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.

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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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Being honest about mental health

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2019 Tutu Fellow Sangu Delle delivered the keynote speech at the 65th Annual Employee Benefits Conference in San Diego in October 2019 and his topic was one that is often responded to with discomfort - that of mental health. The conference is the largest gathering of multiemployer and public employee benefit plan representatives, with nearly 5,000 people attending. In prepared remarks, the President of the Foundation, Gene Price, set the tone for Sangu's speech in which he himself shared a personal story that had deeply affected him and he implored all attendees to drop the social pretense and find solutions to help those struggling with mental health issues. Sangu picked up where Gene left off, sharing his own struggles with depression. He recounted how, when stress got to be too much for him, he had to confront his own deep prejudice: that men shouldn't take care of their mental health.

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Letter from a CSO Apologist to a CSO Skeptic

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The basic freedoms of expression, association and assembly have come under unprecedented attack in Tanzania in recent years. New laws have been passed and are being enthusiastically enforced to discourage dissent or views critical or alternative to the official narrative. Journalists have been detained, charged, imprisoned or disappeared and feared dead. Individual citizens have been harassed, arrested, charged and fined for expressing themselves on social media.

Opposition political party activity has been severely curtailed – rallies are banned, leaders are tied up in court on charges of incitement. Apolitical civil society organizations, especially those working in governance and human rights face significant additional scrutiny presumably to encourage their obedience to the government’s agenda.

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Tanzanian Government gags press freedom event on international journalists' day

May-3-World-Press-Freedom-Day-Africa-EN_20191205-212822_1 From World Press Freedom Day

The following post is by Aidan Eyakuze, a 2006 Tutu Fellow and the Executive Director of Twaweza, and it describes how the Tanzanian government silenced an event on press freedoms in East Africa on the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists ~ AFLI

Twaweza in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda joined the media community to call for an end to the intimidation, violence and murder of journalists on November 2, which is the day the world marked the International Day to End Impunity for Crimes Against Journalists. On November 1, 2019 at 10.00am, a regional press conference was planned to share these data and insights.

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Documentary examines the politics of pesticides

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Award-winning journalist John-Allen Namu's production company has released a new documentary series, Bitter Harvest. The 2017 Tutu Fellow examines the growing negative impact of pesticides on food being grown in Kenya.

Released on World Food Day, the series notes that importation of agrochemicals increased by 144% over the course of the past four years into Kenya.  Many of these are pesticides and herbicides linked to cancer and being used by small-scale farmers. Additionally, protective gear is frequently not used and workers are dying from exposure to these products.

The series is broken into three chapters.

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If Swaziland is to achieve gender equality then women must reclaim their Being-ness.

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I took a few weeks ruminating what the struggle for gender equality should look like in Swaziland. When I finally settled on an idea I wasn’t sure how to bring a seemingly esoteric argument to what is usually a rational discussion.

My idea percolated clearly in my mind; women must reclaim their being-ness if we are to move any further in the struggle for gender equality. “Being-ness” is defined as “the act or state of being. Being is more than just existing. Being is who we are at the very core of life, the way we were created, established and called to live. Who we are before being influenced by family history, economics, personality conflicts, consequences of choices made, or pressures we have allowed others to place of us such as culture and religion.”

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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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Fellow is an Apple Music African album chart topper

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2017 Tutu Fellow Jude Abaga - known more famously in the music world as M.I Abaga, the Nigerian hip hop star - became the first African artist with five albums in Apple Music's Top 100 Album Charts.  In his Twitter feed, he thanked his fans for helping all his albums reach that pinnacle. Doubtless the smack talk amongst rappers is going to be fierce, but it is an accolade that speaks for itself.

Jude is a producer and has been the CEO of Chocolate City since June 2015.  He won Best Hip Hop and Best New Act at the 2009 MTV Africa Music Awards, and was nominated in the Best International Act category at the BET Awards in 2010.

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Tutu Fellow on the front line of the Ebola outbreak in the DRC

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2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has been on the front line of the ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo since it began more than a year ago, in one of the deadliest  ebola epidemics on record.   In July, the outbreak was designated a an international health emergency by the World Health Organisation.

Yap is the regional representative for Epicentre Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders, and has been directly involved in a Phase III trial ebola vaccine that is being used to reduce the numbers of people infected by the disease. Al Jazeera interviewed him about how the struggle to contain the disease is going.

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Fellow's malaria project wins US State Department Award

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A project implemented on Bioko Island in Equatorial Guinea by 2017 Tutu Fellow Mitoha Ondo’o Ayekaba to prevent malaria has won the P3 Impact Award at the 2019 Concordia Summit. In 2016, malaria killed 445,000 people, most were young children in sub-Saharan Africa.  The award was announced by the Office of Global Partnerships at the US Department of State, along with the University of Virginia and Concordia.  The P3 Impact Award recognizes leading cross-sector collaborations that feature public, private, nonprofit, or non-governmental organizations addressing societal challenges.

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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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Two Fellows on 2019's 100 Most Influential Young Africans list

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Two Tutu Fellows are on the list of the Africa Youth Awards 2019 100 Most Influential Young Africans.  The list, which was published on 02 October, recognises young Africans whose work has impacted lives across the continent.  The two Fellows on the 2019 list were Rachel Nyaradzo Adams, who was in the Tutu Fellows Class of 2011; and, Nozipho Mbanjwa who was in last year's Class.

The list - which is now in it's fourth year - is comprised of people from 32 countries and celebrates the work of young Africans passionate about changing the narrative of their continent.

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AFLI voices at the UN General Assembly

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A lot of work is done on the sidelines when the UN General Assembly meets, and in October, global business Dalberg, partnered with The Africa Center and the African Leadership Institute to launch the Africa@Work: Future Forum initiative in New York City.  The initiative brought together leaders and innovators from across Africa and the world to create a shared vision around today’s challenges and tomorrow’s opportunities – especially those related to African youth and employment. 

Dalberg partner and 2019 Fellow Robin Miller said that Africa@Work provided curated conversations between Africans and the Diaspora that deepened a shared understanding of African labor market complexities; highlighted and accelerated innovative ideas; and channeled investments towards solutions that positively impact the future of work  in Africa.

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