Collaboration Across the Nation

The Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship

The Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship is a unique programme. Designed to create leaders who are driven by values it is based on building capacity, capability and strategy, to lead in Africa. Bringing together nominated candidates from across the African States the programme is run by the African Leadership Institute. In partnership with Oxford University the programme identifies and develops Africa’s highest potential young leaders between 30-40 years of age and chosen candidates attend workshops in South Africa, Oxford and London.

Cookery as a teaching tool

One of those workshops takes place on Little Portland Street in the Cookery School kitchens, where cooking is used as a teaching tool.

2023 was a special year. On the day that programme’s future leaders arrived at Cookery School to carry out the cooking exercise the Indian prime minister, Narendra Modi, invited the African Union to take a seat at the table of G20 leaders as a permanent member.

The G20 is the main forum for international economic cooperation. It plays a key role in shaping and strengthening global architecture and governance on all major international economic issues. It was a big day for the African Union.

2023 – the year of collaboration

In light of this news, it seemed fitting that this year, the group of 23 future leaders, for the first time in 18 years of the leadership programme running, decided to work together as a single team. The previous years had always seen teams divide and work in smaller groups. This year was all about collaboration, working together on a cooking task that is not really about the food but about leadership. It required good team work, good communication, values and ethics with some politics thrown in, all while producing an African feast, fit for the global stage.

The day started at the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), down the road from the school. Here the young leaders would meet Rosalind, founder of Cookery School. They were briefed on the day ahead, receiving the rules of the kitchen and boxes of ingredients, largely known but a few not. They were divided into four groups, North, South, East and West African and here, at RIBA, they made the decision to work together as one team.

The collaborative nature of the students was seen from the moment they arrived at Cookery School. They had already spent ten days plus together on previous exercises. This meant that leading figures were obvious, strong communicators organised the group and everyone took on their role, working diligently while checking in on each other at the same time.

Temperatures rising in the kitchen…

It’s not easy when there’s a ‘dictator’ in the room, key things are banned and restricted, timings change, silence is ordered and the stress levels rise. This probably sounds familiar if you work in government or for an organisation made up of many parts with diverse goals and aims, or for a union of 55 states, in the case of Africa, representing all the countries on the African continent.

A feast fit for future leaders

At the end of the day there was cheering and whooping and a rendition of happy birthday for one of the team. They certainly were a team. They faced a number of challenges together across the day, they devised solutions and communicated well, they debriefed and learnt from their experiences. Plus they made a fantastic meal of around twenty different dishes!

Congratulations to the 2023 Archbishop Tutu Leadership fellows.

If you want to work with us to use cookery as a teaching tool or find out more about our team building events then get in touch!

Images courtesy of Bonney Films.