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Author: AlisaAdmin

The need for a Good Society has never been greater

In the midst of global challenges and uncertainties, as we bid farewell to 2023, the need for a Good Society has never been greater. Internationally, things are bleak. Some 21 months after Russia invaded Ukraine, the war continues to rage with massive losses on both sides spilling over to dampen economic wellness across the globe. In Gaza there has been some relief around the hostage situation, b...

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ALI Venture Workshop: We can fix it!

South African cities and towns are deteriorating at an alarming pace. Fixlocal is a national project in response to the lack of action and accountability shown by local authorities. The dismal state of affairs have wide-spread repercussions, as all citizens are subjected to declining socio-economic conditions.  There are countless examples of active citizens and business owners who serve their l...

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Nozipho Tshabalala: SA must get back on track to reach Global Sustainable Development Goals

The Sustainable Development Report (formerly known as the SDG Index and Dashboards) is a global assessments of countries’ progress towards achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals.  According to a UN statement the “implementation of the 2030 Agenda requires the active mobilisation of political leadership and ambition for science-based transformations. This must be achieved gl...

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Roger Dickinson’s African Spelling Bee taking flight

Roger Dickinson dreamt of shifting education in Africa. He became the founder and CEO of the African Spelling Bee. This literacy programme is growing in strength and has a current footprint in 20 African countries. The spelling bees – a first of its kind for the continent – have been running since 2010.  Have your challenges changed over the last 13 years and what would you say were the bigg...

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Khulekani Mathe: How can we root out poverty?

Khulekani Mathe‘s involvement as speaker at the #EndPovertyDay towards the end of October 2023, formed part of an interactive conversation with leading development practitioners, civil society, the private sector and academia on ways to advance the empowerment of people out of poverty through quality and sustainable jobs to ensure no one is left behind. “My speech focused on encouragi...

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Human first! By Sharmla Chetty

The S in ESG is as crucial inside organisations as outside them. Sometimes a question implies one answer, but receives the opposite. “The reward of labor is life,” the British designer and social activist William Morris once said. “Is that not enough?” Morris’ question was rhetorical. He presumed the answer was ‘yes’. And, when he asked it, in the 1800s, it might have been for most ...

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Your future self is proud of you! – Dr. Mothomang Diaho

“The workplace should not be regarded just for expending energy but rather for getting recharged, motivated and inspired.” – Dr. Mothomang Diaho. We can only awaken our authentic power, when we know how to look after ourselves, maintains Dr Diaho.  To awaken our authentic power we need to look at what is essential for waking up our inner well-being and to master ourselves. According to For...

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Visible social impact and some fast facts

ALISA – launched in 2003 – strengthens the community by linking Fellows with similar interests through digital platforms and community projects. ALI’s purpose has always been to convene, nurture and inspire a growing network of influential, civic-minded, values-based leaders who are committed to the Good Society.  Over the past 20 year our Fellows responded with exceptional commitment ...

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ALI is Life-Altering

8 September 2023
ALI is Life-Altering

NEO MUYANGA, Class III: Seriti “I was awed by the wealth of talent … in the new generation of leaders … and the commitment demonstrated by many of the Fellows in contributing towards building … a just society.”  I have an abiding fondness for all of my ALI classmates, despite the fact many of us haven’t actually spent much time exchanging ideas in person since the ...

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Isaac Shongwe reflects on the 20 Years of ALI

There is an African proverb that goes: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others”.  The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellowship programme has been a long and fulfilling journey for me.  I have met many a like-minded people along way whom I would not have had the good fortune to engage with. Key amongst those Fellow travellers are my co-founders: Peter Ra...

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Fellow Bruce shares the valuable lessons ALI has taught him

“Our purpose is not to reach chummy agreements, but to challenge our Fellows with well-constructed arguments against their world view, to examine the idea of compromise, and to test its limits; to unsettle and to stretch our Fellows. Good debates on race, gender politics and economics are rare– there are very few other places in South Africa, or indeed the world, where such communication ...

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20 YEARS OF ALI: From success to significance!

The Africa Leadership Initiative celebrates its 20th year of steering leaders in pursuit of the Good Society.  By September 2023, we will have graduated our 13th class – it amounts to a total of some 260 Fellows since ALI’s memorable first class meeting in April 2003. Today some of the Social Leadership Projects of our Fellows are helping:  to feed 9 million children a day disadvantage...

