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Author: AlisaAdmin

San Diego Sessions: Step up and step forward

San Diego forms part of the boundary between Mexico and the USA. With its close proximity to another country, it is clear that diverse cultural realities have a deep impact on the true heartbeat of this city.  Our excursion to Chicano Park – known for its murals and seen as the emotional melting pot of Barrio Logan, San Diego’s oldest Mexican-American neighbourhood – revealed both the arti...

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Let’s push the reset button NOW

By Oscar van Heerden This past weekend, I attended the Kgalema Motlanthe Foundation (KMF) Inclusive Growth Forum in the Drakensberg, and boy, was it filled with excellent inputs from across the spectrum. The overall theme of the gathering, which meets every year, was “dialogue among equals”. The point of the dialogue is to see whether a cross-section of South Africans can not only iden...

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The best medicine is a healthy lifestyle

In 30 years from now, around 2050, it is predicted that 50% of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population will be under the age of 25. According to Dr Mothomang Diaho, if we do not address individual well-being through an intergenerational lens, we would only continue to see further health declines. To take on the leadership roles of the future, Dr Diaho proposed that the cadre of future leaders would nee...

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#NotOnOurWatch: We CAN save the African Penguin from extinction

There’s no way around the facts, at their current rate of decline, African penguins are going to be functionally extinct in the wild within 20 years. By 2035, some colonies which have thrived on the South African coastline for hundreds of years will be no more. Without immediate action, a future without African penguins in the wild is certain. We can prevent this – we can say #NotOnOu...

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WECONA: In aid of women in business

On 6 October 2021 President Cyril Ramaphosa launched the inaugural WECONA where private sector, civil society and women’s organisations, businesswomen and government have partnered to form the Women Economic Assembly – an initiative to facilitate  the participation of women-owned businesses in core areas of the economy. www.wecona.co.za was excited about this year’s theme that revolved ...

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World Bank workshop in Morocco for sustainable economies

Casablanca, Morocco, was the host city to The World Bank’s FASE Round Table from 11 to 12 October 2022, aiming to develop more accounting technicians in Africa to support  growth, accountability, and efficiency in the public and private sectors in Africa. ALI Fellow Patrick Kabuya (Class Mayihlome) and Lefaria Kinimi, both from the World Bank, shared the platform with Turkish accountant Be...

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Women, Life, Freedom

13 October 2022
Women, Life, Freedom

The events of the past two weeks in reaction to the capture, injury, and unjust murder of Mahsa Amini, a 22-year-old Iranian woman, at the hands of the Iranian Morality Police, has mesmerized the world. It has captured the imagination of women and men alike, and set ablaze the Iranian people’s enthusiasm and quest for freedom, supported by their diaspora and people of goodwill throughout the wor...

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ALI Fellows Leslie Maasdorp and Ibukun Awosika on Binance Global Advisory Board

On 22 September Eberechukwu Etike published an article on Technext announcing the appointment of ALI Fellow Leslie Maasdorp and Nigerian Ibukun Awosika on Binance’s Global Advisory Board (GAB). The primary goal of the board is to advise Binance on some of the most complex regulatory, political and social issues confronting the entire crypto industry, as it rapidly grows and evolves. The new ...

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Consider studying investment, girl!

A decade ago 11 October has been marked as the International Day of the Girl and worldwide this day is observed to try and empower girls and rectify their status as equal to boys. In many countries girls’ rights are unrecognised or under threat. The purpose of the CFA Society South Africa’s specific shadow initiative is to create awareness of the investment industry among girl learner...

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Africa’s future farmers – Nozipho Tshabalala

The AGRF (Africa’s Food Systems Forum) brings together private, public, development and non-profit partners, as well as the academic and research sectors in the agricultural landscape to take practical action that will move African agriculture forward. The AGRF seeks explicitly to unleash the full potential of Africa’s millions of smallholder farmers and their families. On 6 September Nozi...

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Fathers Matter! Be present in your children’s lives

We applaud Fellow Garth Japhet and his team at Heartlines for their excellent initiative: the Fathers Matter campaign. Heartlines, the Centre for Values Promotion, produced a series of 6 short films currently showing on Saturday evenings at 8:30 on SABC2 and also streaming on the Telkom One App. These short films aim to start a national conversation to promote the positive presence of men in child...

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Rethinking what good work means today – Sharmi Surianarain

The landscape of work is changing fast and drastically. In many parts of the world we see the phenomenon of “the great resignation” from office jobs in order to work from home, whereas in Africa the phenonenon is that of the “great application”, with our youth desperately in need of work. There is growth of insecure part time contracts worldwide, and the need to really reco...

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Structural adjustment by accident?

