African Issues

Fellows Collaborate to Tackle Extremism in Africa
Fellows of Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism
Fellows Collaborate to Tackle Extremism in Africa
By: Denise Macalino 

Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism session launches new initiative

Eighty years since the first Jewish detainees were murdered in the Dachau Concentration Camp, and the world is still grappling with the question of how the Holocaust was able to happen. In the decades following, the political slogan “Never Again” has rung hollow in societies affected by other 20th century genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia and Rwanda. The questions remain: How can genocide be deterred? Can the lessons from the Holocaust and other genocides serve as a theoretical and practical barrier to the possibility of future generations committing mass atrocities? What can the global community learn from the international application of Holocaust education to help us understand how to prevent violence in the future? What practical role can Holocaust education play in societies still grappling with difficult legacies of mass violence and genocide?

Salzburg Global’s 2016 Session,
Learning from the Past: Promoting Pluralism and Countering Extremism, brought together participants from countries recently troubled and recovering from the effects of mass, targeted violence. South Africans Tali Nates and Richard Freedman and Rwandans Freddy Mutanguha, Mubigalo Aloys Mahwa, left the session with a hopeful answer to tackling extremism through education. Facilitated by Salzburg Global Seminar, they have created this course to counter extremism and promote pluralism by learning from the difficult past through the Holocaust, the genocide in Rwanda, and Apartheid in South Africa.

The aim of this collaboration is to build resistance to violence and help students develop the skills to challenge extremism. Their course is currently being piloted in South Africa and Rwanda, and if evaluated successfully, will be launched in a number of other African countries. Fellows Tali Nates, Richard Freedman, Freddy Mutanguha, and Aloys Mahwa are utilizing connections formed at Salzburg Global to reach audiences beyond South Africa and Rwanda, and to bring their program to scale. Tali Nates, Director of the Johannesburg Holocaust and Genocide Centre, stated that with the help of Salzburg Global, they plan to “bring our experiences to politicians, education policymakers, media, and civil society leaders.” By engaging specialists from multiple sectors, they plan to create lasting, positive impact for students around the continent.

Salzburg Global is able to continue this kind of positive work thanks to our generous donors, who believe in our mission. This collaboration, and further initiatives started at Salzburg Global would not be possible without our partners and funders. We’d like to express our gratitude to the United Stated Holocaust Memorial Museum, Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and the Bosch Foundation, which supported the Fellows mentioned in this article.

Salzburg Global Mourns Loss of “Extraordinary” Young Fellow
Katlego Bagwasi speaking at the session 1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future
Salzburg Global Mourns Loss of “Extraordinary” Young Fellow
By: Tanya Yilmaz, former Salzburg Global Intern 

Katlego Bagwasi, two-time Fellow, passed away following a short illness at the age of 29

When Katlego Bagwasi walked through the gates of Schloss Leopoldskron in 2014, she was determined to make a mark on the world and be part of international dialogue. Although she died all too soon at the age of 29, she certainly left an impression on all those who met her at Salzburg Global Seminar.

As a young child growing up in Botswana, she dreamed of becoming a better person, wanting to give more of herself to the people around her and to her country. She was driven to make any contribution she could to global change.

Katlego’s infectious smile and her unique ability to light up a room is something Salzburg Global Fellows and staff have been remembering after hearing the news of her sudden death on February 12 from a lung infection.

She was a participant in two Salzburg Global sessions in 2014; firstly Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders, which she attended thanks to a scholarship program for Rhodes Scholars, and then later, the joint session with the International Peace Institute on 1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future.

Katlego attributed her interest in international humanitarian law and human rights to the Rwanda Genocide, which she said “was her sole motivation to read law and pursue a career in international criminal justice.” Just eight years old at the time, Katlego grappled with how humanity was capable of such atrocities – and during the Holocaust education session she spoke openly of her experiences.

Marie-Louise Ryback, Program Director of that session, says: “I remember Katlego as being one of the brightest young stars at the session and a truly lovely young woman. With sessions there are always people who make a lasting impression and Katlego was one of them. She loved her work and was so committed to promoting human rights and bringing justice to victims of mass atrocities. It's a great loss for us, for Botswana, and really for the world. I am sure she would have gone on to be a leading figure in the world of international humanitarian law.”

Salzburg Global Senior Program Advisor, and former speechwriter for UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, Edward Mortimer said of Katlego: “She made a tremendous impression on all of us. I really thought she might be one of the great African leaders of the future. What a terrible loss.”

