Latest News

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.

Tutu Talks: Samantha Mkandhla speaks about 'The Power of Duality'

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The African Leadership Institute has partnered with the Desmond and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation to produce a series of profiles on Tutu Fellows called Tutu Talks.  The foundation is responsible for preserving the example set by Archbishop Desmond Tutu for the future. 

The first of our 2021 Tutu Talks series features 2017 Tutu Fellow, Samantha Mkandhla, the head of philanthropy and partnerships for Médecins Sans Frontières Southern Africa. In it, she tells of the personal cost of servant leadership, and how she learned to overcome it and still work to make the world a better place. Her talk is called The Power of Duality: Success and Failure. In it, she spoke about how her failures led her to a clearer sense of what she had gained and how much more she had to give.

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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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Technology won't solve inequality

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2007 Tutu Fellow 'Gbenga Sesan, who has been immersed in the tech sector for most of his career, has warned that technology alone isn't a solution to inequality.  Tech evangelists have waxed poetic about the ubiquitous nature of technology might be the rising tide that lifts those in poverty out of that state.  In a TED talk, Gbenga argues that centuries of inequality can't be solved with access to technology alone - as limited as that may be. Instead, improved access must be coupled to training and support too.

Sharing the work behind the Paradigm Initiative, a social enterprise in Nigeria that's empowering young people with digital resources and skills, Gbenga details his vision for creating life-changing opportunities for generations of people across Africa.

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Power couple become first to address Harvard Business graduates

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The Nwunelis - a power Tutu Leadership Programme couple - made history by becoming the first couple to deliver the keynote address to Harvard Business School graduates.  The two, Ndidi Okonkwo Nwuneli and Mezuo Nwuneli, delivered the address to the 2020 graduating class in May this year via a videolink as a result of COVID-19. Ndidi attended the Class of 2006, and Mezuo became a Tutu Fellow the following year. Both are also Harvard Business School graduates, which is where they met.  They join a storied list of keynote speakers - last year's was delivered by Michael Bloomberg, the founder of Bloomberg LP and former Mayor of New York.

In their speech to the 2020 graduates, they recognised the unprecedented challenges that the graduates were facing in the midst of a global pandemic and the health, social and economic impact it would have. 

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An informal look at the 2018 Mont Fleur experience

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2018 Tutu Fellow Omoni Oboli shot an informal video of the first Tutu Leadership Programme workshop at Mont Fleur and its surrounds.  She edited it together afterwards and it includes a candid stream of consciousness view of the workshop. The video shows some light-hearted moments that gently poke fun at the deep moments of introspection that took place among the attendees.

The video includes the group's visit to Robben Island where political prisoners were held during the Apartheid years, sessions in the workshop, and periods when candidates were given time to think in the beautiful surroundings.

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Gbagba, children's anti-corruption book takes to the stage

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The anti-corruption children's book, Gbagba, by 2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey has been adapted and turned into a stage play.  The play, which has an all-child cast, made its debut in September 2017 at Monrovia City Hall in Liberia. The children in the ensemble cast were trained for five months by premiere theatre company, Flomo Theatre.  Gbagba is a Bassa word which loosely translated, means 'trickery' or, 'corruption'.  In the book and its stage adaptation, children navigate the confusing ethical codes of the adults in their lives, in places as diverse as traffic jams, schools, churches and markets. The children express clearly and honestly the concrete ways in which gbagba hurts rather than heals society.

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Rori Tshabalala - Looking inward for the path forward

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Rori Tshabalala says that an element of the programme is the self-reflection required to determine why we choose the paths we do.

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Abayomi Awobokun - Think, then lead

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Abayomi Awobokun mentioned that an area in which leaders often fail is in thinking sufficiently rigorously about the outcomes that a path of leadership might produce.

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Ahmed Zahran - Building a pan-African cultural understanding

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme.  Ahmed Zahran, who is from Egypt, spoke of how the group helped him gain a better understanding of sub-Saharan Africa, of which he had had limited exposure previously.

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Hema Vallabh - Growing through discomfort

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Hema Vallabh talks about how the Fellowship programme creates an environment in which speakers and fellow attendees provide insights that are discomfiting to taken-for-granted positions.

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Jude Abaga - authentic leadership is inspiring

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme.  Jude Abaga speaks of how the programme inspires authentic leadership. 

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Martino Noely - inspiring change

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme.  Martino Noely came away inspired with ideas on how to be a better change agent when he returned to Madagascar.

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Natalie Jabangwe - How do we bring our people with us?

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Natalie Jabangwe says a key lesson of the programme is showing how unselfish leadership puts people first.

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Ngisana Mngomezulu - Finding creative avenues for change

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Ngisana Mngomezulu says creativity will be needed to effect change.

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Onyinye Ibeneche - Searching for and-and solutions

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Candidates from the 2017 Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme cohort were interviewed at Mont Fleur, outside Cape Town, about the first workshop in the programme. Onyinye Ibeneche shares how the programme helps leaders find and-and solutions rather than either-or solutions.

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