As we head into the end-of-year break, it’s time to look back on a most eventful 2018, reflect on our progress, and plan for 2019.
What we were most excited about:
- We delivered two quality seminar experiences for Class XI;
- We built Pan-African ALI relationships through the inaugural African Impact Forum, and engaged and connected – or reconnected – many ALI Fellows;
- We told our stories of impact to the world using our own newsletters as well as social media channels; and
- We expanded and refreshed our Board with the appointment of two new directors: Grathel Motau and Rejane Woodroffe.
Here are some highlights from the year:
Inaugural Africa Impact Forum – and plans for the next one:
In March, ALISA hosted the inaugural four-day Africa Impact Forum at Spier. The theme was The Great Africa Re-Set, and we were immensely pleased to welcome representatives from all the regions. Nearly 100 Fellows came from across the continent: Kenya and Tanzania; Rwanda and Uganda; Ghana and Nigeria; Mozambique and, of course, South Africa.
We consider the event a great success, both in terms of strengthening friendships and connections, and in terms of refreshing our leadership commitment to Africa. Amongst other things, we resolved to build stronger ties between the regions, to move towards the vision of a Pan-African Fellowship, and to hold a biennial Africa Impact Forum. A newly constituted ALI Pan Africa Co-Ordinating Committee held its first meeting in Dar Es Salaam in June this year.
The next Africa Impact Forum is already being planned: Ken Ofori-Atta, the founder of ALI West Africa and current Finance Minister of Ghana, will host it in Ghana in 2020.
Class XI: Tekano
The Fellows in Class XI: Tekano, the latest addition to the ALISA family, have attended two seminars this year: The Challenge of Leadership; and the Aspen seminar. The Tekano class has attracted a very strong and impressive group, and we are excited by the impact their ventures promise, and by the evidence of their potential influence in society.
Good Society Dialogue Series:
Another of the decisions taken at the inaugural Africa Impact Forum was to revise and make more dynamic ALISA’s dialogues. The outcome – the Good Society Dialogue Series – started its roll-out almost immediately, with four sessions between Johannesburg and Cape Town. Our guest speakers were Justice Albie Sachs; Minister of COGTA Zweli Mkhize; and former Finance Minister Trevor Manuel.
The dialogues are important for driving engagement and connection amongst the Fellows, and they are a rare forum to explore new ways we can positively impact society. They are hugely inspiring: I would urge those Fellows who have not yet been able to join us, to commit to doing so next year.
Our monthly newsletters have also been refreshed, with the introduction of the YALI Corner and Africa Talks slots. These two additions enabled the activities of YALI, ALIWA and ALIEA to be easily accessed and shared among ALISA Fellows.
Seven podcasts were recorded and shared with the Fellowship.
Fellows in the news:
A number of ALI Fellows have been featured in local news publications, reflecting important achievements and moves. These include:
- Sikonathi Mantshantsha (Class II ALI Media), was recognised as the Sanlam Journalist of the Year 2017;
- Malungelo Zilimbola (Class XI: Tekano), the founder of Mazi Capital, purchased 51% of Macquarie Bank;
- Khumo Shuenyane (Class X: XSeed), has been appointed Chairman of Investec Bank;
- Basani Maluleke (Class IX: Tariro), has been appointed CEO of African Bank;
- Odette van der Haar (Class IX: Tariro), has been appointed CEO of J.W Thompson;
- Terence Sibiya (Class IX: Tariro), has been appointed Managing Executive in Africa, Nedbank;
- Doris Tshepe (Class IX: Tariro), has been appointed to the Prasa Board; and
- Sindi Mabaso-Koyana (Class VIII: Mahube), has been appointed to the Eskom Board.
Unfortunately, we have not achieved our financial goal of securing commitments to make ALI financially sustainable beyond the short term. This has meant that we have not launched the search for Class XII or been able to appoint a permanent full-time Executive Director.
On the upside, we were recently granted S18a tax status and we have commitments from Yellowwoods, Anglo American, Barloworld and a number of ALI Fellows to contribute financially, for which we are enormously grateful.
Sustainability is going to be a very significant area of focus in 2019.
Finally, I would like to extend a huge thanks to Ralph, Ann, Sulu and Chenai for their efforts in 2018 to make ALI more impactful, relevant and significant in our society. I would also like to thank the Aspen Global Leadership Network for their continuing support of ALI and their patience as we navigate our way through difficult financial times.
I’m very much looking forward to sharing 2019 – certainly the highs, but also the lows – with the Fellows. Our combined efforts have already had an extraordinarily positive impact on our world. We all know our work is not yet done, and that we contribute to one another’s strength, courage and motivation as we continue in our efforts.