Fellow participant David Howell, professor of religion at Ferrum College in the US, added: “Katlego was in my working group during our week together, and this sad announcement brought to memory her quick smile, hearty laugh, and insightful comments in Salzburg.

“As I read the messages from others in our session, I share in the memories and sense of loss of someone so young and vibrant. But I also experience a sense of gratitude for the gift of spending a week with Katlego, learning from and with her, as well as time spent with each of you.”

When Katlego wrote to the HDH Wills Charitable Trust to thank them for the opportunity to participate in the Salzburg Global program, she said she was “still on a journey of self-discovery.” She added that the week-long trip had helped her to discover that her work at the Special Tribunal for Lebanon at The Hague, where she worked in the Appeals Chamber, “was her small contribution to world peace.”

As a Rhodes Scholar, she was awarded the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford where she gained an MSc in Criminology and Criminal Justice. Before that, she taught Public International Law in the Law Department at the University of Botswana where she was also the Legal Clinic Coordinator. From 2009 to 2010, she was a practicing attorney at Monthe Marumo & Company.

Less than two months after her first session, Katlego was invited to return to Schloss Leopoldskron on the recommendation of Salzburg Global Fellow Ivana Hrdlickova, the President of the UN Special Tribunal for Lebanon. In August 2014, she joined world leaders – many of whom she looked up to – for session 1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future.

And the future was something for which Katlego had no shortage of hope – an attribute that has stayed in the hearts of people she met at Salzburg Global, including President Stephen Salyer who met her in 2014. He said: “What an extraordinary young women she was. It’s tragic to lose one with so many gifts at so young an age.”

Clare Shine, Salzburg Global Vice President and Chief Program Officer, added: “Our Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention team did such a wonderful job in identifying Katlego’s passion and talent. Salzburg Global’s mission is to bring present and future leaders together to solve issues of global concern, and Katlego really demonstrated the transformative power of next generation changemakers. She made a memorable contribution at our joint session with the International Peace Institute, and we even tried to bring her back for further events. What a great loss.”

After Salzburg, Katlego returned to Botswana, continuing her work to make change. She was due to present a panel proposal for the International Network of Genocide Scholars in June.

The last time I spoke to Katlego, after interviewing her when I was an intern at Salzburg Global Seminar, she told me to follow my dreams because she was on a path to achieve hers. She was an inspiration, a trailblazer and, as she hoped, “part of the solution for maintaining world peace.”

She leaves her husband and family in Botswana, as well as many friends worldwide.

Katlego Bagwasi - February 23, 1986 to February 12, 2016


Klaus Mueller, Session Chair, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
“I’m very sorry to hear about her death. I remember her so vividly, and find it hard to imagine that she has gone. What a tremendous loss, so sad.”

Don Markwell, former Warden of Rhodes House
“She was the embodiment of warm and irrepressible enthusiasm, with so much to offer. Of all the delightful Rhodes Scholars of my time as Warden of Rhodes House, she was truly one of the most delightful - her radiant smile and an encouraging word always at the ready. It is so hard to believe, and even harder to accept, that she is gone."

Sebabatso Manoeli, Fellow 1814, 1914, 2014: Lessons from the Past, Visions for the Future
"Always radiating warmth, Katlego left an impression on her peers at Oxford. Her passion ignited hope in many of us. It was delightful spending time with her chatting over meals, studying together at Rhodes House, and going on retreats. I am grateful to have also had the chance to spend a week with her at the Salzburg Global Seminar, where we reflected on how the international system can best meet the needs of this century. Her contributions were valuable in and out of the seminar rooms. Her deep love and loyalty for her family and friends, her ambition and her vibrant spirit will serve as a guiding light to all of us in her absence. She will be sorely missed."

Asya Darbinyan, Fellow, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
“What a tragedy, I can't believe it. She was such a bright and kind young woman. My thoughts are with her family.”

Pinar Dost-Niyego, Fellow, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
“It is unbelievable. She was my first friend from Botswana. I am deeply sorry. I won't forget her big and warm smile.”

Charles Kenge Iruta, Fellow, Holocaust Education and Genocide Prevention: Sharing Experiences Across Borders
“This is really sad news. She was still young with a very promising future. We will hold to the memory of her smiling face. May she rest in peace and God give comfort to her family.”

Louise Hallman, Editor, Salzburg Global Seminar
“I’m often in awe of the Fellows who come to our sessions, especially when they’re younger than me and already so poised and accomplished. Katlego was definitely one of those Fellows. I was honestly looking forward to the day I could brag that I had known her when she was just in her 20s. A great loss indeed.”

