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.

Fellow one of 8 most influential black women writers

Fellow one of 8 most influential black women writers

2015 Tutu Fellow Kopano Matlwa has been included on a list of South African black women writers considered among the most influential in the country by okayafrica's international edition.  The list includes authors like Miriam Tlali, who's semi-autobiographical work Muriel at Metropolitan was banned in 1975 by the Apartheid National Party government at the time, and Sindiwe Magona. Magona's most recent novel, Beauty's Gift in 2008 looks at the stigma around HIV/AIDS in South Africa. 

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Leadership in a time of change

Leadership in a time of change

When the 2016 Tutu Fellows convened for their first workshop at Mont Fleur in April, they were asked, for their Group project, to develop scenarios of the future of Africa, but were given 3 different global scenario frameworks within which Africa’s future should be considered. Their preferred scenario - both globally and in Africa - was one based on “Sustainable Transitions” – a world where global action is agreed and transnational issues implemented to secure global sustainability.

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The 10-Year Tutu Leadership Programme Celebration video

The 10-Year Tutu Leadership Programme Celebration video

Between November 18 and 20, 2016, Tutu Fellows from all ten years in which the Tutu Leadership Programme has been offered descended upon Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa. They were there to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the programme under the theme, Leadership, Consciousness & Change-Making. The celebration also served as a reunion, bringing together Fellows from across the years and across the continent.  The video shows the dynamic nature of the Fellowship and pays tribute to the founders and the network of people who are changing Africa through their leadership.

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10th Anniversary Event Gallery

10th Anniversary Event Gallery

The serene grounds of the Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, was the setting for the 10th anniversary of the Tutu Programme.  AFLI has a comprehensive news post recapping the event, but this page captures some of the mood of the event and the engagement by the Fellows with each other and the ideas they were discussing. under the theme, Leadership, Consciousness & Change-Making. The celebration also served as a reunion, bringing together Fellows from across the years and across the continent.  This post will try to recapture the magic of that weekend by sharing some of the memorable moments from the event.  We hope you enjoy the gallery of pictures from the event below.



 

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Tutu Fellow's foundation wins Google Award

Tutu Fellow's foundation wins Google Award

A not-for-profit organization focused on empowering African girls through education, training, and mentoring in the STEM fields founded by 2014 Tutu Fellow Lade Araba has been recognised by Google for the work it has been doing.  Google announced that the Visiola Foundation would receive a 2016 Google RISE Award for its efforts to increase access to computer science  education for youth.

The Google RISE Awards supports informal education organizations around the world that promote computer science for K-12/pre-university age youth.

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Tutu Fellows celebrate their 10th Anniversary

Tutu Fellows celebrate their 10th Anniversary

Between November 18 and 20, 2016, about 55 Tutu Fellows descended upon the serene and idyllic Nirox Foundation Sculpture Park in the Cradle of Humankind, South Africa, to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Tutu Programme under the theme, Leadership, Consciousness & Change-Making. The celebration also served as a reunion, bringing together Fellows from across the years and across the continent.  This post will try to recapture the magic of that weekend by sharing some of the memorable moments from the event. 

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AI and jobs - destroyer or creator?

AI and jobs - destroyer or creator?

In the latter half of the 1980s, a debate ensued between two camps of economists roughly grouped around the views of Edward Prescott, on the one hand, and Lawrence Summers, on the other.

Prescott argued that by and large, the booms and busts of the economic cycle were due to “technological shocks”; and Summers dismissed the notion as speculation not supported by evidence.

Over the years, the ‘technological shock’ model of economic shifts (TS) has surfaced over and over again in many forms, rising to the occasion whenever the debate over cycles rears its head.

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Emile Malan

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Thursday, 26 January 2017 06:25
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Understanding: an approach to leading in the dark

Understanding: an approach to leading in the dark

The Tutu Fellowship Programme requires each participant to write an essay on leadership in Africa. Each year, some of the best are selected for publishing by the African Leadership Institute. The quality of submissions is very high as demonstrated by this challenging and thought provoking piece by 2016 Fellow Neema Ndunguru, about the challenges of being a leader in Africa and making a difference to its peoples. She examines how Africans must guard their freedoms to both think as well as to act to ensure the mistakes of the past are not repeated again and again.

