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Tutu Talks: Aidan Eyakuze on open government


The first Tutu Talk of 2022 - in partnership with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation - features Aidan Eyakuze, a 2006 Tutu Fellow and Executive Director of TWAWEZA East Africa. Hear how this Tanzanian activist unpacks the essence of courageous leadership and the humility needed to do what is just.

Aidan says that “I took that courage of conviction and action from the Arch. It’s not about you. Humility isn’t about thinking less of yourself. It is about thinking of yourself, less. Understanding you have a deep worth as a human being, talents and skills. Humility is employing those skills for the greater good. From there comes a great strength.”

Aidan's organisation, Twaweza, is seeking to improve how government works in East Africa - by demonstrating that ordinary citizens can have agency and participate in the decisions being made at local government levels that impacts their lives; secondly, his organisation is connecting citizens with leaders in conversations and providing research that can shape those conversations to improve citizens' lives; and thirdly, connecting citizens priorities at the local level to central government through the use of ongoing, national surveys on matters like drinking water and public awareness of government policies.

He says that unfortunately, often government feels threatened by an expansion of the democratic space.  As a result of giving citizens a voice, Aidan has faced a government crackdown in which the Magafuli administration stripped him of his passport for a period of time and passed a law to crack down on public access to statistical information that hadn't been 'vetted' by a government gatekeeper.

The full interview is at the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation, or you can watch it below:


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The Tutu Fellowship Class of 2022

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Friday, 30 September 2022

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