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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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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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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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Zoe responds! The climate as driver of political economy and psycho-social malaise

Written by Dr Zoe Lees It’s all very well talking about these lofty ideals of a new order for Africa, but in sub-Saharan Africa we are facing serious human rights abuses and chaos in Zimbabwe with deepening poverty and desperation, Mozambique is facing an ISIS incursion, Zambia is defaulting on its debt, Ethiopia… Tanzania….the list goes on. We can’t even agree on a common vision ...

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Climate change response for Africa

2020 was a year in which natural phenomena shocked the globe in many ways. If we didn’t fully appreciate the economic imperative of addressing climate change before, we do now. And Africa is at the end of the queue for global support in terms of climate initiatives: of the total global ±$720 bn philanthropy spend, $5/6bn goes to climate space; and of that just 1% comes to Africa. The coronavir...

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A Review of a Difficult Year

15 December 2020
A Review of a Difficult Year

What a year it has been. It started well. From February 26-29, we had the rare joy of spending four days together at the second Africa Impact Forum. More than 100 Fellows from nine countries came together in Accra, Ghana, around the theme “Building to Last: Leadership vs Systems”. In the group there were 25 from ALI-SA; as always when we engage with our ALI colleagues from across the continen...

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New Head of The Solidarity Fund is Fellow Tandi Nzimande

The Solidarity Fund has appointed Fellow Tandi Nzimande as Fund CEO. Nzimande was recommended as the CEO at a Board meeting held on October 22, 2020. It is her work in the development and empowerment fields which makes her the ideal candidate to lead the Fund especially now, as it enters a new phase that requires strong leadership to ensure mandates are met with efficiency, integrity, and passio...

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Lessons from the Humanitarian Initiatives Of Covid-19

The numbers of those in South Africa who are thought to now need food relief vary, depending on who you talk to [1]. Gift of the Givers director Dr Imtiaz Sooliman says maybe about 20-million. Andy du Plessis, manager of FoodForward, says it could be 30-million including those who were previously below the poverty line, those who lost their jobs during the pandemic lockdown, and those who lost ac...

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The fierce urgency of now – the 2020 RAAF goes digital

The Aspen Institute has never been accused of a lack of ideas. And nobody attending its events complains of too little talk. Indeed, as we can all recall, the ALI seminar program is experienced through conversations. The readings, Antigone performance, and even the ventures are discussed at length. Moderators urge fellows to take action at every turn, “…..yes, but what will you do about that...

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Thoughts on our ALI’s Impact during COVID Lockdown

The founding intent of ALI was for our Fellows to achieve an increased positive impact on the world in which we live. Whilst we now better understand the impact of our programme onFellows, it remains elusive to measure the full impact of Fellows on the world. It has long been said that the “Projects and Ventures” Fellows are required to initiate will be the drivers of our impact beyond tha...

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Beirut – a very personal response

My dear friends So many of you have been reaching out in the hours and days following the tragedy in Beirut, asking about us, about what happened, and about how you can help. I’m sorry I haven’t been able to respond to all of you. Here is my response now. Before anything else, we wanted to thank you from the bottom of our hearts; I cannot begin to express what it means to have your su...

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ALI Zoom Dialogue: Mental illness: the shadow pandemic

Covid-19 has hit education hard. In an already fragile system, teachers, pupils and managers were all impacted negatively by the State of Disaster lockdown. The re-opening has been, if anything, worse, with contradictory messaging, union action, the trauma of infection hotspot suspicions, and crushing socio-economic disparities compounding fear, anger and frustration. In the formal education worl...

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The untold pandemic statistic: its psychological cost

By Nomfundo Mogapi Our starting point: psychological depletion South Africa’s population was critically psychologically depleted even before Covid-19 dropped a pall of fear, stress and confusion over the country. Reports note that somewhere between one in four and one in six South Africans suffers from some form of mental disorder during their lifetime, with only 15-25% of affected individuals ...

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Karl Flowers’ Legacy: How Fellows Can Help

The Karl Flowers Trust launched this June, 10 years to the month since our friend passed away. A member of the Kilimanjaro class, Karl was passionate about ALI and our work. He assisted as a moderator and was integral in helping to build our community. Karl’s will stated that a significant portion of his estate should be placed in a trust to assist “young people between 16-25 years, who are u...

