Preparing Leaders for Changing Times ~ March 2011
LETTER FROM THE FOUNDERS
The past several months have served as a powerful reminder of the importance of leadership on the African continent. The year began with a crisis of leadership in Ivory Coast that remains unresolved, and a referendum that will soon create a newly independent state in South Sudan. In the weeks since, the world has watched Tunisia, Egypt, and Libya struggle to define their future.
Our mission at ALA is as urgent as ever. The 21st century will be won by ethical and entrepreneurial leaders who work together - across ethnic groups, nations, and sectors - to power Africa's prosperity. Witnessing the conversations among young leaders on our campus about the events unfolding in their home countries gives us hope and confidence that the future will be bright indeed.
The events of the past few months have reminded us of the importance of developing leaders who are able to collaborate and operate on the global stage. This week, ALA students and alumni are joining other groups of young leaders from around the world to discuss environmental issues in the Bahamas and health care in the USA. Others are on student exchanges in Boston and San Francisco, or preparing for the TiltShift Symposium in Singapore. Our alumni are being brought to events like the World Economic Forum on Africa and the Skoll Forum. And in the articles below, you will learn about some of the global leaders who have shared their experiences on our campus this term - from a preeminent scientist, to an award-winning central banker, to a leading human rights activist.
And as we grow and develop, we must also find avenues that extend our impact beyond those few young leaders who find a place on our campus. This year, for example, almost 3,000 worthy applicants are competing for only about 100 slots in our fourth class. To help recognize, promote, and encourage positive change throughout the continent, we are thrilled to announce, in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation, the Anzisha Prize: a new award that will celebrate young entrepreneurial leaders who are creating change in their African communities and the continent at large. We hope you will read more about this exciting initiative below, and spread the word!
With gratitude and enthusiasm for the future,
Fred Swaniker, Chris Bradford, Peter Mombaur, and Acha Leke
Founders, African Leadership Academy
|Announcing the Anzisha Prize|
African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation are proud to announce the Anzisha Prize, the premier award for Africa's young entrepreneurial leaders.
This annual Prize - the first of its kind for youth in Africa - seeks to celebrate young innovators, ages 15-20, who have developed and implemented innovative solutions to challenges facing their communities. $70,000 USD in Prize money will be awarded to Prize winners from across Africa, and ALA will collaborate with its vast network of partners across Africa to help identify young leaders whose passion for Africa drives them to design and develop innovative projects that transform their communities and continent.
Anzisha Prize applications are available at www.anzishaprize.org. Both for-profit and non-profit efforts are eligible for the Anzisha Prize, and applicants will be judged on the impact, ingenuity, and scalability of their entrepreneurial efforts. Click here to download the complete press release from African Leadership Academy and The MasterCard Foundation announcing this exciting initiative!
|ALA Students Learn from Global Luminaries|
|The past term saw global leaders in a wide range of fields share their wisdom with the young leaders on our campus:|
Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, dropped in on the Academy. Sanusi, who was on his way to London to receive the 'Global Central Bank Governor of the Year 2011' award
from The Banker magazine, came to ALA to discuss ethical leadership and the responsibility of making hard choices in difficult times. Mr Sanusi has been widely lauded for following through on tough decisions - including jailing corrupt bankers - despite threats to his life. (Read more here)
Thabo Mbeki, former president of South Africa, spent an afternoon at ALA with his Foundation. Five ALA students worked with the Foundation's members on various plans, strategies, and objectives. (Read more here)
Dr Francis Collins, former director of the Human Genome Project, and current head of the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) spoke to our students on issues ranging from ethical science to privacy, scientific rivalries and the need to reach for things just outside your grasp. (Read more here)
Wendy Kopp, founder of Teach for America, spoke at our weekly assembly about the hurdles of a start-up, and about the commitment and expectations needed to make your venture come to life. A powerful role model for our social entrepreneurs, Ms. Kopp reminded us that the 'idea' is the easiest part of bringing a dream to life - it is execution and commitment that make a dream become reality.
