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Reimagining South Africa’s Economic Future

July’s ALI Dialogue Series event was a sparkling – and, participants felt, long-overdue – discussion focused on “The Constitution and the Economy: Renewing and Implementing the Social Compact.” In heartfelt comments both from the panellists and the floor, participants from all walks of life – economists and businesspeople, social justice advocates and media people, researchers...

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Joshin Raghubar (Class IV: Kalipha), announced as a 2019 Laureate for the John P. McNulty Prize

The McNulty Foundation, in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, has announced the 2019 Laureates for the 12th annual John P. McNulty Prize. ALI Fellow Joshin Raghubar (Class IV: Kalipha) has been recognised as a remarkable tech and social entrepreneur, using his “expertise, experience and networks to build and lead transformative social impact ventures” in South Africa. According to the Mc...

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The Road Home by Dele Olojede

About three years ago, at the end of my several years as a ‘wandering Jew, I started thinking about hosting an ideas festival for the African world. My extended period of dabbling, following the winding up of NEXT in Nigeria, was coming to an end, it seemed clear to me, as my mind reset itself. In retrospect, the direction I have now embarked upon should have seemed obvious; I was going to fin...

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On Being Wrong and a New Language by Luke Jordan

Four years ago, I started an organisation called Grassroot. I had been living in China and India for almost a decade before coming home. During my time abroad, I was inspired by how collaborative efforts can bring about a significant change in a community. In India, the Self-Employed Women’s Association (SEWA) had organised millions of women from poverty-stricken societies to do everything, fro...

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Toyosi Ogunseye (ALI Media Fellow: Class 2) Has Been Elected Vice-President of the World Editors Forum

Media freedom is under attack across the world, and the World Editors Forum (WEF) – the leading global network for print and digital editors – is a critical defender of both press freedom and editorial excellence. This month, ALI-WA member and head of BBC West Africa, Toyisi Ogunseye, was elected vice-president of the WEF. The new president, Warren Fernandez, is editor of the Straits Times a...

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Basani Maluleke (Class IX Tariro) Appears on the Cover of Forbes Africa

“Three bankers who are shaping how banking will look in the next five years,”reads an article in the latest issue of the Forbes Africa magazine. “One runs the new kid on the block; the other a bank that has risen from the ashes; the third is spearheading a traditional bank’s transformation in 11 African countries. A glimpse into the future of banking…” The banker who is running th...

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To Be Young, Gifted and Blank – By Raymond Ledwaba, YALI Fellow (Nomvula Class)

In 1969, the high priestess of soul music, Nina Simone, released a song intended to “make black children all over the world feel good about themselves, forever.” She titled this song “To Be Young, Gifted and Black”. The queen of soul music, Aretha Franklin, covered the song and took it to a whole new level in 1973 when she won a Grammy for it. To be Young, Gifted and Black became an a...

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The silver lining to the Eskom crisis

Prof Eberhard chairs the presidential task team mandated to resolve Eskom’s financial and technical woes. He is a power man through and through; he directs the Power Futures Lab at the University of Cape Town’s Graduate School of Business; was the founding Director of the Energy and Development Research Centre; and has put in a lifetime’s work in the energy sector across the developing worl...

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Zanele Mthembu (Class IX, Tariro) to head Newzroom Afrika’s newsroom

Television, film production and broadcasting executive Zanele Mthembu is one of a trio of top media people appointed to head South Africa’s new 24-hour news channel, Newzroom Afrika. It broadcasts on DStv channel 405, replacing the former Gupta-owned ANN7, which was taken off air last year. The channel launched just before the national election earlier this month after a competitive bidding pro...

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Busani Ngcaweni (Class X, XSeed) to head presidential advisory unit

President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the reinstatement of an advisory unit, known as Policy and Research Services, in the Office of the Presidency. Fellow Busani Ngcaweni, a long-standing veteran of the Office of the Presidency, is to take up the critical lead role. The unit is tasked with giving the President clear oversight of the way economic and investment policies are implemented. Its man...