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ALI Zoom Dialogue: Not much to go around

ALI stands for a commitment to contribute to a set of lasting interventions towards the Good Society. The municipal audit results, under the theme “not much to go around, yet not the right hands at the till”, came at a particularly bleak time – a time when the Good Society feels like it may be an impossible dream. For some, the last straw has been questionable tender awards relating to the...

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ALI Fellow Babalwa Ngonyama elected as chair of UCT’S Council

The University of Cape Town (UCT) has elected ALI Fellow and former Safika Holdings CFO Babalwa Ngonyama (Class VIII: Mahube) as the new chair of its council. Nazeema Mohamed will serve as deputy chair. In the words of UCT’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, the appointment is “historic” because it is the first time in 100 years that a woman chair serves on UCT’s Council. It i...

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Death and taxes, by Ralph Freese

It is widely held that death and taxes are the only certainties. Given the state of the world’s economy and natural and social systems, we can add two more for the foreseeable future: debt and uncertainty. With unprecedented government borrowing, the lockdown of half the world’s people and the strangulation of much of the world’s economy, we are “on the way to hell in a handbasket”. Emp...

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Phathutshedzo Madima has been appointed as the new non-executive director at the YAEI

ALI would like to congratulate YALI Fellow Phathutshedzo Madima for his appointment as the new non-executive director and advisor of the Young African Entrepreneurs Institute (YAEI). The non-profit youth development organisation focuses on well-rounded career development by integrating employability, entrepreneurship and mentorship for diversified post-schooling opportunities in South Africa. Wit...

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A rollercoaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion

Paul Garner shares his experience of having COVID-19 In mid-March, I developed COVID-19. For almost seven weeks, I have been through a rollercoaster of ill health, extreme emotions, and utter exhaustion. Although I have not been hospitalised, it has been frightening and long. The illness ebbs and flows, but it never goes away. Health professionals, employers, partners, and people with the disease...

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In search of a new chair of the ALI-SA board

Adi Enthoven has served on the ALI board for 12 years; he spent the last five years serving as the chair. Most Fellows are aware that Adi and his family have been the backbone of this organisation and its largest funders for some time. He will soon come to the end of his tenure. Adi commits to remain active in support of ALI, and we will keep Spier as our seminar base for the foreseeable future. ...

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Clouds and silver linings: Reflections from the ALI COVID-19 dialogue

On the 30th day of South Africa’s lockdown, 91 ALI fellows and guests joined a virtual Dialogue centred on the socio-economic impact of the national shutdown. Our immediate future is, as we know, tumultuous and stormy indeed, but the speakers also identified some potential silver linings. The dialogue was moderated by Ralph Freese, executive director of ALI South Africa. The panel included Adi ...

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ALI Fellow Konehali Gugushe appointed CEO of Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

ALI Fellow Konehali Gugushe (Class X: XSeed) has been appointed as CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund and the Trust. Her tenure started on the 4th of March 2020. She joins the Fund in the year of its 25th anniversary. Konehali’s responsibilities will include strengthening Madiba’s vision for his legacy organisations for children (the Fund, the Trust and NMCH) by promoting synergies, ...

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YALI Fellows take on COVID19 and the healthcare sector

Free mobile and web-based COVID-19 pre-screening symptom checker launched to help flatten the curve  YALI Fellows Jessica Chivinge, Rhobhi Matinyi Farai Chikumbu and their business associate Farai Chikumbu have founded a healthtech start-up called epione.net. epione.net is an end-to-end healthcare platform that seamlessly connects all stakeholders in the healthcare value chain for improved patie...

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From your future, with love – By Francesca Melandri

The acclaimed Italian novelist Francesca Melandri, who has been under lockdown in Rome for almost three weeks due to the Covid-19 outbreak, has written a letter to fellow Europeans “from your future”, laying out the range of emotions people are likely to go through over the coming weeks. I am writing to you from Italy, which means I am writing from your future. We are now where you will be in...