Wu Qing, a widely regarded champion of human rights in the People's Democratic Republic of China, paid multiple visits to ALA over the course of a week, leading seminars and workshops. Wu's advocacy of government transparency and citizen involvement found a receptive audience at the Academy.
|ALA Alumni Invited to World Economic|
Forum and Skoll Forum
|ALA alumni are already having a powerful impact across the continent, and their contributions have not gone unrecognized. Three ALA alumni who chose to spend a year hard at work between ALA and university have been invited to share their perspectives at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town and the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship in Oxford.|
Joseph Munyambanza founded COBURWAS, an organization dedicated to improving life in the Kyangwali Refugee Camp in Uganda, as a youth. During his time at ALA, Joseph led an effort to finance construction of a primary school to serve the young people in the camp and a secondary school scholarship program. He has since added other social services aimed at bettering the lives of his refugee community. Joseph has been invited to the World Economic Forum on Africa, to be held in early May in Cape Town.
Julius Shirima founded DARECHA during the summer between his first and second years at ALA, with the goal of stimulating entrepreneurship in his native Tanzania. Julius has taken his summer project and turned it into a full-time venture, helping locals create businesses and jobs at what could be considered the micro-finance level. Julius will also attend the World Economic Forum on Africa.
Tabitha Tongoi has spent the year working for TEDxKibera, and has been invited to the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, at Oxford University, where she will participate in a panel discussion entitled "From Poverty to Prosperity: Engaging the Next Generation." Before ALA, Tabitha started a program that saw over 6,000 textbooks distributed to some of the poorest schools in Kenya. With TEDxKibera she has helped bring a TED conference, with all of its educational benefits and public awareness, to the largest informal settlement in her home country.
|ALA Students Give Bono Hope|
ONE, an organization created by U2 front man Bono, invited ALA to participate in their inaugural African symposium in February. Two ALA students, Edwin Warsanga and Hind Ourahou, spoke at the event and impressed organizers and media alike. Bono singled out Hind's speech in his closing remarks, and the next day, he referred to our students again on local radio, saying, "I think these next generations have big challenges but I think they are up to it. They are taking it (a leading role in defining Africa's future) ... I've never felt so good to feel so useless." The Mail & Guardian called the ALA students the highlight of the event. (Read more here, including full transcripts of Edwin and Hind's speeches)
|Record Number of Applications for Admission|
|With only the South Africa and Zimbabwe application deadlines still pending, ALA has already seen a record number of applications this year. Almost 3,000 young leaders have applied to ALA, including first-time applicants from Madagascar, Sao Tome & Principe, and Libya. Compare this to last year's 2,200 applications, and the inaugural year's 1,700 applications. The deadline for applications from South Africa is May 31, and from Zimbabwe is April 30, 2011. Applications can be downloaded here.|
|ALA Launches Summer Global Scholars Program|
In its effort to offer life-changing leadership development opportunities to more young leaders, ALA is launching the Global Scholars Program this July and August. The Global Scholars Program is a 3-week intensive "summer program" that will bring together a select group of ALA students and other young leaders from across Africa and around the world. Global Scholars will experience ALA's unique programs in leadership and entrepreneurship: they will discover how to transform passion and vision into deliberate action; explore leadership in practice at some of Africa's most impactful social ventures; and lead an initiative designed to help a community in need.
The inaugural session of the GSP will run from July 17 to August 5, 2011. More information, including application forms, can be found here. If you have a child or know of a young leader between the ages of 14 and 18 who would benefit from this leadership development opportunity during their term break, please refer them to this exciting new program!
And should you know someone interested in spending a longer period of time at ALA, we are now accepting applications for our next cohort of gap year and term abroad students! Interested students and parents may learn more at www.alagapyear.org.
|Support Africa's Future|
With your help, African Leadership Academy will continue to develop thousands of leaders for Africa over the next 50 years - and in the process, will change the face of the continent.
As always, there are many ways that you can get involved with our work:
· refer a guest speaker
· offer a young leader an internship
· join or help launch an ALA chapter
· or nominate a student
In any and every way, your support can - and does - make a difference for ALA and the future of Africa.
|...developing the next generation of African leaders|