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Lessons from the Africa Impact Forum: You can be Rwanda – overcome tragedy, waste no opportunity

By Karl Gostner. On the opening night of the Forum, Pulitzer Prize winner Dele Olojede was in conversation with Donald Kaberuka, who amongst many roles has been Rwanda’s Minister of Finance and President of the African Development Bank. Mr Kaberuka outlined themes that I would hear echoed throughout our stay in Kigali. It is an amazing feature of Rwandan life: topics like good governance, effe...

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The 2023 GreenPitch Challenge is on!

Entries are now open for the 2023 FNF GreenPitch Challenge!  Innovators and entrepreneurs, this is your chance. Get ready to share your business idea and network with potential investors and important decision-makers.  CEO Mike Mulcahy (ALI Fellow Class XII: Isilimela) and his company GreenCape, in partnership with the Friedrich Naumann Foundation (FNF), invite innovators and entrepreneurs wi...

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African tech giants, rise!

Janade du Plessis (ALI Fellow Class XIII: Mahube) is the co-managing partner of Africa Launch Ventures and Five35 Ventures. His ventures are implementing serious initiatives to see exponential tech growth in South Africa. His ventures are currently involved as: a Gitex investor at the first ever GITEX Conference in Africa, and partners in the WomHub Women in Tech (South Africa) to accelerate, sc...

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The mental health impact of COVID19 on Education

Nomfundo Mogapi, ALI fellow from Class XII: Isilimela and CEO at the Centre for Mental Wellness and Leadership, shares the findings of the centre’s study on the mental health impact of COVID19 on education. Covid restrictions may have been lifted, but the psychological scars obtained in that period, are still impacting our learners. A decrease in social skills as a result of isolation durin...

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Presentation by Gita Goven from Africa123 and Alastair Rendall of communiTgrow

The Opportunity for Africa up to 2063 Now is the time to identify, plan and build 1,2 or 3 Regenerative SMARTERu-Urban Cities in each of the 55 African Union Member States. By 2063, over 1.5 billion more Africans will be living in African cities, bringing the total population to over 3 billion of which 80% or 2.4 billion will be living in cities. 1.5 billion people yet to be born living in over 10...

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ALI Fellow’s Bulungula College achieves a 100% Matric pass rate— the first time in the history of our region!

We are overjoyed (and a bit speechless) to announce that ALL of our learners have passed Matric at Bulungula College! This is the first time in the history of Elliotdale to achieve a 100% pass rate. A big congratulations to our second-ever graduating class, who have proven that with focus, hard work and grit, anything is possible. To be the first school in our community to ever pass 100% of its l...

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How can we guard the carbon market from damaging exposés without creating more barriers to entry?

Anton Cartwright – Fellow from Class Akani and Director at Econologic & Credible Carbon comments on The Gaurdian article that suggested Verra’s avoided deforestation carbon (known as REDD+ in the carbon industry) to be “worthless”. The Guardian, who worked with Die Zeit’s and the privately-funded SourceMaterial, claims come amidst rising carbon market activity from the p...

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Tangible change starts with solid education

Desnei Leaf-Camp, also a Class Akani fellow, is senior financial adviser at Xina Solar One. This solar power station has a 100 megawatt solar power capacity and they sell the solar energy they generate directly back to ESKOM. Xina Solar One’s efforts to support education in the four rural communities in its immediate vicinity, are truly commendable. The company published their first newslet...

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ALI-SA Fellow Fred Swaniker’s constructive African Leadership Group retreat in Rwanda

By Fred Swaniker.  Ready for a sneak peek into the week we had? I always say that the African Leadership Group’s culture is our secret sauce, but experiencing it in person? One word: magical! Day 1 On Day 1 of our staff retreat in Kigali, we’ve managed to bring almost 200 members of our team to Rwanda to meet for the first time since 2020. We enjoyed taking the team to see a bit of our ...

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The dangers of a ‘two-tier’ health system

By Dr Ntuthuko Bhengu This article highlights the complexities of healthcare service delivery. The UK National Health System is widely regarded as one of the most successful healthcare systems globally. It is also a huge source of pride and social cohesion for citizens. But an article in the Observer recently revealed the NHS trusts tell patients they can go private and jump hospital queues. Ob...

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

  • Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Yellowwoods
  • Barloworld
  • Tshikululu