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.

Harnessing Africa’s Resources

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2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru discusses the development of African resources in her TEDx talk. She makes the case that Africa is blessed with rich natural resources and by harnessing them - rather than wasting them - Africa could be transformed.  The Sahara could be developed into a solar power generator for the continent. Careful use of agricultural resources has transformed Malawi.  She unpacks these ideas by pointing out a few areas in which potential exists for positive change.

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Building a TENT for tech students

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Recorded in 2012, Gbenga Sesan begins his TEDx talk about his time at Obafemi Awolowo University. He arrived at the gate to the university and told the cab driver to let him out. The road that goes into the campus is quite long. Despite the cabbie’s protests, Sesan got out of the cab. It was then that he learned that he still had quite a way to go to walk to get to the dorm. His first lesson as a new student was that old knowledge and a new environment could lead to embarrassment - especially with four bags!  He learned more along the way that had little to do with his formal education.

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Ford Foundation grant to aggregate the impact of young African leaders

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The Ford Foundation has awarded a grant to the African Leadership Institute to help young African leaders across the continent reach critical mass in influencing the direction the continent is headed.  The $800,000 grant will be used to assist AFLI in networking young leaders across the continent as well as set up a community of practice so that solutions developed by young leaders can be shared and replicated. The grant was awarded and accepted by AFLI in the last quarter of 2017 for disbursement over a three-year period. 

The grant was written and submitted by AFLI CEO Jackie Chimhanzi, and in it, she says Africa's development challenges can be attributed to one major factor - a lack of effective leadership. 

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Culture is an excuse for poor leadership in Africa

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This essay was originally written by me as part of my required coursework for the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme.  It looks at the use of African 'culture' as an excuse for poor leadership.

He is supposed to be a leader in public office, in Africa. As soon as he was elected or nominated, he told his first wife that he was marrying an additional one and a third followed soon after that. His children were born in quick succession of each other and he boasts that he has fathered more children than the number of players who make up a soccer team. Seventeen, to be exact. On a typical day, he could easily wake up in one home, have lunch in another, and sleep at his third wife’s house. It is not necessarily true that his religion allows polygamy. He says it’s part of his “culture”.

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Is a rose by any other name as sweet? Perhaps not.

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Making a simple change can help realize one’s full potential. At TED Talent Search Lagos 2017 in Nigeria, Victoria Ohaeri describes the importance of changing her name to positively affect others' perceptions.  The 2016 Tutu Fellow tells her personal story about the effects of labeling, and how changing her name made all the difference.

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First harvest for Fort Hall Eye Project

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Young farmers participating in a project started by 2017 Tutu Fellow Samuel Kariuki have had their first harvest and been paid for the fruits of their labour.  The new farmers in the agro-entrepreneurship Fort Hall Eye Project harvested two tons of beans. This green success is taking place in one of the most troubled counties in Kenya, where alcoholism has left almost no household unaffected.

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300 seek a 2018 Tutu Fellowship

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When nominations closed earlier this week, there were close to 300 really top quality nominations of emerging African leaders from across the continent for the 2018 Tutu Leadership Fellowship.  We were again impressed by the breadth of outstanding candidates who are applying for the Fellowship, reinforcing what we already know: that there is no shortage of excellent young leaders on the continent. 

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Fellows boost energy, innovation

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The CEO of All On, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is helping to build access to affordable sustainable energy for low income households, small business, and communities.  All On is an independent impact investing company.  As part of its approach it has also provided a grant to the acclaimed Nigerian tech incubator, Co-Creation Hub, to challenge Nigeria’s innovators on energy. Co-Creation Hub is run by 2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani.

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Democracy dies in silence

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has written a piece on LinkedIn in which he argues for the power and efficiency of open, fearless public discourse on the issues that impact the citizenry.  No institution or group has a lock on the best ideas, so with open debate, government can make better choices.  Open debate keeps politicians honest, he says.  The opposite is equally true. Although his piece primarily concerns Tanzania, his argument is true for democracies in general. 

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Fellow coordinating malaria vaccine trial in Equatorial Guinea

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Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea, is playing an important role in the world of malaria research for an island roughly half the size of Rhode Island. It has been the home of the acclaimed Bioko Island Malaria Control Project (BIMCP) since 2004, and the Equatoguinean Malaria Vaccine Initiative (EGMVI) since 2014.  Both are being coordinated by Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba, a 2017 Tutu Fellow.

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Managing stakeholders in a traditional African setting

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2008 Tutu Fellow Siza Majola makes the case in an essay written for African Business that stakeholder relationships could be managed in an African manner using practices from the Bafokeng.  They survived the negative effects of colonialism and apartheid and have emerged into the 21st century with a brighter future as the owners of vast mineral-rich land holdings.

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Perfectionism, Power and Vulnerability

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When puberty hit, so did acne. I had really bad skin and it made me feel ugly. As I grew older, I learnt to cover it up with makeup. I did not go anywhere without make up on. I still have bad skin, but at least now I am prepared to go to the gym without any makeup on, a small victory.

Being a leader and having influence often involves taking face-saving measures, in order to give the appearance of strength.

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Fellows in 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017 list

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New African Magazine has published its list of the 100 Most Influential Africans of 2017.  Two Tutu Fellows are on the list, both from the class of 2012. They are Julie Gichuru and James Mworia. New African magazine says that among the people on their list there is a deaf, blind Harvard University law graduate activist, an attitude-changing teen dance troop from a Ugandan slum, a Mauritanian modern day slavery abolitionist hero and renowned business magnates, political heavyweights and showbiz stars. 

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New line of skincare products for African skin

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2009 Tutu Fellow Dr Theo Mothoa-Frendo has founded and launched a company that offers a skincare range specifically for African skin, called Uso. The company, African Dermal Science, describes itself as a South African, black female owned business, focused on the research, development and manufacturing of advanced skin and healthcare solutions targeted at addressing the specific needs of Africans.

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On the air and Talking To Africa

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2017 Tutu Fellow Mimi Kalinda has launched a new radio show called Talking To Africa on Africa Business Radio.  Broadcasting weekly on Wednesdays in the afternoons, Mimi discusses with guests the narrative of Africa.

She asks questions such as what is the current narrative, who shapes it, how does it impact the continent’s development and what can be done to ensure Africans own their own storytelling tools and platforms.

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