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Eskom, electrified engagements and values-based leadership, by Katlego Tlale

A single topic that you will likely hear spoken about in newsrooms, boardrooms, bedrooms and within political circles is the future of Eskom. Among the largest power utilities globally, Eskom’s risk to the broader South African economy cannot be overstated. The challenges facing the power utility, and possible solutions, was the topic of discussion at the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) Publ...

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Refilwe Moloto (Class XI: Tekano) joins CapeTalk

You may know her as the weekly finance and business contributor to the Afternoon Drive with John Maytham Show, or from her various stand-ins on other programmes, including Breakfast and The Money Show. Now she is joining talk radio station Cape Talk permanently as the voice behind their new daytime show, Upfront with Refilwe Moloto, on weekdays from 9am till 12 noon. The blurb on Cape Talk’s we...

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Réjane Woodroffe (Class VII – Dinatla) wins 2019 British Council Social Impact Award

RéjaneWoodroffe, member of the ALI Board and founder of Bulungula Incubator, has been presented with the British Council’s 2019 Social Impact Award. The British Council award series has a dual function: to celebrate Britain’s own tertiary education institutions (Réjanehas an MSc in Development Economics from the University of Sussex), and, importantly, to celebrate the impact of the best of...

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Nicola Galombik (Class III, Seriti) wins Skoll Award

Nicola Galombik and her colleague in Harambee Youth Accelerator, Maryana Iskander, have won the coveted 2019 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship These Skoll awards are made annually to a group of nominated leaders whose  organisations disrupt the status quo, transforming the social landscape and driving large-scale sustainable change. Importantly, the awards are not given as much for what ha...

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Isaac Shongwe honoured with SAPSA Lifetime Achievement Award

Isaac Shongwe, co-founder of the African Leadership Initiative (ALI), was honoured last month with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the South African Professional Services Awards(SAPSA). Explaining the objective of this awards initiative, Sipho Mncwabe, Regional General Manager of the Sanlam Gauteng Region, highlighted that it gives visibility to disciplines that are desperately needed in this cou...

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Dialogue with Khanyisile Kweyama

From SAA to the SABC, from Transnet to Eskom, state-owned enterprises (SOEs) are in a crumbling crisis of mismanagement. Instead of being the solid scaffold on which society rests, their combined failures and frailties are shattering confidence, and ruining South Africa’s reputational capital. What can and should interested and concerned people do about it? At one of ALI’s regular dialogues, ...

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Hugh Whalan and PEG Africa raise $25m to accelerate off-grid solar expansion in West Africa

PEG has completed a US$25m Series C round from existing and new investors to take its total raised to date to US$50m. PEG will use this latest round of investment to cement its position as a market leader in West Africa, where it already has operations in Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire and Senegal. US$20m of this round is in debt, with CDC Group, the UK’s development finance institution, arranging a $1...

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Letter: Roger Dickinson encouraging people to help in anyway they can

As many are aware, over 2 million people have now been affected by Cyclone Idai and its aftermath in Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe. As part of the response to this crisis, ALI Fellow, Roger Dickinson is part of a coordinating team looking to work with stakeholders to respond appropriately and with a medium to long term view. We are currently working with the South African Council of Churches, H...

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Delivery, Integrity and Leadership in South Africa’s SOE’s with Khanyisile Kwenyama

The Africa Leadership Initiative is excited to announce that Chairperson of the Board of Control at Passenger Rail Agency of South Africa (PRASA), Khanyisile Kweyama, will be joining us for our next dialogue on the 18thof March 2019. The topic of discussion will be: Delivery, Integrity and Leadership in South Africa’s SOE’s. During President Cyril Ramaphosa’s 2019 State of the Nation Addr...

