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.

Why intra-Africa trade matters

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2010 Tutu Fellow Lerato Mataboge delivered a TEDx Lyttleton Women Talk on the necessity and urgency for African countries to trade among themselves as a way to address economic challenges and recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Titled, Why Intra-Africa Trade Matters, she says that African countries not only need to trade among themselves as a way to address economic challenges and undo colonial patterns of consumption and distribution, they need to begin doing so with a sense of urgency.  This type of trade can play a key role in helping the continent recover from the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

She begins her talk about vanilla, the bulk of which in the global market is grown in Madagascar.  Madagascar exports it and when it comes back to the continent, it costs so much more. Africa trading away its resources must change, she says, and the continent must begin adding value before exports occur so as to retain the value at home.

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Tutu Fellow launches book on the struggles for dual citizenship in Liberia

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey PhD has launched her monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia. Robtel is an Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Robtel's book asks whether dual citizenship reproduces inequalities, using Liberia, Africa’s first black republic, as an extended case study. It is based on over 200 in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe and North America. The inaugural launch of the book was held in Monrovia at the University of Liberia on official publication day on 7 January.

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Edwin Macharia a Director at the Nature Conservancy

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2010 Fellow Edwin Macharia has been appointed as a member of the Nature Conservancy global Board of Directors. He was elected to his first three-year term, which started on October 15, 2020. The Nature Conservancy is a global environmental non-profit working to create a world where people and nature can thrive. The NGO impacts conservation positively in 79 countries and territories across six continents.

Edwin Macharia is Dalberg Advisors’ Global Managing Partner. In this role, he sets Dalberg’s direction and oversees activities across offices worldwide.  “As The Nature Conservancy continues our mission to tackle some of the world’s biggest environmental challenges with creative, bold, scientifically-based, and scalable solutions, we need creative, bold, and strategic thinkers like John, Michelle, and Edwin to help us accomplish our goals,” said Jennifer Morris, The Nature Conservancy’s CEO.

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Nigeria appoints Fellow to assist with development planning

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2019 Tutu Fellow Samson Itodo has been appointed by the Nigerian government as a member of the national steering committee for the new Nigerian development plan, Agenda 2050. Itodo is the Executive Director of Yiaga Africa, a community of change-makers focused on building sustainable democracies in Africa anchored on the principles of inclusion, justice, accountability and constitutionalism.

He convened the Not Too Young To Run movement that led the successful advocacy for the reduction of age limits for running for public office in the Nigerian constitution. The campaign was adopted by the United Nations, African Union and ECOWAS as a global campaign.

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Robtel Neajai Pailey appointed Assistant Professor at the London School of Economics

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey PhD has been appointed as an Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, where she contributes to a range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses.

Robtel is an academic, published author, essayist, scholar-activist and children's book author.  

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Two Fellows named in 2020’s List of 100 Most Reputable Africans

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Two Tutu Fellows have been named to this year’s 100 Most Reputable Africans by Reputation Poll International. The two are 2008 Fellow, Elsie Kanza, and 2010 Fellow and AFLI CEO, Jackie Chimhanzi.  The annual Poll lists 100 Africans who are celebrated for their good governance, leadership, and a range of other criteria. 

The two Fellows are joined by a range of luminaries that include two African presidents and a number of policymakers. The selection criteria are integrity, visibility and impact.

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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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Reflections on working for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey is an academic, activist and author is perhaps best known for her children's book on corruption, Gbagba, but she has also published monographs like Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia.

In another literary piece published by Warscapes, an independent online literary magazine that provides a lens into current conflicts, Robtel reflects on a period of her life when she worked for former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration as a young idealist. In this pensive, powerful and insightful piece, at once relatable and a zeitgeist for a formative period for Liberia, she offers a personal perspective of a seminal decade of Liberian history. The piece is titled This is Our Country.

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Dalberg Advisors Elects Edwin Macharia as Global Managing Partner

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2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has been elected by Dalberg's equity partners to serve a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2020 as their Global Managing Partner.  He will be the fourth Global Managing Partner since Dalberg’s founding in 2001.  Dalberg Advisors is a leading global consulting firm and social impact group specializing in inclusive and sustainable business, policy, and investment strategy. Edwin succeeds Yana Kakar who was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, serving the maximum of two terms.

Edwin has been with Dalberg for a little more than a decade, during which time he has served in a range of leadership roles.

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Lessons from my three new kidneys

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As a survivor of kidney disease, 2010 Fellow Lorna Irungu shares in her TEDx talk some important life lessons. The first one she offers is the importance of being well informed. She goes on to say how important it is to surround yourself with the right kind of people who believe in you and support you in any way. She gave her talk in July, 2012. 

Running through the statistics of the number of people who die annually of kidney disease in the world - 2.5 million people - she points out how daunting these numbers are and the  impacts are on the people affected. Despite that, she says it is very important for people to not identify themselves with the situation they are in, in order to become a conqueror of the situation rather than a victim.

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