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.

Essay - Nigeria needs a 2nd Independence

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2015 Tutu Fellow, Dr Uzo Iweala, has written a piece for Foreign Affairs magazine titled Nigeria's Second Independence - Why the Giant of Africa Needs to Start Over.  The piece is published in the July/August 2022 edition.  Uzo is the Chief Executive Officer of The Africa Center, a non-profit based in New York. 

In the piece, Uzo begins by saying that from the moment of it's independence in 1960, observers have questioned the country's viability as a multiethnic, multireligious state.  When the devastating Nigerian civil war broke out in 1967, that skepticism appeared warranted.  Since then, he says, the country's leadership has sought to preserve the unified state - even by force.  But what the country needs more than ever, is to reimagine its structures of power and governance.

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Oluseun Onigbinde launches new book - The Existential Questions

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2018 Tutu Fellow Oluseun Onigbinde has launched his debut book The Existential Questions: Uncomfortable facts confronting Nigeria after a 60-year journey.  Nigeria's 60th anniversary took place in October 2020. He asks the question 'why has the country failed to live up to its potential', and his answers lie within the 285-page softcover.

Oluseun looks at where his country is and how it got there by examining Nigerian leadership, the country's socio-economic status, its weak legal and judicial systems, and other human development systems and arrives at the conclusion that Nigeria has been grossly mismanaged.  But he doesn't stop there.

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Fellow part of Evercare, which is seeking to transform healthcare in Nigeria

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Evercare Hospital Lekki, a private multispecialty tertiary care facility, was officially unveiled by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on March 11 2021. The building is a concrete example of efforts by 2018 Tutu Fellow Temi Marcella Awogboro to bring it into being and she currently serves as an Executive Director with Evercare Hospital Lekki. The hospital is wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a $ 1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund managed by The Rise Fund, the impact investment platform of global alternative asset manager TPG Capital. Temi played a key role in bringing this deal together and she was the West Africa deal lead of the fund.

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Beating the odds recounts stories of new young officeholders in Nigeria

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The organisation led by 2019 Tutu Fellow Samson Itodo has published a book about the impact of young legislators who are, in the words on the cover, "changing the face of politics in Nigeria". Beating the Odds is a compilation of powerful stories of young people - especially the beneficiaries of the Not Too Young To Run law - who ran for public office and won seats in the National and State legislature in the 2019 general election in Nigeria.

Samson 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 was also the convener of the #NotTooYoungToRun movement that led the successful advocacy for the reduction of age limits for running for public office in the Nigerian constitution.

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Open Letter to President Buhari from Archbishop Tutu Fellows

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The following is the full text of an open letter from Nigerian Tutu Fellows to President Muhammadu Buhari on the violent treatment by Nigerian security forces of #EndSARS protestors.

Open Letter to the President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria

October 21, 2020

President Buhari,

You appealed to Nigerians to give you a mandate in 2003, 2007 and 2011.

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Tutu Fellow's company wins Nigerian Impact Investing Award

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2007 Tutu Fellow Mezuo Nwuneli's Sahel Capital team has won the Impact Investment Award given by the Impact Investors Foundation at the Blending Finance for Social Investment Conference in Nigeria. The foundation says that the award honors and recognises a leading social enterprise and an investor within the Nigerian impact investing space who have made significant impact by providing solutions through their innovations, products, services or investments.

The award recognises entities who are able to set high standards through their business activities and investment decisions which further underscores the possibility of “doing good while doing well.”

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2007 Fellow featured for agribusiness finance

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Nigeria's Business Day has written a lengthy profile on the groundbreaking work that 2007 Tutu Fellow Mezuo Nwuneli has done in financing and agribusiness.  It tracks how his company, Sahel Capital, started in agribusiness by backing a startup after discovering that a local noodle company was importing 50 tons of chili pepper a month. 