Caroline Chibawe - “We Lose a Lot of Women in Zambia”
Caroline Chibawe on a panel during the Session 559 "Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health"Caroline Chibawe speaks on a panel during "Hooked on Health Care"
Caroline Chibawe - “We Lose a Lot of Women in Zambia”
By: Patrick Wilson 

Director for Mother and Child Health at Zambia's Ministry of Community Development discusses maternity and child health issues and her work to counteract them

Maternal health is an issue that affects many women and children in developing countries. Zambia has a population of around 15 million people in a very large country of over 700,000 square kilometers. With few health workers in such a large area, Zambia faces numerous issues when it comes to its support for pregnant women and newborns.

Caroline Chibawe is the director for Mother and Child Health at Zambia’s Ministry of Communication Development in the Zambian capital, Lusaka. In her work, she looks at health prevention and promotion as well as curative and rehabilitation services at a district level.

“I look after maternal health such as antenatal care, family planning and reproductive health. I also cover immunization in children as well as nutrition to make sure children are breast feeding and generally improving new born care,” she explained to Salzburg Global Seminar while attending Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health. Chibawe also addresses primary health care for communicable diseases such as malaria, tuberculous and HIV prevention and treatment.

In Zambia, 591 maternal deaths occur per 100,000 live births. As Chibawe explained, a huge factor in this statistic is the fact that over a third of women in Zambia do not give birth in health facilities.

“There are only about 60% of women that give birth in the health facilities so when problems arise and they have complications it can result in issues and even death,” she said. “We lose a lot of women, and have a high maternal mortality rate in Zambia. The other challenge is we don’t have high family planning prevalence. Mainly it’s due to access; we have very few health workers. We find women have to come and travel long distances to receive family planning services.”

Chibawe has attempted to counteract these issues by focusing on training more health workers and educating community members in health. 

“We train and recruit a lot more. Clinics can face issues when there is too high of a patient load so we work with the community a lot to address this. We have community health workers that come and help the women to find these facilities and encourage them to go on antenatal care.” 

Another technique she implemented is task shifting to lighten the loads on trained health workers. 

“Some of the tasks a doctor or nurse is doing can actually be done from these community health workers, such as weighing babies and writing in the register, so that the trained health workers can have a lot more time and manage the patient better.

“We also use outreach services. We have mobile services to go out in the community and make sure we provide antenatal [care], immunization, treatments, working with the community and reorienting them and gathering them together.”

Chibawe reflected on her time at this session and the learning experiences she can take back to Zambia.

“I’ve had an opportunity to meet very different people.” She said.  “I’ve learnt about housing: ways to improve design and housing. We have a high TB prevalence and it’s mainly due to the way our sanitation and house planning is done. That’s something we can look at in Zambia and try to improve thanks to the experience I have gained here.”

She also felt that she has learnt more about how integration of the business sector could be used to help improve health facilities and general health.

“It’s been interesting to consider how to engage the private sector in order to help us provide health services better. Not only this, but also how to package our intervention and packaging our strategies. If we can approach the business sectors, identifying their problems in regards to health for their employees, we can offer to help them solve their problems and they can help us address these interventions.”

Caroline Chibawe was a participant at the session Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health.The session is part of the Salzburg Global series “Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century” and was held in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Health FoundationMore information on the session can be found here:

William Chilufya - Can We Start to Think of Good Nutrition as a Human Right?
William Chilufya enjoying his first time in the snow at Session 559 Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health.William Chilufya enjoying his first time in the snow at Session 559
William Chilufya - Can We Start to Think of Good Nutrition as a Human Right?
By: Patrick Wilson 

Country coordinator for the Zambian Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance on his broad view of health, addressing social justice and experiencing his first snowfall

Tackling the differences between a focus on health rather than health care has been a major theme throughout the Salzburg Global program Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health. But what has this session brought to individual Fellows who work in areas that aim to improve health?

William Chilufya serves as the country coordinator of the Zambian Civil Society Scaling Up Nutrition Alliance (CSO-SUN) in Lusaka. “We are an advocacy team that is trying to put nutrition on the agenda for Zambia’s development,” he told Salzburg Global during the session.

“We’re looking at health as a whole and in particular trying to look at how to prevent people from needing to go to the hospital. How do we ensure there are fewer sick people in Zambia? We’re also motivated by how our health systems are more curative and focus on health care whilst little work has been done on the determinants of health.”

Chilufya believes that good nutrition is a natural medicine that can be an important way of preventing illnesses and conditions that would require hospital care. He also expressed the impact his attendance at Salzburg Global has had on him personally and what he hoped he could take back to Zambia.