By Ralph Freese On Friday 26 August Minister Senzo Mchunu (Water and Sanitation) announced that his department would call for private sector help in securing and delivering water to South Africans – an “IPP” for water. This reminded me that Fikile Mbalula, Minister for Transport, recently announced that private business would be invited to operate rail services. ESKOM has long been on this...

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A provocation: So where to now?

The South African election of 1994 and the birth of our constitution in 1996 brought the promise of a de-racialised, democratic and wealthier future for all citizens. Democratic control of the state, with the purpose of righting historic legacies of race and tribe-based allocation of national assets, gave hope not only to South Africans but to the people of Africa and thinking citizens across the...

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Decolonising the curriculum

The influence of colonialism driven by the so-called Western cannon of knowledge and power is pervasive and shapes global values, systems of governance, economic structures and cultural practices. The enduring power relationships underpin and are used to justify continued extraction of wealth from historically colonised territories. This has raised questions about the content and purpose served b...

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Fellows in the Arena: The challenge – A finance model for ECD centres

Financial exclusion takes many forms. Do you know what the average Early Childhood Development Centre looks like? While the concepts of early learning and adequate stimulation are buzz words in world education, South African toddlers and young children in need of pre-primary care often attend informal, privately owned centres run from a home. The owner often has no way of obtaining credit to prov...

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I have critical skills, yet you chase me away

  Chenai Chipfupa describes what she and her compatriots in South Africa are going through, with an Introduction by Ferial Haffajee. In his achievements for 2022, President Cyril Ramaphosa often lists the passage of the Critical Skills List by the Department of Home Affairs. Published in February, the list reveals the full list of critical skill shortages choking the economy. I’ve known Ch...

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Introducing: Fellows in the Arena

Together we can journey to a brighter future Don’t you know that its true That for me and for you The world is a ghetto Given that the word ghetto has evolved from meaning “a slum occupied by minority groups” to “a neighbourhood characterized by poverty, run down and occupied by the powerless”, the words of the song might ring more truly than we realise: Climate change ...

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Russian miscalculation and Ukrainian destruction, by Ralph Freese

Ukraine and Russia both have founding myths linked to a medieval Viking and Slavic group called the Kyivan Rus. The Vikings were early slave traders whose efforts reached into the Arab and East African world and who settled along their trade routes. The Slavs gave their name to us as “slave” and occupied a large part of eastern and southeastern Europe being still the largest language group. De...

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We can’t look to government to save us

Academic, author and business leader Bonang Mohale explored the state of our nation at an ALISA Dialogue. And it is, by general consensus, in a very poor state indeed. Mohale did not hold back criticism against those in government who pillage national funds, leaving nothing with which to provide essential services. Will a new political party or business provide solutions? Mohale says yes and no. ...

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Why do some countries remain poor?

As part of the Rachman Review podcast series David Pilling, Africa editor of the Financial Times, asks Stefan Dercon, professor of development economics at Oxford University why some countries stay poor while others find a rapid path towards growth and development. Professor Dercon has made a life study of this question and wrote the book, Gambling on Development, as an attempt to solve the riddl...

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Beyond the State of our Nation

A month ago, scientists measured the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere (as they constantly do) and found a reading so high that they spent time confirming it before publishing. A very discomforting new record has been achieved. 420 ppm. Up from 300 ppm in 1960. A 40% increase. In just my lifetime. Despite promises by governments and businesses, despite a long series of CoP gatherings and man...

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Class 13: Zoom pioneers

29 April 2022
Class 13: Zoom pioneers

Class 13 was the first ALI cohort to meet each other on Zoom. We feared this would mute their enthusiasm or dilute their class chemistry. Yet, they burst on to the ALI scene with enviable energy, expressing strong opinions on all readings, calling for extra sessions, and bombarding the moderators with questions. This a class of strong characters, tempered by wise voices. They showed an early det...

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South Africa – a failed state?

  Our history is one of migration, colonial conquest and the construction of four countries that were amalgamated to enclose a single economy, within which solutions to the “national question” continue to drive conflict. The tribe, class, race, creed and gender issues central to the building of our nation remain unresolved. Despite significant variation in definition and usage, we can ac...

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Breathe out: A Big Victory Against Gender Based Violence

Earlier this month (April 2022), the Constitutional Court handed down a precedent-setting judgement that has shaken the law-enforcement community of South Africa, and beyond.The woman who drove it, over a period of a decade, is Andy Kawa (Class VII: Mahube). The judgement in question relates to police treatment of victims of abuse. It confirms that the South African Police Service (SAPS) has duti...

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Class 12: The Challenge and the Good Society

We gathered for our first seminar, aptly titled The Challenge, just as the first Covid-19 wave started to gain momentum in March 2020. The period that followed proved to be exceptionally challenging, but we overcame the unforeseen obstacles brought about by a global pandemic and hosted Seminar 2: The Good Society (with a very successful Antigone) in September 2021. Class XII: Isilimela  experi...