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Bongiwe Mlangeni at the forefront of Caster Semenya’s fight back with the IAAF

Had it not been for a behind-the-scenes initiative of two like-minded women, Caster Semenya would not have had the financial muscle to challenge the International Association of Athletics Federations IAAF. Semenya’s legal representative Greg Nott has praised Bongiwe Mlangeni and Gloria Serobe for heeding the call to help raise funds from scratch to take the fight to the IAAF over their proposed...

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Lumkile Mondi: ANC’s macroeconomic policy confusion at the heart of the Eskom crisis

  First Gear, then Asgisa, followed by a leftward shift took state-owned enterprises into the hands of rent-seekers On Wednesday on these pages fellow columnist John Dludlu argued that breaking Eskom into three subsidiaries will not resolve its fundamental problems, the primary one being a lack of leadership. Allow me to expand on that and add to his list. Eskom’s problems are rooted in th...

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Raymond Ndlovu of Class VIII Mahube : From stockbroker to wine producer

From finance to a fun winemaking experience, the allure of winemaking was enough to send stockbrokers Raymond Ndlovu and Kevin Swart to Franschhoek to start their own winemaking business. In this extract from Colour of Wine: Tasting Change, Ndlovu explains how his business accumen helped him grow their business. The wine business is fascinating. You meet a diverse range of people from all walks o...

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10 years of values-based leadership  by Rorisang Tshabalala

10 years ago I established Chapter One Innovation, a business model research and development firm with the vision of being the platform off which market-winners, industry-leaders and world-changers are launched. Our vision is pursued by building and launching high-impact, listable organisational systems at scale and helping others to do the same. On the occasion of our 10th-year anniversary celeb...

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TEACH SA thrives in tackling poor education one subject at a time

Founded in 2009 by ALI alumni Dr’s Futhi Mtoba and Mothomang Diaho, TEACH SA was birthed with the objective of tackling the challenge of teacher shortages and the need for quality education in South Africa. The initiative comprises of young, talented graduates who are recruited and trained to become great ambassadors in the field of teaching – a healthy indicator for the future of educati...

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The establishment of an Advisory Council and an Integrity Committee

ALI’s Board has for some time felt the need to appoint an Advisory Council –   a council of elders in a way, consisting of Fellows who have been actively engaged in the Fellowship for more than 10 years, or who have previously been on the Board. The intention is that this Council would play a support role to the Board’s activities, reflecting the diversity of the Fellowship and being ...

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Kone Gugushe has landed a prestigious new position

Our ALI Fellow, Konehali Gugushe, has recently been promoted to Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Land Bank and we couldn’t be prouder of the African woman power she’s exuding right now. Gugushe is part of the Fellow Class X: XSeed. Having been at Land Bank for almost four years, this soar up the corporate ladder was clearly just a matter of time. Previously, she was the Chief Risk Officer r...

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Bringing pages of African history and heritage to children

ALI Fellow, Historian and Professor, Naledi Nomalanga Mkhize, has written her first children’s book which details the journey of Africa from the beginning of its rich history. Mkhize, a community development practitioner history professor at Nelson Mandela University also currently holds the Sam Moyo Postdoctoral Fellowship at Rhodes University. Her current research is in Eastern Cape historiog...

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Grathel Motau is ALI’s newest Board member

ALI sends out a huge welcome to its newest Board member, Grathel Motau. She is an ALI Fellow of the tenth class of the initiative and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Currently, Motau is an independent non-executive director of various boards including Metair Investments Limited, Afrocentric Investment Limited and Merafe Resources Limited. She also serves as a non-executive credit...

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The best of 2018 at ALI

13 December 2018
The best of 2018 at ALI

The inaugural Africa Impact Forum was a great success. Modelled on the Resnick Aspen Action Forum but designed specifically for the African context, the ALI Africa Impact Forum was initiated by the leadership of the Africa Leadership Initiative. This event brought together Fellows from ALI South Africa, ALI West Africa, ALI East Africa, ALI Mozambique, ALI Media, and the Young Africa Leadersh...