“This session in Salzburg has been great, particularly the way it is trying to foster an understanding of the whole concept of health,” he said. “Many powerful names and figures with many expertise have attended, and speaking to them has been really thought provoking.”

Chilufya found it particularly interesting to learn about the issue of health as a source of social justice. Questions were raised in the session about how can we view health as global justice and how can we view health as a human rights issue. “I think even in our organization we say ‘Let’s invest in nutrition,’ but we really haven’t talked about whether nutrition is a human right – can we start viewing it from this perspective? Maybe that will improve our commitment and make sure we really address the problem.”

He also felt motivated by the overall message of the session. “There’s been a lot of information around health and health services and encouraging us to change focus and say ‘Let’s not only get hooked on health care but let’s also focus on health as a whole.’”

A topic that personally resonated with William was the issue of social protection and preventing those in poverty from becoming ill. “Many people in Zambia live below the poverty line, so what can we do to ensure that these people can have access to health? What can we do so that these people just don’t end up in the health care system and instead prevent them from getting sick in the first place?”

Chilufya reiterated his enjoyment in attending Hooked on Health Care: Designing Strategies for Better Health and expressed his hopes for the other Fellows. “It’s really been a fantastic journey in terms of furthering the understanding of issues related to health. I think I really enjoyed myself and I hope a lot of other colleagues have taken home the best feedback and information to promote change at home.”

It wasn’t just the program William enjoyed - he also had a great time in the snow.

“It’s my first time being in the snow and I’ve been really very excited. I’ve come to Europe several times but I’ve never really experienced snow. I will keep many memories of my time here.”

William Chilufya was a participant at the session Hooked on Health Care: Designing Systems for Better Health.The session is part of the Salzburg Global series “Health and Health Care Innovation in the 21st Century” and was held in collaboration with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Health FoundationMore information on the session can be found here:

Africa's Growth Engine - Partnerships for Rural Enterprise and Impact at Scale
Session 509 report is now available online
Africa's Growth Engine - Partnerships for Rural Enterprise and Impact at Scale
By: Tanya Yilmaz 

Report on Africa's Growth Engine now available

“Africa's Growth Engine: Partnerships for Rural Enterprise & Impact at Scale” report is now available online.

Participants represented 13 countries from four regions of the world and included 28 representatives from government, private sector, civil society, policy and academia. It was the session’s aim to systemically identify innovative and scalable, pro-poor and gender-sensitive ventures and develop a road map for implementation across stakeholders.

The three-day session was co-organized with the International Fund for Agricultural Development, a UN specialized agency and it was this partnership that allowed participants to recognize current trends and key assumptions that are driving renewed interest in private-sector-led development approaches to encourage growth in the region.

You can view the session report here.

The 509 report is also available for download as a PDF:

Download Report

Jacqueline Musiitwa - “How Can the African Lions Get Ahead of the Asians Tigers?”
Jacqueline Musiitwa in the Chinese Room of Schloss Leopoldskron
Jacqueline Musiitwa - “How Can the African Lions Get Ahead of the Asians Tigers?”
By: Alex Jackson 

Founder and managing partner of US-Rwandan law firm speaks to Salzburg Global about the emergence of African economies

Jacqueline Musiitwa is busy checking her phone. The founder and managing partner of Hoja Law Group, a boutique law firm in New York and Kigali, is due to fly to Nigeria after her time at the Salzburg Global Seminar program New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Agreements, and there has been a series of bomb attacks in the country over the past weeks, amongst the deadliest it has ever suffered. Despite this, Nigeria recently became the largest economy on the continent, overtaking South Africa.

Africa rising?

“Could this be the growth of the Africa rising narrative?” is the question everyone wants answered. Certainly, should the international scene take note of the dramatic shifts in the African sphere – from political upheavals, to economic revivals – there should be a psychological boost for investors.

“The question now is: How can the African lions get ahead of the Asians tigers?” says Musiitwa.

“I think it is possible; there are a lot of countries studying and applying the different Asian countries’ models. How do you go from a country that is relatively poor to turning it around? As countries study those models, there is a lot to be learned. The issue has been the “cutting and pasting”. What we have done wrong in the past is that we have cut and paste models too hastily, like the Washington consensus model or the donor model – that is, whoever is giving money has given us a model so cut and paste it. The challenge now is to learn from these global models and combine them in a way that works for the modern African economy. Whether you want to call it ‘African solutions to African problems,’ or whether you want to say a ‘localized solution’ – I think it is definitely time for African leaders to create a model that works for the local environment, culture, weather, language, everything.”