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Akona Matsau has been appointed as CEO of Bidvest Services SA – a division of Bidvest Group

Akona Matsau will assume the role of Chief Executive, Bidvest Services South Africa, on 1 April 2022. This is a newly-formed Group division that will focus on the continued growth of Bidvest’s services operations in South Africa. Akona has been a part of the Bidvest Group since 2013, when she was appointed as COO for Customised Solutions at Bidvest Facilities Management. She was later promo...

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Can one be happy?

9 March 2022
Can one be happy?

In these turbulent times, with rampant inequality, dislocation and alienation; when, for thinking people, moral and emotional outrage is unavoidable – Can one be happy?  In fact, should one be happy? In the journey ALI-SA Fellows embark on we clearly encounter two arcs: the personal (Fellows emerge with a better understanding of themselves); and the social, which deals with governance of human...

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Letter to ALI Fellows: Great leadership is most needed in times of challenge

Greetings to all ALI fellows across the continent and globe. After 2 very challenging years for public life, the sense I get is that we are returning to normality. Just at my children’s’ schools I see more public gathering and  greater social interaction as we have started the academic year. Ironically this felt awkward at first, then we appreciated the fact that this was what life was like ...

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New books penned by ALI fellows

Native Merchants – The Building Of The Black Business Class In South Africa is Class 2 ALI Media Fellow, Phakamisa Ndzamela’s debut title. The book explores underwritten stories of black entrepreneurs during the 17th to early 20th centuries, giving insight into a time when black people built successful enterprises on their own account and not as labourers. The book is available from online re...

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Our literacy crisis

15 February 2022
Our literacy crisis

The 2030 reading panel plans to meet annually, bringing together respected SA leaders to monitor and influence progress in literacy in South African schools. Their gathering on 2nd February highlighted the parlous state of our nation. With SONA around the corner let us hope some attention is paid to their conclusions. For those who were able to join us yesterday for the inaugural Reading Panel, t...

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Letter: Covid, Climate and Community

What a wonderful year this has been! We wonder why, when solutions are at hand, we allow global heating to run rampant, fail to change our behavior in the face of the pandemic and tribalise into fractured communities when we know now more than ever, that issues of race, tribe and creed are social constructs that artificially divide. And this is just the global position. In SA we can add failure t...

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ALI-SA Fellow, Arthur Mutambara, Appointed to Steer UJ’s Institute for Future of Knowledge

Roboticist Prof Arthur G.O. Mutambara who is an author, chartered engineer, and academic has been appointed as the executive director and full professor of the Institute for the Future of Knowledge (IFK) at the University of Johannesburg. The IFK is a cross-disciplinary ecosystem – an epistemological interface between the fourth Industrial Revolution and the Humanities. He will be establishing ...

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The voters have spoken. What is the message this carries for the future of SA?

South Africans – at least, the party-political ones – are facing the future with a large degree of consternation since the results of the local government elections were released. With  42m South Africans eligible to vote and 26m registered these are the key considerations: There was a low turnout of 46% of registered voters. That is not unusual in local government elections. What was dif...

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Conference of the Parties 26

18 November 2021
Conference of the Parties 26

The CoP dance continues. One step forward, two steps back. With a jump to the left then a leap to the right. If we are to accept that the agreements reached in Glasgow is where this process will end, we must accept a 2,5 degrees Celsius warming and some dire consequences.  The credibility of the process is – again – being tested. However, it remains the only global forum and is valuable in m...

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Defining a good society

6 October 2021
Defining a good society

Long, long ago driving with my grandfather (a teetotaller and plumber) we saw someone lying next to the road. He pulled over and we checked on the man – somewhat drunk, but uninjured – then gave him, a complete stranger, a lift home.  Yesterday I saw two people lying on the pavement outside a private hospital in Rondebosch, Cape Town. Along with others, pedestrians and drivers, I drove on by....

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It’s getting hot around here!

Predictions of doom are as bad as denialism. There is much we can do to shift the trajectory of climate change.  We currently face the greatest challenge of civilised humanity. We are heating the planet, upending the balance of the ecosystem that birthed us, risking livelihoods, crop failure and drowning cities. In November, in Glasgow, politicians from 189 countries will gather under the gaze ...

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Insurrection? Treason? Intelligence misadventure? Failed plot?

Between them, Adriaan Basson (Class XIII), Ferial Haffajee (Class II) and Mondli Makhanya (Class III) represent three of the most credible news sources in South Africa: News24, Daily Maverick and City Press respectively. If anyone should know what’s going on, it should be they. So, these are the things we seem to be able to be sure about at this stage: What took place in KwaZulu Natal was an or...