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ALI SA Chair Adrian Enthoven steps up to make a difference in a time of a global health crisis

On Monday 23 March, President Cyril Ramaphosa announced a nationwide 21-day lockdown that will be implemented to curtail the spread of COVID-19. To safeguard the most vulnerable in our society from the potential economic ramifications of the lockdown, the government has set up a Solidarity Fund. The Fund will enable well-off South Africans and businesses to contribute towards the provision of muc...

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The constitution and the economy: Eskom and the other SOEs

ALI’s March Dialogue in Cape Town was entitled: “Eskom through the gloom: placing the Constitution at the centre of the reform discussion”. Unusually for any conversation involving Eskom, the Dialogue was largely uplifting. This had nothing to do with good news, regrettably, but arose from the refreshed awareness of the quality of goodwill that is being brought to solving the problem by a b...

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Isilimela – ALI’s Class 12 name is inspired by ancient African lore

We are the digging stars. It is time to invest in the harvest of tomorrow. We are the leaders who will light up the night with a promise of plenty, We are the renewal we seek. We are the herald of freedom that marks Africa Day. We are all digging stars. IsiLimela or the Pleiades were the ‘digging stars’, whose appearance in southern Africa warned of the coming need to begin hoeing the...

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ALI West Africa Hosts African Fellows at the 2nd Biennial Africa Impact Forum in Accra Ghana!

The 2020 AIF was the 2nd edition of the forum where Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellows from across the African continent gathered to deeply connect, engage and recommit on matters of significance to the continent. The Forum aimed to deepen the pool of influential, effective and ethical leaders across Africa, who assume personal and collective accountability for the “Good Society”, by ...

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AIF 2020 Youth Panel on Leadership vs Systems

The Youth Panel on Leadership vs Systems brought in new energy into the plenary sessions, with provocative ideas and new narratives from the panellists. Expertly moderated by one of Ghana’s leading journalists, Bernard Avle, the conversation sought to surface how these young people were seeing the tension between leadership and systems in their respective areas of work and their thoughts on how...

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YALI Fellow Rorisang Tshabalala reflects on the Africa Impact Forum youth panel discussion

The AIF 2020 took place in Accra, Ghana, from the 26th to the 29th of February. ALI Fellows from South Africa, West Africa, East Africa and Mozambique came together to connect and engage on matters of significance regarding the continent. This year’s theme was Building to Last: Leadership vs. Systems. YALI Fellow Rorisang Tshabalala shares his thoughts on the youth panel discussion that took pl...

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Least of these, by Class 12 Fellow Monique Mathys-Graff

I feel a bit like I’ve been Alice in wonderland these last few days; not least of all because I drank way too much tea and lost track of time completely as if at the mad hatter’s table for too long. As I stood on the deck awaiting a new set of strangers who were suddenly my mirror, the words of Paul the apostle from the Bible swirl in my head – I am the least of these. I am too broken to be...

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The 2020/21 South African National Budget, by Associate Professor Reza Daniels

On Tuesday, 3 March, Statistics South Africa released data showing that South Africa has entered a technical recession in the latter half of 2019, defined as two consecutive quarters of negative GDP growth. This provides an important contextual reference point for Minister Tito Mboweni’s Budget Speech, delivered on the 26th of February. As a nation, we are in year three of operation ‘restore ...

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Letter from Ralph: The global race against coronavirus

By now, we all have the image of the coronavirus in our minds. It floats like a weapon from World War 2. A mine to destroy ships along with the trade and people they carry. Fear seems to be driving decisions of governments and individuals instead of good risk assessments. This is because we really do not have all the information we need, and the longer-term impact is not yet measurable. The disea...

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ESKOM: Setting the scene

30 January 2020
ESKOM: Setting the scene

In 1998, Coleman Andrews was appointed by Saki Makozoma to turn SAA around. Two years later, he left with an after-tax payment of US$29m (R500m today) as well as a portion of the R200m paid to Bain (a consultancy he founded) and appointed to SAA. He also spent R118m on nine expatriate managers. Coleman and company left SAA – having achieved what he was contracted to do – bereft of a susta...

