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.

Wide interest in call to action to Heads of State on Africa Day 2021

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For Africa Day 2021, the African Leadership Institute sent an open Letter to African Heads of State, calling on them to include more young people in governance. It held a Zoom meeting with a high-level panel on the current poor representation of young people in governance that was widely attended. The Open Letter is published at Publications. You can watch the full Zoom meeting on AFLI's YouTube Channel.

Globally, Africa has the youngest population in the world, yet many are unemployed or marginalised. The average age on the continent is 19, yet in 2018, the average age of African Heads of State was 64 and a half years old. In it's letter to heads of government, AFLI challenged them to rectify this disproportional state of affairs.

The Open Letter was also picked up by news media.

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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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Fellow selected for 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy list for 2021

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Apolitical has published its list of 100 Most Influential People in Gender Policy, a prestigious international list that honours and celebrates people working on gender policy who are making the world more equitable. They made their selection by considering people in areas that include policymaking, public service, research, philanthropy, advocacy and activism. Drawn from more than 1,100 nominations, 2018 Tutu Fellow Wanjiru Kamau-Rutenberg was selected in the Economic Justice and Rights category. 

Apolitical is an organisation that seeks to empower public servants through education, skills training, networking and 21st century digital tools.  Wanjiru is joined in the category in which she was honoured by 13 other women.

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Nitesh Dullabh joins Environmental Resources Management

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2008 Tutu Fellow Nitesh Dullabh has been appointed as Partner, Corporate Sustainability and Climate Change (CS&CC) at Environmental Resources Management, or ERM.  He began his new position in April 2021.

ERM is a leading sustainability consultancy, and the global sustainability and climate change practice provides innovative advisory services from Board engagement to operationalizing sustainability.  Environmental sustainability has become a business-critical issue for many enterprises. Nitesh intends to building on his sustainability experience and leverage ERM’s business process transformation capability, deep subject-matter expertise, and experienced teams.  This includes assisting local and global clients to integrate environmental sustainability practices into the fabric of their organizations for continuous improvement and to unlock business value for current and future generations.

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Chad opposition leader Succès Masra offers condolences on President's death

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2016 Tutu Fellow Succès Masra PhD has offered condolences to the Deby family in a gracious message via social media on the death of Chad’s President, Idriss Deby, who was killed by rebels in the north of the country in April.  Succès thanked the former president for the thirty years he had had as leader of the country. 

Succès is a prominent opposition politician who had to seek shelter within the US embassy perimeter in N'Djamena only the month prior to Deby's death because of a security crackdown on his supporters. Protests erupted when Deby announced he was running for a sixth term, along with changes to the qualifying age of presidential candidates in a measure to disqualify the opposition. Deby was controversially re-elected to a sixth presidential term, only to be killed just hours later in circumstances in the north of the country.  His government played an important role in countering Islamic terrorism in the region and was supported by former colonial ruler, France, to that end. 

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African eCommerce startup partners with Mastercard Foundation and DHL

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2014 Tutu Fellows Isaac Kwaku Fokuo and Sam Mensah and 2012 Tutu Fellow Julie Gichuru are collaborating in a partnership between Ananse.com, Mastercard Foundation and DHL to create economic opportunities for young African creatives. Summarized, the site slogan is Beautiful things, made by Africa, delivered globally.  Ananse Africa, a startup ecommerce platform, launched in April in Johannesburg and Lagos, connecting African designers with local and international consumers.

The site says many African artisans, designers and artists face various challenges, making it difficult to transact with customers throughout the world.  Ananse Africa was set up to unlock the African creative economy, empower designers, merge tech and fashion; and most importantly, enable consumers from all over the world to shop online for beautiful pieces, from talented artisans, designers and artists throughout key African regions.

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Appointment of Nomthetho Mothejoa as AFLI Programme and Alumni Manager

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AFLI is pleased to announce the appointment of Nomthetho Mothejoa effective 1 April 2021, as Programme and Alumni Manager. Nomthi brings to AFLI a unique combination of skills.

She is a Leadership Coach with training in Ontological Coaching and runs a practice in Johannesburg on a part-time basis. Her passion is driving the self-actualisation of leaders and supporting them to make the shifts they desire towards their truest, highest selves.

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Ladé Araba appointed to UN Technical Working Group on Energy Access

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2014 Tutu Fellow Ladé Araba says she is excited to serve on the United Nation’s Technical Working Group on Energy Access. It will be responsible for developing an actionable global roadmap to achieve universal clean and affordable energy access for all, by 2030, something she says "is no mean feat”. She said in announcement on LinkedIn that she was thrilled to collaborate with a “formidable team of sector experts”.  Ladé is the Managing Director for Africa at Convergence Finance. 

Lade also expressed her enthusiasm about participating in the upcoming UN High Level Dialogue on Energy. The summit will take place in September this year, in New York.

