African Leadership Academy, Developing the Next Generation of African Leaders

Photo: African Leadership Academy

The most efficient way of acquiring any skill or learning how to do something is actually by doing it. It may still sound cliche but the truth is that practice makes perfect.

Naturally, in order to do something extraordinary well and reach a goal, we will make some mistakes along the way. But imagine how more confident you would feel, how many less mistakes you would make, and how faster would you be able to achieve your goal, if you were receiving the guidance from someone who is already at the place you’re going?

Someone who has been in your position before, who knows how you are feeling, who has seen the pitfalls you may find along the way, who sees the great in you which you are not able to, and most importantly someone who genuinely wants to assist you to become everything you were created to be. That’s a leader.

A leader is a servant. It is an individual who uses his influence to create an aura of continuous sustainable growth around him, and the African Leadership Academy is determined to develop them.

It all started in 2004 when Acha Leke, Fred Swaniker, Chris Bradford and Peter Mombaur founded the institution. By 2008 the African Leadership Academy (ALA) officially opened in Johannesburg, South Africa, with an inaugural class of 97 students.

The institution believes in a better future for our continent by identifying, developing and connecting its future leaders. It is a strong evangelist that only investing in addressing the symptoms of poor leadership will not solve the problem, at least not in the long-term.

Africa needs leaders who are not simply acknowledged because of the position they have, but as a result of their outstanding leadership skills.

Photo: African Leadership Academy

ALA’s founding beliefs

Address the Underlying Causes of Problems

The institution believes in the development of strong leaders for every sector. Leaders which can solve problems by dealing with their causes and not merely reduce the impacts they have on people’s lives.

The Power of One

A leader can create massive change and lead a whole new generation to a better future.

The Power of Youth

ALA gives room for young leaders to chase and make their dreams become true, independently of how big they may be. “We need to invest in Africa’s leaders when they are young and dreaming and give them the confidence they need to bring their ideas to the world.– African Leadership Academy

The Need for Pan-African Cooperation

Any progress is usually resultant from a combination of different elements. Therefore there is no progress without union. The ALA strongly believes that a Pan-African approach would boost the continent’s achievements, by promoting collaboration between its leaders.

Entrepreneurship is Fundamental to Growth

One of the greatest abilities of entrepreneurs is to create innovative solutions beyond resourcefulness. Nevertheless for that to happen we need entrepreneurs with a bigger vision, which are able to act locally but with a global vision.    

Photo: African Leadership Academy

ALA’s Programs

Two Year Pre-University Program

A two year pre-university program based on the Cambridge A Levels and ALA’s unique curricula in Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing and Rhetoric. 

Global Scholars Program

A three week, global leadership summer program for teens from around the world.

Catalyst Term

A study abroad experience for secondary students from around the world to develop as social innovators.

Model African Union

A conference designed to provide young enthusiastic leaders with an opportunity to explore the inner workings of the African union.

Anzisha Prize

Africa’s premier award for young entrepreneurs actively running innovative social ventures or for-profit businesses with potential.

Interesting facts about ALA

  • ALA received more than 20,000 applicants since 2008
  • There are 733 young leaders in the ALA network
  • There 45 African countries represented at ALA
  • $23.2M in ALA financial assistance was granted to needy students
  • 94% of ALA students have received financial assistance
  • Last but not least, 20% of the young leaders at ALA are brought by nominations. So if you know a young leader between the ages of 16-19 years, click here to nominate him/her.  

Reference: African Leadership Academy

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