An archive of the 50 previous news items

Latest News

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.
News, announcements and resources from the Leadership Platform, its partnering organisations, leadership impacts, and grant-related developments.

New Project Manager joins AFLI


Monique Atouguia joined the staff of the African Leadership Institute as the new Project Manager of Pakati on 7 October 2019. Monique holds a BA Honours in Justice and Transformation (with distinction) and a BA in Economic History, Political Science and English Literary Studies from the University of Cape Town.

She is also pursuing a Masters in Organisational and Institutional Studies from the University of the Witwatersrand, part-time.

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Pakati ChangeLead on 2019's 100 Most Influential Young Africans List

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One of the Project Pakati's Youth-led and Youth Serving Organisation Portal ChangeLeads has made the prestigious 100 Most Influential Young Africans List for 2019, which is compiled annually by African Youth Awards. The ChangeLead is Viveksing Urjoon. This recognition of his work is made for it's impact on lives across the continent. The list - which is now in it's fourth year - is comprised of people from 32 countries and celebrates the work of young Africans passionate about changing the narrative of their continent.

The portal comprises a group set up by AFLI in its online collaboration platform to provide guidance on helping to set up a directory for youth-led and youth serving organisations that are helping people across the continent. The directory can be seen on the website Youthforyouth.africa

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Youth Organisations Directory goes online

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A directory has been launched by Pakati to showcase the work being done by youth-led and youth-serving organisations across Africa. The directory, which was developed by the African Leadership Institute with grant funding from the Ford Foundation, will assist African NGO's be recognised and found.

The directory serves several purposes. It aggregates and pools all of these NGO's on a single platform, making it straightforward for donors and funders to find them, as well as the audiences these organisations serve.

Additionally, youth-led and youth-serving organizations do not leverage lessons learnt by other similar organizations, as information-sharing opportunities are limited. This puts similar organisations within an email or phonecall of each other and enables them to find one another and learn from each other. This aligns with Pakati's goals of helping young people network and reach a critical mass in their respective areas.

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Profiling Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organisations

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The African Leadership Institute, through Pakati, is developing a directory to assist African NGO's led by and serving the youth of the continent. Titled the African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations Portal, the project recognises the impact youth-led organizations have: It provides an important outlet for employment, being run and staffed by young people, and they ignite active citizenry and volunteerism at community levels. But these types of organisations face challenges. They are generally poorly-funded, because donors and funders have difficulty finding and identifying these organisations. Additionally, youth-led and youth-serving organizations do not leverage lessons learnt by other similar organizations, as information-sharing opportunities are limited.

Governments also do not acknowledge the important contributions these organizations make, resulting in young people becoming frustrated at not getting credit or support for their role in improving the social and economic development of their communities.

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Former Pakati Youth Advisory Board Member a 2019 UN SDG Advocate


A former Pakati Youth Advisory Board member, Edward Ndopu, joins a storied group of United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Advocates. On 9 May 2019, UN Secretary General António Guterres announced the new class for 2019. Edward (Eddie) Ndopu served on the Project Pakati Youth Advisory Board from June 2018 - January 2019. He is an internationally acclaimed, award-winning human rights advocate, and was recently named by MTV as one of the most powerful disabled people on the planet. Eddie is the former Head of Amnesty International’s Africa Youth Program and is a former Researcher for the World Economic Forum.

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Pan-African Leadership Directory Launch

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In August 2018, the African Leadership Institute launched its seminal report titled: An Abundance of Young African Leaders, but No Seat at the Table at Strathmore University in Nairobi, Kenya. Fast forward to 2019, AFLI launched a fully-searchable directory built on the data in the report. It lists all of the organisations providing leadership development training to young African leaders.

The problem with many directories, however, is finding anything useful. In the leadership directory, it is possible to search by any piece of text, by programme type, region, country, alphabetically, sponsors or a range of other datasets - and get a list.