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In the Quest for Climate Justice, Who’s Left Out?

In the Quest for Climate Justice, Who’s Left Out?

When we talk about climate justice, the first thing that comes to mind is the plight of small island states, which contribute little to global warming but suffer its worst impacts. Or perhaps we think of climate-vulnerable countries like Pakistan, where millions are at risk of displacement due to severe floods. But with the latest installment of the UN climate talks underway in Marrakesh, don’t forget about the people of Western Sahara right next door.


 

Morocco has become a key player in international climate politics after assuming the Presidency of this year’s UN climate conference, known as COP22. It is troubling and ironic that such an important responsibility has been entrusted to a country that has repeatedly demonstrated its profound contempt for international law and the United Nations, and that remains a brutal occupying power. Lest anyone involved in international climate politics – journalists, diplomats, or civil society actors – forget: despite an opinion from the International Court of Justice in 1975 that Morocco has no valid claim to the territory of Western Sahara, Morocco has been illegally occupying the territory, located south of its southern border, for forty years. And in case anyone missed the news: when last year the UN Secretary-General had the temerity to refer to Morocco’s occupation as “an occupation”, Morocco responded, first, with massive street protests denouncing the Secretary-General (that were attended by Moroccan government officials), and subsequently by expelling all civilian personnel from MINURSO, the UN’s peacekeeping mission in the territory. As the Secretary-General made clear, Morocco’s behaviour carries a serious risk of reigniting war in the region.

The history of the Western Sahara occupation is complex, but a good place to start is with “MINURSO” itself. The name stands for (in English) “the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara.” The referendum in question was promised to the indigenous Saharawi people of Western Sahara in 1991, as part of a UN-brokered ceasefire that ended the war that they had fought with Morocco since its invasion in 1975 (after Spain, the prior colonial power, withdrew). In line with clear international norms for postcolonial transitions, the referendum will give the Saharawi people the option to become an independent nation. They remain the only former colony in Africa that has not been granted this fundamental right, and the African Union has repeatedly called on the UN to set a date for the referendum to occur. The Saharawi Republic is a full and founding member of the African Union, while Morocco is the only country on the continent which is not a member.

Since 1991, Saharawi refugees in Saharan Algeria have been waiting, in some of the most inhospitable conditions imaginable, for the referendum to be held. They have foresworn armed struggle and placed their trust in the UN, and in international law, to resolve the issue. In response, Morocco has repeatedly prevented the referendum from being held, flooded the Western Sahara with Moroccan settlers, and engaged in widely documented human rights abuses against indigenous Saharawi in the occupied territory.

The people of Western Sahara are some of the most vulnerable in the world to climate change. Increasingly common extreme weather events amplify the hardship posed by already inhospitable conditions. Last year, severe floods devastated the adobe structures of the refugee camps, destroying homes and displacing some 25,000 people. Meanwhile, Morocco is fast positioning itself as a global green energy pioneer. This is an important and admirable goal, but the fact that Morocco is actively granting new oil exploration contracts for foreign corporations to illegally drill on- and off-shore in Western Sahara throws its true intentions into question.

Already, some of Morocco’s renewable energy development is taking place in Western Sahara. Energy generated in Western Sahara – without the consent of its people – is exported back to Morocco. The royal palace regulates Morocco’s energy market and receives significant energy contracts in the occupied territory. This contravenes the UN’s legal opinion of 2002, which asserted that exploration and exploitation activities of the natural resources of Western Sahara could only be carried out in accordance with the interests and wishes of the people of Western Sahara. Morocco has not consulted the people of Western Sahara on its green energy projects in their territory, nor will the people of Western Sahara be the ones profiting from them. Quite simply: Morocco’s actions violate international law. Left unchecked, this will further entrench the occupation and damage the peace process.

The Saharawi have no interest in disrupting the essential and urgent international cooperation that is needed to deal with the climate crisis. But it is imperative that everyone involved in international climate politics understands that no country is less deserving of the honour and responsibility of guiding these crucial talks than Morocco: a country that has unilaterally expelled UN peacekeeping staff and repeatedly refused to abide by UN Security Council resolutions.

