COVID-19 News

Tutu Fellows' COVID-19 responses and initiatives

UN economic report

2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo has 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 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.


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 leads Spaces for Change, which has a focus on defending the civic space. Her piece examines how the coronavirus pandemic is being used as a cover to shrink civic in the name of 'national security'.


2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang mobilised the Nelson Mandela Foundation when it became apparent that South Africa would be facing a massive humanitarian crisis due to COVID-19. Along with The Kolisi Foundation and the Imbumba Foundation, by the end of April his foundation had set up Each One Feed One as an emergency relief vehicle, focusing on food security. He was helped by 2013 Fellow Catherine Constantinides, who was an ambassador for the initiative.

solar power for emergency response centres

2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer’s investment company, All On, has created a $500,000 relief fund for solar power companies to install renewable energy to critical emergency response centres across Nigeria during the Covid-19 crisis.  It is allowing frontline healthcare workers to have essential services they need to combat the virus and care for patients.

coronavirus facts website

2013 Fellow Tomiwa Aladekomo is using his design experience to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent by building a colourful, user-friendly and data-rich website with live updates and critical information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The site uses credible sources only in a variety of local languages as a place to counteract misinformation.

Sangu Delle makes PPE donation

2019 Tutu Fellow Sangu Delle, who leads Africa Health Holdings, has donated more than 10,000 PPEs and other supplies to the Ghana Association of Doctors in Residence (GADOR).  The donation by Sangu, in conjunction with Rabito Clinic, included N95 masks, protective gowns, gloves and sanitizer. Supplies will be distributed by GADOR to health workers across Ghana.


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 been helping her employees. Ada explained how she was prioritising her employees, but that small businesses, which were negatively impacted by social distancing and closures, needed government assistance.

Coronavirus misinformation

2010 Tutu Fellow Bright Simons explains why conspiracy theories like the debunked 5G narrative, alternative facts, folk science, and fringe beliefs now flood news bulletins and timelines. In his piece for The Africa Report, he unpacks why crackpot information is having a field day - and what to do about it.


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, the impact of which has been catastrophic for the informal sector. Java Foods is a food processing company providing affordable nutrition using locally-acquired raw materials to the Southern African market.

Food bank in a week during COVID-19

2015 Tutu Fellow Mosunmola Cynthia Umoru has drawn on her contacts and network to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable in her community. She is an agribusiness entrepreneur who - in one week - jointly raised a total of N6,866,800 in cash, and food valued at N750,000 (about $20,000USD).


2019 Tutu Fellow Akim Daouda, the new CEO of Gabon's Sovereign Investment Fund, will oversee all of FGIS' investments and work closely with ministries, leaders, and those in the private sector. He will be leading FGIS at a pivotal moment, as it is positioning itself at the heart of the country’s response and recovery strategy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

unusual solutions

The Africa Unusual Working Group is a cohort of professionals working across the African continent who came together to generate and lobby for practical solutions that can help combat COVID-19 within Africa. A great number of its members are Tutu Fellows, truly attesting to the wealth of not only the programme, but also the power of the Fellowship and what it can accomplish for good.


2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani is using his technology company - Co-Creation Hub - to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering support for tech and communication projects related to the virus. He is partnering with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on communication projects using indigenous languages to reach remote areas across Africa.

Zimbabwe Covid-19 Guidelines

Dr Tariro Makadzange, a 2007 Tutu Fellow, has assisted in the development of Zimbabwe's Guidelines for the Management of COVID-19. The document is published by the National Medicine and Therapeutics Policy Advisory Committee of the Zimbabe Ministry of Health and will serve as the national guide and standard for Zimbabwe for managing the pandemic.


2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has written an article titled Leadership in the time of Covid-19 pandemic for Business Daily Africa. In his post, which was published as the pandemic was beginning to ramp up world wide, the global managing partner of Dalberg Advisors explains that leaders must be intentional in how they exercise influence and responsibility to the demands of this pandemic.

COVID-19 World Map

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 about the unprecedented pandemic in modern times. Yap is a microbiologist and epidemiologist and the regional representative for Epicenter Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders.