COVID-19 News

Tutu Fellows' COVID-19 responses and initiatives


Tutu Leadership Programme deferred to 2021

The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted the world and has also impacted AFLI. Due to the risk to participants as well as the logistical impact on travel and quarantines, the AFLI COVID-19 Board Subcommittee has decided to postpone the Class of 2020 to 2021. AFLI will also not open the nomination process in October 2020 for 2021, and will continue to monitor the pandemic.


UN pandemic economic policy brief for Namibia

2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo has drafted a United Nations policy brief titled COVID-19: An Emerging Development Challenge, but opportunity for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Namibia. The policy brief examines economic transformation in the context of COVID-19 and analyses how Namibia is currently fairing.


Pursuing herd immunity in data darkness

2006 Tutu Fellow Aidan Eyakuze has raised serious concerns that arise around Tanzania’s strategic approach to the COVID-19 pandemic. Aidan writes that Tanzanians have been allowed to continue moving around and trade with only minimal restrictions like wearing a mask in public - the 'herd immunity' approach. While this is risky in itself, it is being pursued in almost total data darkness as a deliberate strategy by President Magufuli.


Two Nigerian Fellows interviewed about COVID-19 efforts

2018 Tutu Fellow Adebola Williams, the Group CEO of Red Africa was interviewed along with 2015 Tutu Fellow, Wiebe Boer, in a segment by Nigeria Info FM. The interview was also broadcast live on Facebook and a video of the interview is available on that social media platform. In the piece, titled #Covid19Heroes,  they discussed how to sustain the fight against COVID-19 in Nigeria.


Pandemic exposes resilient clefts in society

2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang has written an Op Ed in The Daily Maverick in which he asks whether South Africa will take the opportunity after emerging from the pandemic to prioritise the most vulnerable of society.  The CEO of the Nelson Mandela Foundation says COVID-19 has exposed resilient clefts in society that show that 'black lives don't matter' and which will need to be accounted for in the reconstruction of the political economy post-pandemic.

b2ap3 small AndiswaBata

Field hospital set up by Tutu Fellow in Egypt

Re'ayit Misr emergency ICU field hospital has been set up by Tutu Fellow Ahmed Zahran’s company, KarmSolar, to aid Egypt’s COVID-19 response.  He pulled together a coalition of experts from KarmSolar and it's partners and designed a functional, modular solution for an emergency ICU field hospital. The plans for the hospital have also been made available for free download.

COVID 19 directory website

New Nigerian coronavirus directory website

2018 Tutu Fellow Adebola Williams has launched the Beating Corona website. This comprehensive and accessible directory website details information on what organizations, brands, groups, corporations, and individuals are doing to assist in the fight against Covid-19 in Nigeria.


Fellow analyzes impact of COVID-19 on Egypt

2018 Tutu Fellow Mohammed El Dahshan has written an analysis of the impact of COVID-19 on the Egyptian economy, sector by sector, that has been published in the latest issue of The Africa Report.  In the piece, he also provides recommendations to the state on balancing the short- and long-term response to the economic impact of the pandemic.

PPE donations

Ghana Fellows donate PPEs to healthcare workers

A group of Ghanaian Tutu Fellows banded together to collect and donate personal protective equipment (PPEs) to healthcare workers in Ghana in May 2020 to help them stay safe as they treat patients who may have COVID-19. The group comprised 2019 Tutu Fellow Marcia Ashong; 2014 Tutu Fellow Isaac Fokuo; and 2015 Tutu Fellow Mawuli Dake.

Coronavirus Economic Crash

COVID-19 lays bare the global economic system

Olugbenga Adesida, an AFLI Director and a 2018 Tutu Fellow, Geci Karuri-Sebina, have written a powerful post in which they call for using COVID-19 as an opportunity to shift the global economic paradigm, which is unsustainable. The times are urgent, they say, and the needs globally mutual. It is time to break out of the illusion of the existing box.

UN economic report

Fellow drafts UN report on the economic impact of COVID-19

2008 Tutu Fellow Eunice Ajambo has provided a briefing overview on the main points for Namibia and Southern Africa from the United Nations World Economic Situation and Prospects (WESP) mid-2020 Report. The UN is projecting an economic contraction of 3.2 per cent this year and says it is likely to be the worst recession since the Great Depression.


COVID-19 used as cover to shrink civic space

A piece by 2016 Tutu Fellow Victoria Ibezim-Ohaeri titled COVID-19 and the shrinking civic space in Nigeria has been published in Just Security. Victoria leads Spaces for Change, which has a focus on defending the civic space. Her piece examines how the coronavirus pandemic is being used as a cover to shrink civic in the name of 'national security'.