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ALI Media Fellow Sikonathi Mantshantsha joins Eskom as the new spokesperson

We are honoured to announce that veteran financial journalist and ALI Media Fellow Sikonathi Mantshantsha is the new spokesperson for Eskom. The appointment was officially announced on Wednesday, the 22nd of January 2020. Sikonathi, who has spent over 15 years writing about the power utility, will be leading its media liaison team; a role he will take up on the 1st of February 2020. Speaking on t...

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The African Spelling Bee

29 January 2020
The African Spelling Bee

The African Spelling Bee was founded by ALI Fellow Roger Dickinson in 2015. Currently, 15 African countries participate in the spelling bee, these include Botswana, Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Malawi, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe. The African Spelling Bee was started with the vision of celebrating the African Child, inspiring them ...

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Message from the Chair, Adi Enthoven

2019 has been an intense year. In terms of our political, economic, environmental and social contexts, it has often been a year of painful attrition of the good. Most in the news, perhaps, has been the impact of the accelerating implosion of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), in particular Eskom and SAA. Political credibility has been as badly hit as business confidence. The results of the political...

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Letter from Isaac Shongwe on Ali Mufuruki’s passing

Dear ALI Fellows, By now, some of you would have heard about the passing of Ali Mufuruki, the Founder and Chairman of Africa Leadership Initiative East Africa. Ali left us in the early hours of Sunday morning at the Morningside Clinic in Sandton, Johannesburg. My condolences to Ali’s family; Saada and daughters, Leila, Zahra, Sofia, and son Tighenye. We share the deep pain that you are feeling ...

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The ALI Class X: XSeed Reunion

In September, ALI’s Class 10 Fellows had their second reunion at the idyllic Miarestate Hotel in the Eastern Cape. The Fellows spent time engaging in thought-provoking conversations, which were guided by readings that included A Pale Blue Dot by Carl Sagan, On the Shortness of Life by Lucius Annaeus Seneca, and Wide Open by Dawna Markova. The main topic of discussion was state-owned enterprises...

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Raymond Ndlovu (Class VIII: Mahube) steps into key telecoms position

Remgro-controlled telecoms group Community Investment Ventures Holdings (CIVH), the parent company of Dark Fibre Africa and Vumatel, has appointed ALI Fellow Raymond Ndlovu as CEO. CIVH has ambitious growth plans, and Ndlovu’s primary role is to drive a diversified wholesale, open-access ICT infrastructure business. He knows the business well, as he has been investment executive and a manageme...

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The fightback against state capture – and the fightback against the fightback

We’re living in interesting times. As much as the reformist agenda of President Cyril Ramaphosa is pushing back the forces of state capture, those forces in turn are fighting back against reforms that will cut off their access to power and riches. At November’s Dialogue in Johannesburg, ALI Fellow Ferial Haffajee explored the headlines. View Gallery Is the fightback on the back foot? What a...

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Why Wellness and Wellbeing Matters by Dr Mothomang Diaho

Scientists predict the first person to live to 200 has already been born. “Just imagine what you could achieve…” muses Lesedi Ndaba, the world’s first 200-year-old, blowing out her birthday candles in 2218, in a Sanlam advertisement. But in what state – mentally or physically – will we be when we hit the 200-year mark? In his expeditions around the globe, journalist Ban Buettner [1] ...

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Tsakani Maluleke has been appointed to chair the board of SAICA

In October, the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) announced its new board, after a scrupulous review of its governance structures. ALI Fellow Tsakani Maluleke (Class VII: Dinatla) has been appointed to serve as the new chairperson of the board. SAICA’s mandate is to serve the interests of the chartered accountancy profession by upholding professional standards and integr...

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A tribute to Sandile Dikeni: A child of the Karoo. Beacon of the oppressed. Poet of the people

South Africa has lost a literary disrupter, political activist and an ardent beacon of love, power, hope and truth. Sandile Dikeni passed away on Sunday, 10 November 2019. He was celebrated for being a prominent storyteller whose familiarity with racism, poverty and exclusion enabled him to use his words as ammunition to speak against the behemoth that was the apartheid regime.  Born in Victoria...

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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