At COP22 in Marrakesh, the international community must not allow Morocco to sweep the injustices of Western Sahara under the rug. Responsible countries, journalists and members of civil society can use this opportunity to send the message that it does not condone Morocco’s behaviour. Only in the face of strong international pressure will Morocco begin acting as a responsible international partner with the UN. For a start by agreeing to return to direct negotiations with the Frente Polisario, the internationally recognized representative of the Saharawi people, towards holding a referendum as soon as possible.

As a climate activist, I've dedicated much of my life to the pursuit of a safe climate future for the world. The fight against climate change is the most important challenge of our time, but it must not be used as a smokescreen to mask injustices perpetrated against some of the world’s most marginalized people.

This essay by Catherine Constantinides was first published here on the African Leadership Institute site.  

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US Election - views from abroad

US Election - views from abroad

As the two most unlikeable presidential candidates in U.S. history go head-to-head in this week's elections, it is clear that a Clinton or Trump presidency will result in few changes, if any, for the continent of Africa.

Although there is mounting uncertainty about the result of November 8, one thing remains clear to me. Trump's tax evasion tendencies and Clinton's philanthro-capitalist shadiness prove that the U.S. lacks the moral authority more than it ever has to lecture Africa on the tenets of "good" governance, transparency, and accountability.

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What's in a word?

What's in a word?

I was recently asked to give remarks at a Media Institute of Southern Africa event on the need to protect the social media space from political interference. I began to think about why the media, particularly social media, is so important and what its impact has been on the world. The media is called the Fourth Estate because it provides checks and balances on government. Traditionally those checks and balances are provided through spoken or written word. It was the writer Edward Bulwer-Lytton who coined the phrase “the pen is mightier than the sword” or, as Mark Twain put it, “never fight with people who buy ink by the barrel”.

The modern-day advent of the internet and the smart phone has made social media a phenomenon. We only have to think of how social media initiated the Arab Spring, mainstreamed the #BlackLivesMatter movement, or even much closer to home, ended #Lintonlies to see just how powerful it can be.

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From refugee to Vice President

From refugee to Vice President

2013 Tutu Fellow Nuradin Osman has been promoted to Vice President and General Manager for Africa at AGCO, the third-largest global manufacturer and distributor of agricultural equipment. His promotion is part of a restructuring at the company to realign its regional structure with its on-the-ground presence in Africa as well as to further expand the company's operations on the continent.

Osman's steady rise in the ranks belies his difficult beginning.  A Somali, Osman's family lost everything twice due to famine and civil war, prompting him to walk across his country and through Ethiopia and Kenya before arriving in Holland in 1992 aged 17. See video below.

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Women, resilience and the will to lead

Women, resilience and the will to lead

With a woman’s ambition to lead comes the risk of being undermined, maligned, side-lined or even physically attacked, simply because women are still viewed as the weaker sex. This year, I was elected as the first female President of the Law Association of Zambia in the 53-year history of the organisation and its predecessor the Law Society of Zambia. Having been in office since May this year, I now concur with the late, great “philosopher” David Bowie who jokingly said, “Don’t be the first, be the second”. On a serious note, being a relatively young female leader in a patriarchal society is fraught with challenges; the first of which is actually getting into office.  

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Bestselling author - and Tutu Fellow - releases her 3rd novel

Bestselling author - and Tutu Fellow - releases her 3rd novel

2015 Tutu Fellow Kopano Matlwa is releasing her third novel, titled Period Pain.  Matlwa, who is a medical doctor, is the author of Coconut, which sold 25,000 copies. The award-winning novel established her as one of South Africa's most vibrant young writers.  It also garnered a European Union Literary Award in 2007.  She followed it up with Spilt Milk, which won the Wole Soyinka Prize for literature in 2010.

Period Pain is about the heartache and confusion experienced by so many South Africans facing the difficulties of xenophobia, rape, corruption and crime set against the backdrop of the nation's ailing public health system.

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Tutu Fellow elected President of African agricultural economists association

Tutu Fellow elected President of African agricultural economists association

2007 Tutu Fellow Edward Mabaya has been elected president of the African Association of Agricultural Economists at the association’s fifth triennial conference at the U.N. Conference Centre in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.  Mabaya is the associate director of the Cornell International Institute for Food, Agriculture and Development and a senior research associate at the Charles H. Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management. His research and outreach work focuses on agricultural development and food security in Africa.

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