Fellow's foundation helps feed the vulnerable

2014 Tutu Fellow Sello Hatang mobilised the Nelson Mandela Foundation when it became apparent that South Africa would be facing a massive humanitarian crisis due to COVID-19. Along with The Kolisi Foundation and the Imbumba Foundation, by the end of April his foundation had set up Each One Feed One as an emergency relief vehicle, focusing on food security. He was helped by 2013 Fellow Catherine Constantinides, who was an ambassador for the initiative.

solar power for emergency response centres

Fellow funds solar to power COVID-19 emergency response centres

2015 Tutu Fellow Wiebe Boer’s investment company, All On, has created a $500,000 relief fund for solar power companies to install renewable energy to critical emergency response centres across Nigeria during the Covid-19 crisis.  It is allowing frontline healthcare workers to have essential services they need to combat the virus and care for patients.

coronavirus facts website

New coronavirus website in local languages

2013 Fellow Tomiwa Aladekomo is using his design experience to combat the COVID-19 pandemic on the continent by building a colourful, user-friendly and data-rich website with live updates and critical information about the COVID-19 pandemic. The site uses credible sources only in a variety of local languages as a place to counteract misinformation.

Sangu Delle makes PPE donation

10,000 PPEs donated to Ghana doctors

2019 Tutu Fellow Sangu Delle, who leads Africa Health Holdings, has donated more than 10,000 PPEs and other supplies to the Ghana Association of Doctors in Residence (GADOR).  The donation by Sangu, in conjunction with Rabito Clinic, included N95 masks, protective gowns, gloves and sanitizer. Supplies will be distributed by GADOR to health workers across Ghana.


Fellow interviewed on CNN about impacts on small business

2014 Tutu Fellow Ada Osakwe was interviewed by Richard Quest on CNN regarding the impact of COVID-19 on businesses in Nigeria and how she has been helping her employees. Ada explained how she was prioritising her employees, but that small businesses, which were negatively impacted by social distancing and closures, needed government assistance.

Coronavirus misinformation

Coronavirus conspiracy theories and misinformation

2010 Tutu Fellow Bright Simons explains why conspiracy theories like the debunked 5G narrative, alternative facts, folk science, and fringe beliefs now flood news bulletins and timelines. In his piece for The Africa Report, he unpacks why crackpot information is having a field day - and what to do about it.


Fellow's food company helps the hungry

2013 Tutu Fellow Monica Musonda has mobilised her company, Java Foods, to donate food to those in need as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the impact of which has been catastrophic for the informal sector. Java Foods is a food processing company providing affordable nutrition using locally-acquired raw materials to the Southern African market.

Food bank in a week during COVID-19

Fellow's network creates food bank during COVID-19

2015 Tutu Fellow Mosunmola Cynthia Umoru has drawn on her contacts and network to minimise the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the most vulnerable in her community. She is an agribusiness entrepreneur who - in one week - jointly raised a total of N6,866,800 in cash, and food valued at N750,000 (about $20,000USD).


Sovereign wealth fund to support recovery from pandemic

2019 Tutu Fellow Akim Daouda, the new CEO of Gabon's Sovereign Investment Fund, will oversee all of FGIS' investments and work closely with ministries, leaders, and those in the private sector. He will be leading FGIS at a pivotal moment, as it is positioning itself at the heart of the country’s response and recovery strategy in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

unusual solutions

'Africa Unusual' focuses on practical solutions to the pandemic

The Africa Unusual Working Group is a cohort of professionals working across the African continent who came together to generate and lobby for practical solutions that can help combat COVID-19 within Africa. A great number of its members are Tutu Fellows, truly attesting to the wealth of not only the programme, but also the power of the Fellowship and what it can accomplish for good.


Fellow helps Africa CDC combat disinformation

2017 Tutu Fellow 'Bosun Tijani is using his technology company - Co-Creation Hub - to combat the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic by offering support for tech and communication projects related to the virus. He is partnering with the Africa Centres for Disease Control and Prevention on communication projects using indigenous languages to reach remote areas across Africa.

Zimbabwe Covid-19 Guidelines

Fellow helps draft Zimbabwe's COVID-19 guidelines

Dr Tariro Makadzange, a 2007 Tutu Fellow, has assisted in the development of Zimbabwe's Guidelines for the Management of COVID-19. The document is published by the National Medicine and Therapeutics Policy Advisory Committee of the Zimbabe Ministry of Health and will serve as the national guide and standard for Zimbabwe for managing the pandemic.


Leadership in a pandemic

2010 Tutu Fellow Edwin Macharia has written an article titled Leadership in the time of Covid-19 pandemic for Business Daily Africa. In his post, which was published as the pandemic was beginning to ramp up world wide, the global managing partner of Dalberg Advisors explains that leaders must be intentional in how they exercise influence and responsibility to the demands of this pandemic.

COVID-19 World Map

Lessons for Africa in the COVID-19 pandemic

2017 Tutu Fellow Yap Boum II has written a post titled Coronavirus: Amid the global pandemic, lessons for Africa which was published by the Brookings Institution about the unprecedented pandemic in modern times. Yap is a microbiologist and epidemiologist and the regional representative for Epicenter Africa, the research arm of Doctors Without Borders.