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.

Tutu Fellow launches book on the struggles for dual citizenship in Liberia

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2010 Tutu Fellow Robtel Neajai Pailey PhD has launched her monograph Development, (Dual) Citizenship and Its Discontents in Africa: The Political Economy of Belonging to Liberia. Robtel is an Assistant Professor in International Social and Public Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Robtel's book asks whether dual citizenship reproduces inequalities, using Liberia, Africa’s first black republic, as an extended case study. It is based on over 200 in-depth interviews in West Africa, Europe and North America. The inaugural launch of the book was held in Monrovia at the University of Liberia on official publication day on 7 January.

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CNN’s Inside Africa features “the innovation pioneer”, Tutu Fellow Bosun Tijani

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CNN’s Inside Africa have profiled 2017 Tutu Fellow, Bosun Tijani, along with two other of Nigeria's tech entrepreneurs and innovators who are using technology to provide life-changing solutions to everyday problems.  Bosun is the founder and CEO of CcHUB. 

CNN says Nigeria has 90 tech hubs, the most on the continent. It said that in 2019, one report had found that start-ups in Nigeria had raised nearly $400 million, more than double the amount from the previous year. CNN went on to say that in recent years, Nigeria had become an incubator for some of the continent’s biggest start-ups.

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AFLI SA 2020 Scenarios: How well did Scenario Teams foresee the future in 2004?

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SA 2020 SCENARIOS SUMMARY

In 2004, a group of young South Africans, selected for their acknowledged leadership potential, envisioned that by 2020, South Africa would be “An inclusive, prosperous and just society founded on ubuntu, equality and freedom, fostering creativity and allowing its people to realise their full potential.” This Vision formed the foundation of their preferred scenario – “All aboard the Dual Carriageway”. It was one of four scenarios, ranging from disastrous to optimal.

Their hope was that “a quarter of a century after its transition to democracy, it would be a South Africa that has significantly dealt with the legacy of underdevelopment, poverty, unemployment and inequality that it had inherited. They imagined a South Africa that will have proudly taken its place within the world community of nations, as an economic and political equal.”  The group was facilitated by - and the final paper drafted by - Olubenga Adesida PhD, and myself.

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16 Fellows on the prestigious Choiseul 200 Africa 2020 list

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The seventh edition of Choiseul 100 Africa – the Economic Leaders for Tomorrow 2020 has been released, honoring the most talented leaders of their generation who have had a positive impact on the continent's economic development, on society, and Africa’s success. Over the years, a number of Tutu Fellows have made previous lists. In this latest edition, eight were selected for the 2020 100 listing and a further eight for the 2020 200 listing.

The list is compiled independently by the Choiseul Institute every year, identifying and ranking African leaders under the age of 40 who are playing an important role in Africa’s future.

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Fellow leading research into COVID-19 reinfection

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A 2006 Tutu Fellow, Wendy Burgers, is leading research into reinfection of patients by COVID-19.  She had noticed that globally, a handful of patients had reportedly been reinfected with COVID. She thought it was important to discover and understand how the immune system responds to the virus and whether it provides previously infected patients with a level of protection, should they be re-exposed to the virus.

Wendy is a viral immunologist and Associate Professor in the Division of Medical Virology in the Department of Pathology in University of Cape Town’s (UCT) Faculty of Health Sciences. Wendy and her team partnered with a healthcare worker study in UCT’s Department of Medicine, which involves regular sampling of a group of healthcare workers who have a high risk of exposure to the virus but who had already been infected with COVID-19. It also used a group of their peers who had not.

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January 6th American Struggle

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Like many of you, I watched yesterday as rioters and terrorists desecrated the United States Capitol Building. I was not shocked. That such violent opposition to U.S. democratic institutions would manifest after years of sustained assault should not be shocking.

The images from January 6th should not be considered an anomaly. We should resist the urge to label such acts as un-American and we should not move too quickly towards an overused rhetoric of healing. If this country is to survive the next few years, let alone thrive, we will have to face the aspects of our American identity that make so many people feel it is acceptable to deny reality—the reality of election results, the reality of a pandemic, and the reality of deeply rooted racism that manifests in the care with which law enforcement treated (mostly) White men rampaging through the halls of the Capitol Building.

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Science Magazine profiles Fellow for his role in managing COVID in Kenya

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The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science magazine has profiled 2019 Tutu Fellow, Prof Edwine Barasa, and his role in managing the COVID-19 pandemic in Kenya. He is the director of the KEMRI-Wellcome Trust Research Programme, a long-standing collaboration between Kenya and the United Kingdom, in Nairobi, Kenya, as well as being a Professor of Health Economics at the University of Oxford.