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Fellow joins board of Salzburg Global Seminar

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2010 Tutu Fellow Bright Simons has been appointed to the Board of Directors of Salzburg Global Seminar. He will play a role in helping with their programs and business practices.  His appointment began in March 2021.

Commenting on his appointment, Bright said that “few organizations in the world today are as committed to the ideals of global public diplomacy as Salzburg Global Seminar.”
Victoria Mars, the Chairperson of the organisation, expressed her approval by saying: “we are thrilled to welcome Bright Simons to our Board of Directors. He represents a new generation of African entrepreneurs supporting social good through sustainable enterprise. As a Salzburg Global Fellow, Bright personifies our mission in motion: ‘Challenge current and future leaders to shape a better world.’

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The Passing of Lorna Irungu-Macharia

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It is with profound sadness that the African Leadership Institute announces the passing of Lorna Irungu-Macharia on 22 March, 2021 due to COVID-19 related complications. Lorna was both an Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellow of 2010 and a member of the African Leadership Institute’s board.

Lorna is remembered by the Fellows for her “amazing sense of humour, huge heart and brilliant mind”. “We are poorer today but richer to have known her and been on this life journey with her.” She is also remembered for her incredible courage and bravery. Diagnosed with lupus, she would go on to have three kidney transplants in her life.

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Fellow’s Community Project Boosted by another Fellow

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A 2009 Tutu Fellow’s Community project, Tswelopele Sisterhood and Girls Club in Alexandra, which was co-founded by Geci Karuri-Sebina PhD, recently got a boost from another Tutu Fellow.  2018 Fellow Edzai Zvobwo and his nonprofit, The Education Support Forum, have partnered with Tswelopele to facilitate the girls' skills development by donating 30 tablets to help expand virtual learning. The tablets will also help supplement tutoring and access to e-resources during this period as schools are disrupted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In order to be awarded the Tutu Fellowship, participants are required to complete three assignments, one of which is a community project in keeping with the servant leadership tenet that underpins the programme.

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Fellow launches political debate series in Zambia with local TV channel

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2014 Tutu Fellow Linda Kasonde's non-profit, Chapter One Foundation, has partnered with Diamond TV to broadcast a series of election debates ahead of the national elections that will take place in August this year in Zambia.  The series began in January and ended in March 2021. 

It featured leading officials from the most prominent political parties in Zambia to discuss various issues. The TV series form part of Chapter One's civic education and human rights mission and set out to provide a space in which political candidates could share their public policy proposals and political opinions with potential voters. Additionally, the debate series provided a platform for potential voters to engage with candidates, comparing and contrasting their policies, and allowing for informative discourse that will hopefully result in voters making informed decisions during the August 2021 national elections.

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Fellow part of Evercare, which is seeking to transform healthcare in Nigeria

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Evercare Hospital Lekki, a private multispecialty tertiary care facility, was officially unveiled by the Vice President of Nigeria, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, and the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on March 11 2021. The building is a concrete example of efforts by 2018 Tutu Fellow Temi Marcella Awogboro to bring it into being and she currently serves as an Executive Director with Evercare Hospital Lekki. The hospital is wholly owned by the Evercare Health Fund, a $ 1 billion emerging markets healthcare fund managed by The Rise Fund, the impact investment platform of global alternative asset manager TPG Capital. Temi played a key role in bringing this deal together and she was the West Africa deal lead of the fund.

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Choose to Challenge: A Call to Action - Essay

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Recently, I watched a video message by Namibian First Lady Monica Geingos on the theme of the 2021 International Women’s Day: #ChoosetoChallenge. In her message, she spoke of the misogyny and online abuse faced by her simply because she is a powerful woman living and speaking her truth. She also spoke of her decision to push back against her abusers because, “Your silence won’t protect you”.

International Women’s Day has come and gone but Monica's message has left a lasting impression on me. It reminded me of all the little ways that women shrink and are silenced by society. I remember watching Hillary Clinton face former US President Donald Trump in a 2016 presidential debate.

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Succès Masra Presents Strong Opposition in Chad

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On 6 February 2021, 2016 Tutu Fellow Succès Masra PhD, sought shelter within the US Embassy security perimeter in Chad’s capital, N’Djamena. The President of the National Human Rights Commission negotiated his exit and the US Embassy received assurances from the government of Chad that Succès would not be arrested if he left the embassy grounds and would be allowed to return home unhindered.  Succès refused this negotiated settlement for only himself and instead demanded the release of his fellow companions who were arrested and charged during protests. The United States issued a statement emphasizing their commitment to defending democratic values, but asked Succès to leave, none the less.

The US has also called on the government of Chad to respect the rule of law, to respect the right of the people to demonstrate, and to ensure a transparent and fair judicial process for those persons detained following protests demanding social justice and political change.

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