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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.

Fellows assist Africa CDC with logistics in combatting COVID-19

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2009 Tutu Fellow James Mwangi - along with several other Fellows - are helping the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (Africa CDC) combat COVID-19.  The group is helping to Africa CDC with the logistics of receiving donations and accelerating the distribution of supplies. James is the Executive Director of the Dalberg Group, a consulting group with extensive contacts across the continent. 

The Africa CDC has received a number of donations of medical equipment and supplies from the Jack Ma Foundation and Alibaba Foundation that arrrived in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. These donations are to support COVID-19 response by African Union Member States.

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Francophone Africa faces triple penalty

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The Lancet has published an article by 2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum titled: Burden of disease in francophone Africa 1990–2017: the triple penalty? Yap co-authored the article with Yvonne Mburu. He looks into the triple penalty of disease burden faced by francophone African countries and unpacks why this is the case.

He outlines what this triple penalty is. The first is that francophone countries bear the highest burden of diseases in Africa; the second is that, despite carrying the highest burden of disease, francophone countries receive the lowest amounts of medical research funds globally. The third is linked to the inequalities arising from the dominance of the English language in global health.

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Fellow behind the first African original from Netflix

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2016 Tutu Fellow Dorothy Ghettuba has been busy in her new role as Manager of International Originals at Netflix since she took the post in 2019. She has been working with African creatives and in February 2020, Netflix released worldwide its first African original series, Queen Sono.

It's a series created entirely by Africans, with a majority African cast and produced on a Netflix budget. As such, Queen Sono is already different from the streaming channel's more typical fare, and its freshness has been drawing audiences in markets in which Netflix seeks to grow. Rumors are already circulating that the landmark spy drama will see a second season. The series taps into South Africa's divided history for Pearl Thusi's backstory as the title character and the plot unfolds against the backdrop of a South Africa still trying to find its footing in the world, 30 years removed from Apartheid.

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Reflections on working for President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey is an academic, activist and author is perhaps best known for her children's book on corruption, Gbagba, but she has also published monographs like Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia.

In another literary piece published by Warscapes, an independent online literary magazine that provides a lens into current conflicts, Robtel reflects on a period of her life when she worked for former President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s administration as a young idealist. In this pensive, powerful and insightful piece, at once relatable and a zeitgeist for a formative period for Liberia, she offers a personal perspective of a seminal decade of Liberian history. The piece is titled This is Our Country.

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Tying party membership to prospects

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has co-authored an academic article which was published in the Local/ Global Encounters Journal in February 2020. Co-authored with Khalifa Said, a freelance investigative journalist based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, the article is titled The Weaponization of Identity and Citizenship: The Case of Tanzania.  The article explores the weaponization of identity and citizenship in Tanzania, which is becoming increasingly authoritarian. Aidan is an economist and heads Twaweza East Africa.

It illustrates the types of discrimination that a citizen can face for not affiliating with the ruling political party. Penalties range from unemployment to statelessness; even refugees escaping persecution can’t find refuge and are expelled in such a climate.

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Ify Malo named as an African Power & Energy Elite 2020

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2013 Fellow Ify Malo has been named as one of the African Power & Energy Elites 2020 Projects and Leaders in their annual industry journal. Those selected were named by their industry peers. In a collaborative effort, the African Power & Energy Elites publication and the 2020 African Power, Energy and Water Industry Awards worked together in a unified nomination and selection process.

The journal said that these were people who were leaders in their industry at a time in which the world was entering a Peak Decade that would disrupt business and investment across all sectors. At the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos, this decade was described as including Peak Globalisation; Peak Capitalism; Peak Inequality; Peak Youth; Peak Climate Change; Peak Oil Demand; Peak Cars - all of which were directly or indirectly connected to the modern power and energy network.

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Tutu Fellow to head 4IR programme at ASU Global Management School

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2015 Tutu Fellow Landry Signé has been appointed to head a new programme at Arizona State University's Thunderbird School of Global Management, that has been called the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) and Globalization 4.0 Initiative. He is the new professor and Founding Co-Director of the inititiative. 

The Director General and Dean of Thunderbird, Sanjeev Khagram, says that the school is excited that Landry is joining them. He said Landry 'is a terrific scholar, respected worldwide for his grasp of the political economy of growth, sustainable development, governance, fragile and failed states, regional integration, and business in Africa.

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A letter from China, by January Makamba

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At around the time the coronavirus outbreak was about to happen, 2013 Tutu Fellow January Makamba was wrapping up a visit to the country.  During his time there, he penned a post titled: Letter from China: Two stories and the fortune of nations that provides a great deal of insight into the country.