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I’m comfortable being told to get out of the way, says Trevor Manuel

“Society is a partnership between those who are living, those who have passed, and those who are to be born.” – Edmund Burke. “There’s a continuum of responsibility,” says Trevor Manuel. Our political life, Manuel reflects, has failed to acknowledge this. In the post-democracy era, we have twice taken steps to maintain the aged cohort of leadership. The first time, of necessity, was ...

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Letter from the Chairman: Adrian Enthoven

Dear Fellows, 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 o...

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Education in our sight

13 December 2018
Education in our sight

Famously, Nelson Mandela said: “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” ALI Fellows are taking that seriously. The Institute of Race Relations (IRR) analysis of South Africa’s education statistics makes for heartbreaking reading. Only 33% of matric candidates got 40% or higher for maths. Fewer than 30% of schools have a library; and fewer than 20% of go...

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Best of Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa

Best of Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa  Africa Leadership Initiative West Africa (ALIWA) was birthed out of the Africa Leadership Initiative. The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI), which was launched in 2002, was born out of realization that the best hope for Africa’s future lies in the investment in effective and enlightened leaders. Below are some highlights on what some of our AL...

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Interview with Boniswa Mzimba (Powerhouse Development Services)

Class XI: Tekano Fellow, Advocate Boniswa Mzimba, talks about Powerhouse Development Services, an organisation that she formed to provide widow empowerment and wellness programmes. The challenges she faced following the loss of her husband 16 years ago, gave birth to this organisation, which has been educating widows about their rights. “To me, it was very important that I become their Public P...

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Roger Dickinson: Life as an independent social entrepreneur

ALI Fellow, Roger Dickinson from Class II: Kilimanjaro opens up about his life as an independent social entrepreneur, social change facilitator and transformative scenario planner. He lets us in on how being a Fellow has opened up his perspectives on social issues and how it has been a driving force in his work, which focusses on social change initiatives around transforming primary education; re...

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History owes you nothing – Interview with Logan Wort

“History owes you nothing,” says ALI Fellow, Logan Wort. Click here to watch the full interview where he discusses his life experiences detailing his background as a young activist and his various encounters during the struggle days. Having been engaged all his life in the struggle for liberation movement, he believes today that all who were invested in the struggle are somewhat prisoners ...

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ALI Fellows propose a win-win for beleaguered municipalities

Earlier this year several reports and articles published presented a very bleak picture of most South African municipalities. These illustrated that our municipalities are in shambles and in a disastrous financial position.  No fewer than 55 municipalities have been identified as distressed or dysfunctional. These hard facts were shared by Zweli Mkhize, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Tr...

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Class XSeed Reunion

27 September 2018
Class XSeed Reunion

Written by Cecily Carmona. The XSeed class met from 6 to 8 September in Magaliesburg, Gauteng and was moderated by the wonderful Tsakani and well attended by our class. We spent a wonderful two days catching up on personal, professional and political issues close to all of our hearts. The readings, selected by Tsakani, served as an excellent catalyst to stimulating discussions. Time flew by as we...

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Heritage Month: A Sense of Belonging

Opinion piece by Kayan Leung (YALI Nomvula Fellow) As September 24thcomes around, we celebrate a day and month, which remembers the cultural heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa,aimed at promoting unification and social cohesion. We’ve all heard it before, the ‘rainbow nation’ we are so proud to be a part of with its diverse, cultural melting pot and gen...

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Tekano Fellow Hugh Whalan shares insight on Ghana’s investment in solar power

In a CNN interview, Tekano Fellow, Hugh Whalan shared insight on Ghana’s investment in solar power and the availability of mobile money services which has helped off-grid rural societies. While 80% of Ghana is powered up, the rural outlying areas do not have regular access to electricity. Government is aiming to electrify 90% of the country by 2020 having invested a substantial amount in t...