Africa’s international access

Musiitwa suggests that in order to maintain and promote growth across the continent other markets need to be accessed. 

“Everyone loves to hate China; what Chinese industries do is that they get into a market, they study it, the study the people, the language, the culture. So by the time they get to the negotiating table, in some ways they are more educated on your country than you. What does that do? It gives them an advantage when negotiating and it is everything from pricing to demand, and I think that is where cultural knowledge is necessary. I think that Africa being in a pseudo disadvantaged position is in part because there aren’t as many negotiators, and not enough negotiators qualified to negotiate contracts on an international level.” 

International trade might be bringing large returns for Nigeria and South Africa, but as Musiitwa acknowledges, this is not necessarily a route for the continent as a whole. Africa has to redefine and rebrand trade to resonate with countries across the continent and the world. Musiitwa, who has been an advisor to the Rwandan Minister of Justice on investment, trade and infrastructure, sees African businesses as going through a period of flux, both looking inward and outward at expanding market options. 

Local sourcing

Local industries, though mostly informal, contribute significantly to local and regional trade.  “Informal sectors are helping to shape trade because they are satisfying global needs in the sense of the need of everyone collectively in the country. They are coming up with creative ways not only of providing goods and services by mobilizing themselves to rally government for the things they need to make their – broadly put – industry easier to operate,” she explains. 

“Are local arrangements preferred? Yes, in the sense that it is easier to trade within a country; it is easier to trade closer to where you are. But I would say for the past couple of years, there has been a movement by governments to integrate at least in the East African region and the result of that has been increased trade across borders.”

Africa, though performing better than in previous decades, continues to face challenges. African trade is particularly weak internationally, and there is a hard time breaking through a glass ceiling for many nations on the continent. 

“I think there is a lot of frustration. Frustration is at different levels. You are telling us trade is the way to develop but you are not letting us sell our goods to you or you are letting us sell goods with the exception of everything we manufacture. We continue to export raw materials and buy back finished products and thus do not benefit from value addition.”

The value of cultural understanding

Musiitwa believes that cultural understanding is an important frontier which needs to be connected to trade. The language, the way certain words are used, the way certain traditions are upheld all shape the identity of a certain country, and without appreciation of these influences, Musiitwa believes there cannot be a long-term affiliation between different trading partners.

“We focus on the money and the goods rather than the people. The reality is that we need to know who we are working with in order to understand the true value of trade. At the end of the day if you do take advantage, bad things happen. We see that in areas such as the Niger delta where people have lost lives and property has been destroyed. So understanding the human element saves you a lot of trouble in the long run.

Progress is slow in redressing these perceptions of value, however. Africa is largely underrepresented at global forums. The G20 only includes South Africa, and the country is hardly typical of the rest of the continent. Representation and bargaining power is uneven. 

“I think where African countries are finding solace is to have a platform where they can get together with other African countries to say we have that problem too. So now that we all have the same problem, how might we collectively negotiate for what we need?”

What is the solution? 

“Strengthen the African Union,” says Musiitwa.

She wants to see the creation an institution within Africa that would actually address its needs collectively and approach the G20 and WTO with overarching concerns.

“I think now more than ever countries that are not part of the WTO want to be part of the WTO, and I think at a global level being part of the WTO is better than not being a part of it. Countries recognize that. I think where a lot of countries are stuck is now that we are in this system how can we use it to benefit us to improve our trade relations?”

Of course, the international scene is not paying attention to the leaps and bounds of certain African countries, particularly amidst more negative stories, like the #BringBackOurGirls campaign in response to the ongoing kidnapping of hundreds of school girls in northern Nigeria by the rebel group Boko Haram. Yet, the emergence of Nigeria’s economy should be noted as a catalyst of potential change across the continent. If the right investment and the right infrastructure are put in place, it might not be too long before many African countries’ seats at the global trade negotiating tables are all but assured; Africa just needs the boost to think globally, according to Musiitwa.

“From now to maybe 2020, I think that building phase will be an interesting one because from this a lot of the future policies will be drafted. At the moment there is a lot in flux. I think that now power has been made a priority for a lot of governments, I think it gives Africa the potential to start to think globally.”


Jacqueline Musiitwa was a participant at the Salzburg Global program New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Agreements, which was supported by the KDI School of Public Policy and Management. More information on the session can be found here:

This interview was conducted during the session New Dynamics in Global Trade Architecture: WTO, G20 and Regional Agreements (April 30 to May 3, 2014).