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The Housing Question

6 August 2021
The Housing Question

The RDP and Breaking New Ground initiatives held “housing” as an excellent tool for redressing racial, economic and Apartheid spatial divides. These saw the delivery of three and a half million houses to poor South Africans. This we justifiably celebrate as a great success for the country. However, the failure of our housing practice was driven by our measuring success only by the numbers bui...

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Treason?

15 July 2021
Treason?

In November 1916, Pavel Milyukov, recognising the inability of the Duma to do the right thing, asked whether that was driven by stupidity or treason. Here, in the last few days, we can add questions of the levels of competence, quality of leadership, and management failures. For example, our intelligence services failed to understand and prevent the actions intended to reduce our supply chains in ...

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Reyburn Hendricks becomes part of SA’s energy solution

Just under a year ago, in the first week of July 2020, the Minister of Mineral Resources and Energy gazetted the procurement of 2 000 MW of energy “from a range of energy source technologies”.   This month, a consortium including H1 Holdings, of which Reyburn Hendricks is Chief Executive, was given Preferred Bidder status. Through their ambitious solar hybrid storage projects, H1 Holdings (...

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Investing in After School Programmes to stem learning losses, fight fast-growing inequality and build back better

by Sibongile Khumalo Seventy percent of South Africa’s children enrol in low and no-fee (quintile one to three) schools. Pre-COVID-19, less than a third of these children were making it out of the schooling system with a matric certificate. Almost half dropped out before grade 12, usually after repeating a few grades; and this grade repetition cost the system over R20 billion annually. Eight pe...

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We need to deal with our culture of dysfunctional men

by Naledi Nomalanga Mkhize Many years ago, I had lunch with an American education funder. Her name could have been Rachel or Lindsay, I cannot remember, but it just fit the profile of the kind of person who jets into South Africa every two years to check on projects, catch some sun and fun in Cape Town, and then returns to the United States feeling like she changed the world. Anyway, at this lunc...

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Dark clouds, and silver linings

Eighty-one people joined a Zoom Dialogue in early March when a range of Fellows was invited to share their personal reflections on the state of the nation. It became abundantly clear that although there is the odd silver lining here and there, the dark clouds are mounting, leaving many feeling – if not helpless, certainly frustrated. Let’s start with the few silver linings that shone through ...

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Introducing the 4th Class of the ALI – Young Leaders Programme

Previously known as the Young Africa Leadership Initiative (YALI), the ALI – Young Leaders Programme is premised on the Africa Leadership Initiative’s (ALI) purpose to develop the next generation of values-based, young African leaders who are prepared to be significant co-creators of a good society. The age profile of ALI – Young Leaders Fellows ranges from 25 – 35 years, and ...

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Cryptocurrencies: a shift in the world’s operating system, or a get-rich-quick scheme?

Money has always evolved, and this evolution has always been towards reduction of transactional friction and better stores of value. Bitcoin, cryptocurrencies, and the underlying blockchain technology breakthrough fit the mould as possibly, even probably the next evolution of money. These are the bitcoin fundamentals: Only 21 million tokens or coins will ever exist (just over 18,6 million are al...

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Bruce Dennill reviews: Like Water Is For Fish by Garth Japhet

There is a fascinating concept at work in Like Water Is For Fish, a non-fiction book detailing the effectiveness of storytelling in communicating important messages and doing so in a mixture of memoir-style flashbacks and combinations of the perspectives of other individuals author Garth Japhet has met along the way. If it sounds like a hodge-podge, it doesn’t read like one, rather coming a...

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How Can The Audit Profession Find Its Way Back To Noble Leadership?

How can the audit profession find its way back to noble leadership? In a passionate digital Dialogue hosted in late January, Professor Wiseman Nkuhlu spoke about the social role of the auditing profession with an emphasis on the big four auditing institutions. ALI Fellow Sindi Mabaso-Koyane (Class VIII Mahube) responded, and the session was moderated by South Africa’s Auditor-General, Tsakani ...

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Mayihlome – Tribute to Sibongile Khumalo by Isaac Shongwe

In the early 2000s, ALI Fellow (Class IV: Kalipha) and South Africa’s “First Lady of Song”, Sibongile Khumalo, released her hit single, Mayihlome (https://bit.ly/2L7vsy3). It would go on to be amongst the most loved songs within her illustrious discography of globally-acclaimed hits. Yet there was more to that particular song than poetic lyrics sung in her matchless voice. It was more than j...

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A Message from the Chairman

17 December 2020
A Message from the Chairman

Dear Fellows, To say that 2020 was a year like no other, would be classified as a massive understatement. The COVID-19 pandemic has been the item looming largest for all of us at a political, professional, social and personal level. Beyond the pandemic there is still an unprecedented democratic challenge in the USA,  the Black Lives Matter movement taking centre stage in the debate on race and t...

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Thanks to our valued partners and to all the Fellows who continue to contribute in many ways.

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