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.

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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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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