned common narratives such as ‘data is the new oil’ and ‘Big Data is everything’ in a period of rapid technological change.

He spoke to Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.

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