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.

The challenge of leadership in Africa

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The following essay is by Ronak Gopaldas, a 2019 Tutu Fellow. The Tutu Fellowship Programme requires each participant to write an essay on leadership in Africa. The quality of submissions is very high as demonstrated by this piece by Ronak. He points out that by the year 2050, Africa will have the largest population and workforce in the world and will be too big to ignore. 

But its demographic bulge could either be a huge boon, or disastrous. Despite its size and scale, Africa is constantly referred to as having “vast potential,” whilst being excluded in global affairs.  With the right leadership in place, there is an opportunity to reshape this state of affairs.  His essay follows.

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Leadership in Africa: from being, to doing, to handing over

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This essay was originally written and submitted as part of my course requirements for the 2017 Tutu Leadership programme.  It looks at three elements of leadership that are timeless and universal, but also especially relevant to Africa today if we are to see the successful transformation of our continent. The first element – servant leadership - explores what a leader must ‘be’ and the attitude and approach they should have. The second – shared vision – looks at what a leader should ‘do’ and highlights a common fundamental that is core to all great leaders, but somehow lacking in too many of our countries and companies. The final element – succession planning – looks beyond the leader, and helps us think about what comes next.

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Lessons from Hispanic Africa on African progress

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This essay, which was originally titled, The Need for a New Kind of Leadership in Africa for the Emergence of the “African Dream”: Lessons from Hispanic Africa, was originally written and submitted as part of the requirements for the 2017 Tutu Leadership Programme. It looks at how a new kind of leadership in Africa can positively impact sustainable development on the continent.  A consideration is how leaders can use myth-making to establish commonality in order to harness collective agreement on progress.
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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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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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Guest — Esther Mwale
Your words always make me search the deeper me without fear. Thank you and if its a shareable article via email would love to have... Read More
Monday, 18 December 2017 19:36
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Accountability for democracy in Africa

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In an essay in African Business, 2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde says that the role of governments is to manage institutions that promote development, good governance and the rule of law, while making efforts to empower their citizens and increase their role in the governance of the country. This is not only because that is in line with modern trends, but also because it is necessary in any country aspiring to attain the highest standards of economic development, democracy and good governance.  She makes the point that without the rule of law in democratic governance, Africa risks seeing the sun set on gains made through democracy on the continent.

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Those who remember our past are condemned to repeat it

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The second essay written by the 2017 Tutu Fellows we are publishing is a brilliantly written piece by Rori Tshabalala. Rori posits that in spite of a checkered and painful past, Africa still preserves its history not as a past to be learnt from but as a persistent present to be tolerated, reinforced, normalized and passed on to future generations. He suggests that rather than repeating and emotionalising the past we need to summon the courage to learn the painful history but equip the people with the skills and knowledge to capture the promise and potential of the future so they may never suffer the humiliation that their forebears suffered.

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Freedom as a destination? An essay by Sam Ngcolomba

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Each of the 2017 Tutu Fellows were required to submit an essay on leadership in Africa. There were a number of excellent essays written, as can be expected from a specially-selected group of Africa’s finest emerging leaders. This essay by Sam Ngcolomba is the first of several we will publish over the next few months. She starts with an amazing story of courage and leadership by a young girl, and goes on to challenge the foundations of established leadership on the continent.

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Blessed are the Myth Makers, for They Create Nations

Blessed are the Myth Makers, for They Create Nations

The following essay was submitted by Tutu Fellow Uzodinma Iweala as a thought piece for the 2015 Tutu Leadership Programme and garnered a second place.  In it, he asks what it is to be a Nigerian and what are the common threads, the common narratives - myths, if you wish - that all Nigerians need  to create and sustain a common nationality.

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Essay: Obama and the recipe for leadership in Africa

Essay: Obama and the recipe for leadership in Africa

This essay by Samah Salman uses U.S. President Barack Obama's 2015 visit to East Africa as a vehicle to uncover some of his observations on African leadership.  It is one of the many excellent essays submitted by Fellows this year.  The essays form part of the African Leadership Institute’s annual Tutu Fellows Leadership programme.

Salman looks at Obama’s admiration for and critique of African traditions through the lens of leadership. Using his visit as a point of departure, Salman argues that bad leadership in Africa is no longer political, but cultural. Conversely, good leadership can be fostered as a cultural opportunity. She makes the case that in order for Africa’s demographic dividend to materialize, the path to consistent, good leadership will require education to be a transformational element for this kind of socio-cultural shift.

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