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Project Pakati attends the 2nd Pan-African Youth Forum

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Project Pakati staff attended the launch of the Africa Union Commission (AUC) 1 million by 2021 Initiative at the 2nd Pan-African Youth Forum in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from April 24-27. We were invited by the AUC and African Union Youth Envoy. The forum was attended by more than 400 youths representing more than 50 African countries. All were in favour of the newly-launched AUC 1 Million by 2021 Initiative, which was rolled out under the theme: Africa Unite for Youth: Bridging the gap and Reaching African Youth.

The initiative was headed by the AUC chair Moussa Faki Mahamat and is aimed at generating action for youth development in Africa by providing one million young Africans with opportunities in its four key areas.

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Announcement of selected ChangeLeads & ChangeMakers of Project Pakati

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To develop and roll out projects Pakati has under way, AFLI has selected a number of ChangeLeads and ChangeMakers. It selected four ChangeLeads and 150 ChangeMakers for the Youth Representation Inclusion Project; and three ChangeLeads and 100 ChangeMakers for the Portal of African Youth-Led and Youth-Serving Organizations project.

The Project Pakati digital platform on Workplace by Facebook has gone live and they are now engaging in developing and co-creating solutions with other young leaders from across the continent. Project Pakati is pleased to announce the ChangeLeads who have committed to driving these two projects. Their profiles follow:

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Election of new Youth Advisory Board co-chairs


Governance for AFLI's Pakati Project is provided by a Youth Advisory Board. As stated in the Board terms of reference, the position of co-chair is valid for a period of six months only. Thereafter, the board co-chairs together with the secretariat (AFLI) are required to vote in a new set of co-chairs. This rotational arrangement has been put in place to allow the young leaders of the youth advisory board to be exposed to the experience of chairing a board and to leverage the experience for their growth and development. The co-chairs will support each other to achieve the objectives of the project and it is up to them to decide how they will collaborate and delegate tasks between themselves.

The newly elected board co-chairs, Maudo Jallow and Wadi Ben-Hirki, commenced their term in February 2019 replacing Raphael Obonyo and Rumbi Gunduza.

Maudo Jallow

Maudo Jallow The Gambia Maudo Jallow is the founder of New Nation – a youth-driven initiative that seeks to advocate for the prioritisation of youth development and structural transformation in The Gambia.

 He currently works with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) as an International Development Expert. Before that,   Maudo  worked with the United Nations Research Institute as part of the Social Policy & Development research team, between September and   December 2017. He is also a contributor and writer for Future Africa Forum, which is an organization that exists to increase the voice and participation   of young African people in policymaking, dialogue and implementation, as well as a platform for coming up with policies and agendas that advance the   development of the African continent.

In the recent past, Maudo worked for the LSE Africa Summit as a Co-Director, and Press TV UK as a Contributor. He holds a bachelor’s degree in International Business with French and Economics and a Master's degree in African Development from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Wadi Ben-Hirki

Wadi Ben-Hirki is a development worker, writer, and public speaker. She is the Founder of Wadi Ben-Hirki Foundation, a registered   non-  profit organization in Nigeria. She is a strong believer of equity and justice. She believes everyone deserves a fighting chance and we are   humans first before anything else so, we should treat one another with love and care.

 Wadi holds a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Covenant University, Nigeria. She has been trained by the Satyagraha Institute on non-violence,   peace building and conflict resolution, Youth Organizing School on policy advocacy & civic engagement. She currently sits on the African Leadership   Institute Youth Advisory Board and serves as a Country Representative for the Chatham House Common Futures Conversations. Wadi is a ONE   Champion and an Ashoka change maker. In 2017, she was the focal point for Canada High Commission’s #SheCANLead campaign in Nigeria. In 2016, she participated in the Africa Union’s Regional Consultation on Human Rights with a major focus on Women’s Rights. Wadi was a Youth Delegate at the Global Partnership for Education Financing Conference 2018 and served as a Special Guest on education & skills for the 21st century at the Y20 Summit 2018. She also participated in the 2018 United States Institute of Peace (USIP) Youth Leaders’ Exchange with His Holiness the Dalai Lama.

