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 holds up a mirror to the face of African governance

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2019 Tutu Fellow Ronak Gopaldas has written a paper on the double-edged sword that COVID-19 presents to Africa. It is forcing a re-emphasis of the role and importance of the state in a post-COVID-19 era. Bigger government with an expanding reach and relevance has significant governance implications for Africa, which has a record and history of weak governance, ineffective institutions, limited resources, corruption, and mismanagement.

Ronak says that if Africa uses the pandemic effectively for effective structural transformation, it could usher in significant opportunity for political and economic improvement.  If not, pressures will intensify, leaving Africa floundering under the impact of economic and COVID-19-induced shocks.

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Fellow’s Community Project Boosted by another Fellow

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A 2009 Tutu Fellow’s Community project, Tswelopele Sisterhood and Girls Club in Alexandra, which was co-founded by Geci Karuri-Sebina PhD, recently got a boost from another Tutu Fellow.  2018 Fellow Edzai Zvobwo and his nonprofit, The Education Support Forum, have partnered with Tswelopele to facilitate the girls' skills development by donating 30 tablets to help expand virtual learning. The tablets will also help supplement tutoring and access to e-resources during this period as schools are disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to be awarded the Tutu Fellowship, participants are required to complete three assignments, one of which is a community project in keeping with the servant leadership tenet that underpins the programme.

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Fellow leading research into COVID-19 reinfection

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A 2006 Tutu Fellow, Wendy Burgers, is leading research into reinfection of patients by COVID-19.  She had noticed that globally, a handful of patients had reportedly been reinfected with COVID. She thought it was important to discover and understand how the immune system responds to the virus and whether it provides previously infected patients with a level of protection, should they be re-exposed to the virus.

Wendy is a viral immunologist and Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Virology in the Department of Pathology in University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences. Wendy and her team partnered with a healthcare worker study in UCT’s Department of Medicine, which involves regular sampling of a group of healthcare workers who have a high risk of exposure to the virus but who had already been infected with COVID-19. It also used a group of their peers who had not.

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Science Magazine profiles Fellow for his role in managing COVID in Kenya

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science magazine has profiled 2019 Tutu Fellow, Prof Edwine Barasa, and his role in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. He is the director of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, a long-standing collaboration between Kenya and the United Kingdom, in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as being a Professor of Health Economics at the University of Oxford.

Over the course of the pandemic, Edwine has worked with epidemiologists and advised Kenya’s Ministry of Health on how to allocate its limited resources. The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust has been helping the Kenyan government with testing and viral sequencing, and hosted a Kenyan trial of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

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A personal account of a harrowing recovery from COVID-19

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The pandemic has affected everyone, but it is often the personal stories of those known to us that inform and shape our behavior regarding COVID-19. As the months of social distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing continue, pandemic weariness is setting in. 2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides offers her experience with COVID-19 as a cautionary tale. She was young, healthy and with no comorbidities, and when she caught the virus in July it almost killed her. She describes her recovery as a nightmare.

She says, “For weeks I was too scared to fall asleep as I just couldn’t breathe. The idea of falling into a deep sleep and never waking up again terrified me. There is nothing more frightening than gasping for air and feeling as though your lungs are trapped in concrete."

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Zimbabwean Fellow jailed for 'inciting violence' finally released on bail

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2008 Tutu Fellow, Hopewell Rugoho-Chin'ono, an award-winning journalist, was seized in a raid on 20 July, 2020 at his home in Harare, Zimbabwe. On Facebook Live, he managed to capture the moment the security agents entered his house to arrest him. The clip went viral and captured the imagination of the world, making headlines on various leading channels such as CNN, BBC, Al-Jazeera, SABC and newspapers like the Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post and the UK’s Guardian.

The government seized Hopewell without a warrant and jailed him on a charge of inciting violence after he tweeted about a protest being organised by political activist Jacob Ngarivhume. During court proceedings, Hopewell’s lawyer Doug Coltart said that under cross examination, even the investigating officer admitted there was nothing in Hopewell’s tweets that formed the basis of the charge to incite violence.

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Acting quickly and reflecting deeply - lessons from the COVID-19 pandemic

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2009 Tutu Fellow James Mwangi has penned a thought piece on insights and lessons that can be gained from the COVID-19 pandemic. James is the Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, and a Partner with Dalberg Advisors. James cautions that while “COVID-19 is the defining socio-economic and geo-political event of our lives to date – it may not be the last major disruption.” In his piece, he emphasises the importance of both action and reflection.

He points to the social fault lines the pandemic has exposed and warns that the existential issues of climate change and profound inequality—and their explosive nexus—remain ahead of us. It holds the promise, he says, that if ignored, of disruptions that will dwarf the current catastrophe.