Over the course of the pandemic, Edwine has worked with epidemiologists and advised Kenya’s Ministry of Health on how to allocate its limited resources. The KEMRI-Wellcome Trust has been helping the Kenyan government with testing and viral sequencing, and hosted a Kenyan trial of the COVID-19 vaccine produced by the University of Oxford and AstraZeneca.

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Fellow appointed to international democracy institute's board

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2019 Tutu Fellow Samson Itodo was appointed by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance (IDEA), for a three-year tenure beginning in 2021. International IDEA is an intergovernmental organization that supports sustainable democracy worldwide. The board of advisers of IDEA play the major role of advising the council of member states and the secretariat on matters of strategic importance.

Samson is the Executive Director of YIAGA Africa, a community of change-makers focused on building sustainable democracies in Africa. YIAGA promotes the principles of inclusion, justice, accountability and constitutionalism, which successfully lead the #NotTooYoungToRun movement.

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Tutu Fellow listed on The Agile 50: The World’s Most Influential Revolutionising Government

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2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze is listed among The Agile 50: The World’s 50 Most Influential People Revolutionising Governance 2020, which lauds politicians, civil servants and entrepreneurs who are driving agility in governments around the world. The list recognises “both high-profile icons and shines light on the unsung heroes whose work is indispensable in transforming government to respond to rapid technological change.” Apolitical made the announcement at the end of 2020.

It is compiled by Apolitical, an organisation that equips public servants to better do their jobs through courses, information, events and networking. It says that government is critical to solving global challenges, but that public servants often lack access to the best solutions because good ideas are often siloed in country's cities or sometimes even departments, leading to a duplication of effort, wasted taxpayer money, and poorer services.

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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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A personal account of a harrowing recovery from COVID-19

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The pandemic has affected everyone, but it is often the personal stories of those known to us that inform and shape our behavior regarding COVID-19. As the months of social distancing, handwashing and mask-wearing continue, pandemic weariness is setting in. 2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides offers her experience with COVID-19 as a cautionary tale. She was young, healthy and with no comorbidities, and when she caught the virus in July it almost killed her. She describes her recovery as a nightmare.

She says, “For weeks I was too scared to fall asleep as I just couldn’t breathe. The idea of falling into a deep sleep and never waking up again terrified me. There is nothing more frightening than gasping for air and feeling as though your lungs are trapped in concrete."

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Fellow to coordinate global programme against female genital mutilation

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2014 Tutu Fellow Mireille Tushiminina has been appointed the Global Coordinator for the UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme on Female Genital Mutilation (FGM). The UNFPA-UNICEF Joint Programme to Eliminate FGM is the largest global programme to accelerate the end of FGM and advance the rights, health and well-being of women and girls.

Despite being internationally recognized as a human rights violation, some 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone FGM, and if current rates persist, an estimated 68 million more will be cut by 2030. Female genital mutilation refers to any procedure involving partial or total removal of the external female genitalia or other injury to the female genitals for non-medical reasons.

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Fellow appointed as Acting National Chair of the Youth Party in Nigeria

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2013 Tutu Fellow Tomiwa Aladekomo has been been appointed as the Acting National Chair of the Youth Party, a registered political party in Nigeria, in preparation for the 2023 general elections. This appointment was announced by Party Chairman Seun Sule and the Board of Trustees in a statement in late October 2020. Tomiwa's appointment is expected to be ratified at the party’s convention in March 2021.

The Youth Party recently regained the right to compete in all elections moving forward till 2023, following a Federal High Court ruling.

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Fellow writes open letter to AU Chair on Moroccan invasion of Western Sahara

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2013 Tutu Fellow Catherine Constantinides has written an open letter to South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, the Chair of the African Union, about the plight of the Saharawi people and their homeland, Western Sahara. The letter was published publicly on the eve of an Extraordinary African Union meeting on Silencing the Guns.  It calls for AU action on the illegal occupation of Western Sahara by Morocco and on the military attack by Morocco in violation of a UN ceasefire agreement on Saharawi civilians in November 2020.

Catherine is a board member of the Saharawi Commission for Human Rights as well as a human rights and climate activist.

President Ramaphosa used his opening remarks as AU Chair to put the issue on the table.

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Fellows contribute to the AfCFTA Futures Report on women and youth

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Professor Jumoke Oduwole, a 2013 Tutu Fellow, and Ada Osakwe, a 2014 Tutu Fellow, are among 20 contributors to the UNDP in Africa’s The Futures Report: Making the AfCFTA Work for Women and Youth.

AfCFTA - or, the Agreement establishing the African Continental Free Trade Area  is a legal instrument – among the African Union Member States to create a single market. This report argues that the AfCFTA represents much more: “on the one hand, it is a significant milestone on the journey to African integration and development. On the other hand, it is a catalyst for new ways of doing business, producing, working and trading within Africa and with the rest of the world.”

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