Wadi was one of the recipients of the World Youth Forum Award 2018 which was presented by H.E President AbdelFattah El-Sisi (President of Egypt). She was enlisted as one of the 100 Most Influential Young Africans in 2018. Some of her awards include Her Network Woman of the Future Award 2017, The Ebony Life TV Sisterhood Advocate and People’s Choice of the Year Awards 2017, Top 10 young people in Africa working towards achieving Gender Justice and Reconciliation Award and Civil Society Award 2017.

Wadi has been nominated on several occasions and has volunteered for a couple of organizations that focus on education, gender equality and peace. Her voice has been heard on Aljazeera, BBC, Agence-France Presse and La Nacion Etc.

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Pakati puts out call for ChangeMakers and ChangeLeads


For a continent that is the youngest in the world, young Africans are conspicuous by their absence at key deliberations that affect their futures. Because of this, Project Pakati is calling for ChangeMakers and ChangeLeads to work on a youth representation project.

There seems to be an understanding that youth are significant dividends of the continent’s population and that they need to be included in decision-making processes in various spaces, yet this is not happening. By not including them in decision-making processes, countries lose a crucial resource base. Young people can contribute a great deal through their perspectives and experiences; no governance structure can be truly successful without them.

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Panel discussion at Report launch on youth leadership

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At the launch of the report in September 2018, An Abundance of Young African Leaders – But no Seat at The Table, a strong panel line-up discussed the report and examined questions on how young leaders are likely to be better represented and have input into decisions affecting the course of the continent. The panel, which was led by discussion was led by 2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru included 2006 Fellow Janah Ncube, 2018 Fellow Serah Makka-Ugbabe, David Kamau, Raphael Obonyo, Kanini Mutoomi and 2014 Fellow Lade Araba. Raphael is the Co-Chair of the advisory board of AFLI’s Project Pakati initiative, which produced the report.

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Pakati Board members on 2018 Most Influential list

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Two of Pakati's Youth Advisory Board members have been selected for inclusion on the Most Influential Young Africans list for 2018 compiled by Africa Youth Awards. The two board members are Wadi Victoria Ben-Hiriki, founder of the Wadi Ben-Hiriki Foundation, and Raphael Obonyo, an award-winning Kenyan youth advocate and founder of Youth Congress Kenya.

The Youth Awards list from which the one hundred young achievers are compiled are nominees from 26 African countries.

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African youth initiatives Report launch

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The African Leadership Institute conducted research on the state of African youth leadership initiatives. The report launch was held on the August 28th, 2018, in Nairobi, Kenya at the Strathmore University, titled An Abundance of Young African Leaders – But no Seat at The Table. The hashtag for the launch, #SameTableNewSeats, sparked much interest on social media platforms and trended on Twitter that day.

The report was officially launched by Dr Vincent Ogutu, Vice-Chancellor Designate of Strathmore University, with keynote speakers, Dr Patricia Murugami and Rosemary Okello also of Strathmore Business School and Margaret Mliwa of the Ford Foundation.

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The birth of Project Pakati - the name


The past decade has seen the emergence of a number of initiatives focused on developing new leaders on the African continent. But new leaders, in and of themselves, cannot have an impact on the direction of the continent if they remain on the periphery rather than at the centre where decisions are made and implemented. For a continent that is disproportionally young, young leaders are woefully missing at the centre.

The questions linger: “How do we ensure more young leaders are at the centre? If leaders are on the periphery and not at the centre - how can they raise their voices in a way that can be heard and makes a difference? How can they influence decision-making at the centre?”

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Inaugural Youth Advisory Board & Curators Meeting

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The African Leadership Institute hosted their first Inaugural Youth Advisory Board and Curators meeting, in Johannesburg, South Africa, from the 11th-13th July 2018. The meeting welcomed the newly-elected Youth Advisory Board members representing young African leaders from across the continent who are passionate in addressing and working in youth mobilization. The selected Youth Advisory Board members were elected through a competitive process working with grassroot level organizations as well as using a referral and nomination system from AFLI’s existing stakeholders.

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