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Fellow moderates Women Behind the Mask panel

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Investec’s Women Behind the Mask initiative is a series of robust conversations which showcases women making a difference, and how women can help other women to move South Africa forward.  In this second edition of the webcast series, 2016 Fellow Cumesh Moodliar, who is the Head of Private Banking at Investec, chaired a panel of women who are leaders in banking and financial markets. They discussed the impact that women in leadership had had on decisions made during lockdown for COVID-19.

The panel comprised Fundi Tshazibana, the Deputy Governor at the Reserve Bank; Tertia Jacobs, a Treasury Economist at Investec Bank SA;  Leila Fourie, the Group CEO of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange; Rene van Zyl, a Tax & Fiduciary Specialist at Investec Wealth & Investment; and Ruth Leas, the CEO of Investec Bank UK.

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Tutu Leadership Programme deferred to 2021

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It is clear that we are living in exceptional and unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our ways of working and interacting and, naturally, AFLI has also been impacted. This post provides some sense of the impact of the pandemic and its implications on the Tutu Fellowship Programme.

When the effects of the pandemic were starting to be felt in March 2020, we had just completed the process of selecting our 2020 Archbishop Tutu Leadership Associates. We carried the news of that announcement here in our News.

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Opportunities from a global pandemic

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In an insightful African Business Magazine article, 2019 Tutu Fellow, Ronak Golpaldas examines the opportunities the global pandemic has presented the African continent with. He goes on to unpack four areas that present the greatest opportunities, namely, in healthcare, public-private collaboration, economic diversification; and regional cooperation.

Ronak Gopaldas is a political economist, “pracademic”, writer and speaker. His work focuses on the intersection of politics, economics and business in Africa. He stresses the importance of finding opportunity in crisis. In his piece, he notes that, “it is important not to lose sight of how these disruptions can be used to catalyse significant behavioural, business and governance improvements and leave lasting legacy benefits.”

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COVID-19 is accelerating multilateralism in Africa

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The Founding Co-Director and Professor at the Thunderbird School of Global Management and 2015 Tutu Fellow, Landry Signe, has published an analysis piece in The Washington Post. In it, he argues that COVID-19 prompted Africa to promote multilateralism through cooperation and coordination among its countries in the struggle against the impacts of the pandemic on the continent. 

The piece, which he co-wrote with Mary Treacy of the Brookings Institution, goes beyond COVID-19, though, and makes an argument for its potential to build the continent’s resource coordination and governance capacity.

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Amplifying Africa's creative potential and telling its stories

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2016 Archbishop Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been interviewed by CNN on how she is growing streaming viewership in Africa and bringing more African stories to the lineup.  Film and television productions worldwide have been negatively impacted by COVID-19, but the Kenyan Netflix executive has said that she is using this time to find the best stories, to make the best use of the interruption.

At the same time, for international streaming giant Netflix, lockdowns have translated into nearly 16 million new paid subscribers in the first quarter of 2020 alone, followed by another 10 million during the second quarter. 

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UN Secretary General delivers Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture

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2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang - the CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation - secured the United Nations Secretary-General, António Guterres, to deliver the 18th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture on the theme: Tackling the inequality pandemic: A new social contract for a new era

Hosted by the Nelson Mandela Foundation in partnership with the UN, the event took place virtually on 18 July 2020. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the lecture was, for the first time, an online-only event, delivered at the UN headquarters in New York City.

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Fellows connect, reflect and support each other during COVID-19

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The Tutu Fellows relish the time to connect with one another beyond the obvious connections through sector-related and work orientated opportunities and collaborations. While these are powerful ways for the network to deepen our impact across the continent and sharpen our understanding and nuances of each country, it is the building of relationships that glue the Fellows together.

Friday 29th June was a powerful and much-needed time for Fellows to connect, reflect and communicate about our experiences during the Covid 19 pandemic. It was led by 2006 Tutu Fellow Judy Malan, who facilitated a session to enable us to reflect on how we have responded to lockdown, both personally and as a leader. She touched on the different emotions we might have been processing, those of fear, hope and optimism as well as natural patterns we might default too - pessimist, optimist or realist.

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Fellow delivers convocation address, becoming the first African to do so

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2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe delivered the convocation address to the Kellogg School of Management Class of 2020. She became the first African to be given this honour, and the fourth black woman. She followed in the footsteps of outstanding Black Americans Edith Cooper, the Global Head of Human Capital at Goldman Sachs in 2017; Roslyn Brock, the Chairman Emeritus of the NAACP in 2012; and media titan Oprah Winfrey, in 2011.

Ada is an award-winning food entrepreneur and Founder of The Nuli Juice Company and an alumnus of the Kellogg School.

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