The political leader and former cabinet minister from Tanzania went to China to see the country first hand. January points out that China is the largest source of imports for 65 countries and that no country has achieved this feat in modern history. He notes that it shrank and completed the basic industrialization process within the span of 30 years, something that took the earlier industrial countries 100 years. This speed and scale has been disorienting to many, he says. The next stage will be even more so because the Chinese think and plan for centuries.

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South Sudan peace activist Peter Biar Ajak freed from prison

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The detention of 2016 Tutu Fellow, Peter Biar Ajak, has ended.  His wife Nyathon Hoth Mai confirmed in a Facebook post that he had been released. His release came several days after his pardon was first announced by South Sudan's President, Salva Kiir. 

The peace advocate was detained without trial by the South Sudan National Security Service on 28 July and held for almost a year.  When he was finally brought to trial on unsubstantiated charges, he was sentenced to two years imprisonment.  President Kiir issued a decree of pardon on 01 January to 30 people, most for minor offenses.  Kiir's list also included two critics of his regime - Peter, and Keribino Agok Wol.  Both were detained in 2018. 

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Rethinking the concept of digital disruption in new decade

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2010 Fellow Bright Simons spoke to the Daily Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.  Bright is the President of mPedigree, a social entrepreneurship and technology company perhaps best known for its work in using SMS texts to reduce the counterfeiting fraud of prescription medicines. Recently, his technical paper published by the Centre for Global Development, A Farewell to Disruption in a Post-Platform World, drew global attention as it questioned common narratives such as ‘data is the new oil’ and ‘Big Data is everything’ in a period of rapid technological change.

He spoke to Nation's technology journalist Faustine Ngila about rethinking the concept of disruption as we head to a new decade.

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Fayelle Ouane joins Africa-only SME investment fund

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2017 Tutu Fellow Fayelle Ouane has joined Adenia Partners as an investment manager for their Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) fund. She remains a co-founder and board member at Suguba, the company she and 2019 Tutu Fellow Issam Chleuh started up together. Adenia is a private equity firm that specialises in private capital management, buyouts and investments.

Adenia is active in agribusiness, manufacturing financial services, IT and telecoms, hospitality and healthcare. It has offices in Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Kenya, Madagascar and its head office is based in Mauritius.  It invests only in companies based in Africa.

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Fellow to lead largest private schools organisation in South Africa

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2008 Tutu Fellow Siza Majola has been appointed Managing Director of Crawford Schools, reporting to the Group CEO of the AdvTech Group. She has held a number of key senior positions, with the most recent being Executive of Human Resources at ADvTECH. Siza spent the earlier years of her career working for the international mining giant, Rio Tinto as a Project Geologist and later as Senior Manager for External Affairs for the Africa region. Crawford Schools is a large South African private schools organisation comprising 22 schools from pre primary to college level. It says that it seeks to deliver academic excellence and to build graduates to become well-rounded and confident global influencers.  The organisation is more than two decades old.

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Dalberg Advisors Elects Edwin Macharia as Global Managing Partner

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2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has been elected by Dalberg's equity partners to serve a three-year term beginning on 1 January 2020 as their Global Managing Partner.  He will be the fourth Global Managing Partner since Dalberg’s founding in 2001.  Dalberg Advisors is a leading global consulting firm and social impact group specializing in inclusive and sustainable business, policy, and investment strategy. Edwin succeeds Yana Kakar who was elected in 2013 and re-elected in 2016, serving the maximum of two terms.

Edwin has been with Dalberg for a little more than a decade, during which time he has served in a range of leadership roles.

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First cohort of AGCO Agribusiness Qualification fellows graduate from Strathmore

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This December saw a day of celebration as a group of 20 pioneering Strathmore University graduates from Kenya and Nigeria marked an important milestone at the innovative AGCO Agribusiness Qualification (AAQ). To commemorate the milestone, a lively graduation ceremony was held at Strathmore University’s campus in Nairobi, Kenya. The event was keynoted by Nuradin Osman, Vice President and General Manager of AGCO for Africa - and a 2013 Tutu Fellow.

In his remarks at a celebratory dinner, Nuradin shared with the gathering how the programme started from a simple conversation he and I held during a November 2016 alumni reunion of the Tutu Fellows at Nirox in South Africa.

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Digital Dictatorship versus Digital Democracy

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2019 Tutu Fellow Ronak Gopaldas has had a paper, Digital Dictatorship versus Digital Democracy in Africa, published by SAIIA – the South African Institute of International Affairs. The paper kicks off with a quote from writer Umair Haque, ‘Twitter could have been a town square. But now it’s more like a drunken, heaving mosh pit.’ The quote illustrates the gap between the potential of social media and the internet, and its dark side.

Not that long ago, social media fueled the Arab Spring, bringing down governments. Since then, though, bots, trolls and disinformation campaigns pushing trending algorithms have subverted campaigns such as Brexit and the 2016 US elections and how smartphones and privacy have blurred the line between engagement and surveillance.

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