Mezuo and his wife, who ran the company, believed that chili could be sourced in Nigeria and set out to facilitate import substitution. This was a change from their initial business plan, which was to produce jams, spreads, spices, and seasonings.

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Tutu Fellow appointed as Chief of Staff to the Governor of Kaduna State

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The Governor of Kaduna State in Nigeria, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has appointed 2011 Tutu Fellow Muhammad Sani Dattijo as his new Chief of Staff. Previously, he served as the Commissioner of Planning and Budget and was also the Director of Strategy for the Governor’s 2019 re-election campaign. In 2015, he joined the Kaduna State Excecutive Council as its youngest member. 

As budget czar, he was acknowledged as a champion of reform and was instrumental in moving Kaduna state to commence the implementation of  the Open Governance Partnership and presenting and delivering budgets ahead of time to the state legislature.

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New book on Nigeria's football history

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By day, 2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer is an impact investor who works with partners to increase access to commercial energy products and services.  By night - or in his spare time - he is a Nigerian football historian. 

Dr Wiebe Boer's latest work on Nigerian football, a book titled The History of Football In Nigeria - A story of Heroes and Epics, is to launch in Lagos on 10 June 2018.  It's been favorably reviewed by no less than Aliko Dangote, the President and CEO of the Dangote Group. 

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Fellow's Job Portal site featured

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Bella Naija, a leading online site, has featured 2015 Tutu Fellow Deji Adewunmi and his two co-founders for their employment portal, called Jobberman.  The company has been listed at number eight by Forbes in tech start-ups in Africa.   Jobberman is Nigeria's largest job website and quite possibly the largest site of its kind in West Africa.  Deji, along with Opeyemi Awoyemi and Olalekan Olude, met at university as undergraduates and became friends, going on to launch the business together.  The site has more than two million job applicants and carries jobs from more than 40 thousand employers. 

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Teenage girls impress US Secretary of State with STEM skills

Teenage girls impress US Secretary of State with STEM skills

Students who attended the Visiola Foundation's 2016 STEM Summer Camp for teenage girls impressed U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and American ambassadors when they visited Abuja, Nigeria. One of the projects the girls had was to make a robotic forklift (see video below). The Visiola Foundation was founded by 2014 Tutu Fellow Lade Araba.  It educates high-potential girls and young women in the STEM (Science, Tech, Engineering & Math) fields to build a pipeline of leaders and innovators who will help to transform African countries.

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Nigerian community divided by Boko Haram

Nigerian community divided by Boko Haram

BBC News is carrying a series of letters from African journalists and recently carried a piece by novelist and writer Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani on Boko Haram's Islamist insurgency. Nwaubani, an AFLI Leadership for Change Fellow, travelled to the Nigerian town of  Michika and found it split on grounds of ethnic and religious lines.

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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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Fellow appointed to senior economic development role in Nigerian government

Fellow appointed to senior economic development role in Nigerian government

Tutu Fellow Jumoke Oduwole has been appointed as a senior economic development advisor in the Nigerian government.  She is the Senior Special Assistant to the President on Industry, Trade and Investment in the Office of the Vice President.  The President has given the Vice President the authority to take a supervisory role on developing the Nigerian economy.  Oduwole will also be assisting the Minister for Industry, Trade and Investment, who is new to international trade, although he has a background in private equity.

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Gay thorn at summit?

Gay thorn at summit?

The U.S. Supreme Court has recently ruled that gays in the U.S. have the same legal rights in marriage as heterosexuals; in Nigeria, homosexuality is legally prohibited.  With Nigeria's new President Muhammadu Buhari and U.S. President Barack Obama to meet this month (July 2015), newspapers in Nigeria are speculating whether gay rights will be on the summit agenda. Tutu Fellow Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani has penned a piece for CNN's African Voices on resistance in Nigeria and other African countries to equal rights for all as it pertains to gays.  It is titled: Why are Nigerians terrified of same-sex marriage in America? 

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