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ALI Fellows demonstrate their leadership through Antigone

Every ALI class gets the opportunity to perform the Antigone play by Sophocles, and the recent group was no different.  Last month, ALI Fellows took to the stage to act in Antigone, a play where the theoretical essence is the conflict between individual conscience and the power of the state. The story is full of issues regarding leadership and the conflict surrounding this. Since its inception,...

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Inaugural Selizwe Conference 2018

Founded by Dr. Percy Malixole Mahlathi, Selizwe Leadership Academy will be hosting a symposium to introduce the idea of alumni investing in their Alma Mater on a collective basis by showcasing live examples of what alumni are experiencing in the Colosa Senior Secondary School situation; a focus on alumni role in nurturing a rural school. Alumni Activism: An Untapped Resource for Nurturing Scho...

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ALI Media Fellow, Phathiswa Magopeni, steps into top spot at SABC

2018 has been a magnificent year for ALI Media Fellow Phathiswa Magopeni. Her career reached a new high when she was recently appointed as Group Executive: News & Current Affairs at the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC). With the SABC’s commitment to attracting and retaining the best skills to address the evolving broadcasting environment enabled by technology, Magopeni was the ...

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Dr. Nobs Mwanda’s COPESSA tackles gender based violence

Gender Based Violence (GBV) in South Africa – Community-based Prevention and Empowerment Strategies in South Africa (COPESSA) Paradigm In his foreword to the 2002 World Health Organisation (WHO) Report on Violence and Health, Nelson Mandela wrote: “The twentieth century will be remembered as a century marked with violence. It burdens us with its legacy of mass destruction, of violence inflict...

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ALI helps paint the rainbow nation

To some, the rainbow nation may be as elusive as unicorns, but for South Africans who have known, and still know struggle, it’s the very reason we embrace and live the country’s democratic values everyday. ALI Fellows are part of this patriotic nation who observe and celebrate Heritage Month (September) for the monumental national milestone that it is. During September (and throughout the yea...

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#WomensMonth podcast sessions with women of ALI

In honour of extraordinary women change agents in our society, we will be sharing podcast sessions with some of our women Fellows where we will delve into conversations to know them better and find out what they have been up to. Do not miss out! #WomenOnTop #WomensMonth #LetIntegrityLead. Dr Mothomang Diaho To kick off our #WomenOnTop podcast series for Women’s Month, we had the honour of havi...

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ALI celebrates social justice change agents across the globe

“There must exist a paradigm, a practical model for social change that includes an understanding of ways to transform consciousness that are linked to efforts to transform structures.” Bell Hooks – Author, feminist, and social activist. Many women across the globe, like Bell Hooks have stood, and still stand up for social justice issues that need urgent conversation and action. All ALI...

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ALI Fellow is a powerhouse of support for widows

Founder of Power House Development Services (PDS) and African Leadership Initiative (ALI) Fellow Advocate Boniswa Mzimba, is creating a new reality for widows all over South Africa. Widowed 16 years ago and following years of ad hoc work in support of vulnerable women, she formalised this passion by establishing PDS in 2015, an organisation which provides widow wellness, widow empowerment and med...

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COPESSA launches Protea Glen Youth Imbizo’s

An initiative by Class IV:Khalipa Fellow, Dr Nobs Mwanda, CEO of COPESSA (Community-based Prevention & Empowerment Strategies – SA) ‘And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.’ Anais Nin When the youth of 1976 took on the education system of the time, I don’t know if they knew the depth of what their sacrifice would mean...

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The possibilities of investing in highly talented unemployed young people

Opinion piece by Andrew Levy (YALI Mbewu Fellow) Youth unemployment has become the latest South African buzzwords. Everyone is speaking about it. Everyone is also trying to create their own incubator, solution or PR campaign and lining up their unspent skills development money and CSI funding to train unemployed youth. On paper this sounds like a fantastic idea and, while there is a lot of value...

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