Five participants of the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme will be featured on a new Al Jazeera English series titled Tutu’s Children which is designed to develop the young African leaders to become a ‘moral task force’ and tackle Africa’s major issues.

The special documentary which will begin on January 10th 2013, and transmit for four weeks, will see the featured leaders followed in their home cities as well as during the coaching, over a period of seven months, with filming in Tunis, Cape Town, Kigali, Johannesburg, London and Oxford, where Tutu’s fellowship is run in conjunction with Oxford University.

Among the featured participants are Marc van Olst, a 36 year old South African scientist turned investor. While in partnership with McKinsey, he invented a patented mining device before leaving to become a private investor and business consultant to small businesses with societal impact.

Dr. Zied Mhirsi, 34, is the founder of Tunisia’s first English news website, Tunisia Live, where he leads a team of young journalists. The medically-trained radio show host, has also worked in Tunisia to treat Africa’s biggest public health problems and taboos.

“We are here to establish a new style of leadership, not more dictatorship,” says the Tunisia revolution protester.

From Cote d’Ivoire is Swaady M. Martin-Leke, a child refugee, survivor of two violent coups, and CEO of YSWARA, a luxury tea company.

She’s pushing for African women to take what she believes are their rightful positions in a man’s world. So much so, that she controversially only employs females, and buys from females.

The 33 year old is one of General Electric’s first female African corporate heads.

Lydie Hakizimana, a 30 year old publishing entrepreneur from Rwanda, whom Ventures Africa featured in August, is in the business of restoring hope to her war-torn country through books and publications.

Her company currently helps spread English literacy in schools by representing UK publisher Pearson in Rwanda.

Completing the pack is Ndumiso Luthuli. The 36 year old first-hand witness to the anti-Apartheid struggle for black emancipation, has made it from the volatile townships of Johannesburg to the colleges of Oxford, then to his own law firm, and now plays a leading role in South African business.

Commenting on the series, Al Jazeera director of programmes Paul Eedle said: “Tutu’s Children offers a rare chance to witness a turning point in the lives of those who may one day change the course of Africa’s history. The travails of our fantastic onscreen characters will entertain and will also give our viewers a strong glimpse into the big issues affecting Africa.”

In October, Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu won the “one-off’’ Extraordinary award of Mo Ibrahim Foundation which is accompanied by a $1 million grant.

The Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellowship Programme attempts to build a new network of African leaders who are together committed to tackling their countries’ most stubborn problems.


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