Africa has the fastest growing and most youthful population in the world.

By 2050, it will have a larger workforce than China and India combined.

What will it take to unlock this immense human potential?

Africa’s greatest need is ethical, entrepreneurial, and transformative leadership.

By 2050, the demand for jobs, dignified livelihoods, functional infrastructure, meaningful healthcare, and reliable agriculture will soar for approximately one billion Africans.

Meeting these needs and achieving system-wide transformations will necessitate a significant shift in the quality and caliber of leadership.

Leadership remains the greatest lever for the transformation of human systems and societies.

By developing talented youth into great leaders for the continent, African Leadership Academy is a vital part of Africa’s transformation


African Leadership Academy seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of young leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory.

Our Founding Beliefs


Address the Underlying Causes of Problems


The Power of One


The Power of Youth


The Need for Pan-African Cooperation


Entrepreneurship is fundamental to growth

Treat root causes, not symptoms, to create lasting positive change.

Ngor Majak Anyieth ’11 from South Sudan is the Founder and President of Education Bridge, a non-profit organization building a network of schools to foster peacebuilding and leadership development in South Sudan. In 2017, Majak became the first ALA alumnus to receive the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship, awarded to the most promising social entrepreneurs across the world.

Individuals catalyze the actions of large groups and transform societies.

Eddie Ndopu ’08 (South Africa) is an award-winning activist, humanitarian, and public intellectual. Born with a degenerative medical condition, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Eddie has overcome personal challenges to become a global advocate for people living with disabilities. Eddie holds a Master’s in Public Policy from Oxford University and is one of the United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Advocates for the Sustainable Development Goals.

Young people can dream big, take action, and change the world.

Tiassa Mutunkei ’18 is a Kenyan conservation activist, and founder of Teens4Wildlife, an advocacy and mentorship platform campaigning against poaching and illegal wildlife trade. Since launching her campaign, Tiassa, also known as the Wildlife Warrior, has made it her life’s mission to be a part of the generation that prevents our animals from going into extinction.

Collaboration will stimulate growth and development across the continent.

Jesse Forrester ’17 from Kenya and Wuntia Gomda ’17 from Ghana designed The Living Machine, a wastewater treatment system which has the capacity to clean 300,000 litres of water annually. This design won the first prize in the Global High Schools Category (Sub-Saharan Africa) at the 2019 Zayed Sustainability Prize. The Living Machine was constructed at African Leadership Academy in December 2019.

Look beyond existing constraints and pursue opportunities to create value.

Rima Tahini ’10 (Sierra Leone) is Director of Artists & Repertoire at Mavin Global, and Senior Advisor at Kupanda Capital. Combining a career in Finance with a passion for entertainment and lifestyle, Rima is uniquely positioned to lead the transformation of Africa’s arts and entertainment industry by identifying, grooming and managing pan-African musical talent through one of Africa’s leading entertainment companies.

Leadership Development Model

African Leadership Academy enables lasting peace and shared prosperity by identifying, developing and connecting Africa’s future leaders.


We comb Africa for youth who show the spark of initiative; who see what can be and strive to make it so.


In our 2-year residential model, leadership is learned through practice, built on a foundation of academic rigor.


Young leaders are guided by a powerful network along their path to transformative impact in Africa.

Our Impact

Our growing network of students & alumni are demonstrating transformative impact, with ambitious plans for Africa and beyond.

1,537 young people

from 46 different African countries have enrolled in our two-year program

78% ALA graduates

actively engaged in work or projects across Africa

$190 million

in university scholarships funding accepted by ALA graduates


Gender distribution in our student body

Explore our alumni and their impact



Chris Bradford and Fred Swaniker meet at Stanford Graduate School of Business and begin building out the initial ALA business plan in a course called Evaluating Entrepreneurial Opportunities.

In September 2004, Chris, Fred, and co-founders Acha Leke and Peter Mombaur begin planning The Summer Academy in Cape Town.

Chris and Fred launched the Summer Academy in Cape Town to pilot ALA’s innovative curriculum with 70 students from 13 countries.

Chris and Fred were named Echoing Green Fellows as two of the “leading emerging social entrepreneurs in the world.”

Founders sign the lease to the ALA campus. The first Dean of the Academy is hired, and the Admissions Team begins recruitment of the inaugural class

Ninety-seven students from 29 different African countries started their ALA journey as the Academy’s inaugural class.

ALA holds its Grand Opening Event, featuring Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Hugh Masekela.

First class of ALA students graduates, 3 of them named among the top ten best in the world on their Cambridge International A-Level Exams.

ALA hosts the first Global Scholars Program, our outstanding three-week summer program for youth from across the world.

Launch of Africa Careers Network to connect graduates to high-impact career opportunities across Africa.

ALA hosts the Winchester International Symposium, hosting leading schools from ten countries on five continents to discuss global poverty.

ALA’s first ever ‘Do Something Cool’, where the whole community spends two days showcasing their creative talents by exhibiting individual and joint projects and learning new skills.

Opening of the Nelson Mandela Residence, expanding our student body by more than 45% and accommodating more teachers on campus.

ALA enrolls its largest class ever, with 132 students in our incoming class of 2016.

Opening of the Pardee Learning Commons, ALA’s state-of-the-art facility for teaching and learning.

ALA celebrates its 10th anniversary and launches the ALA Decennial Strategic Plan, focused on winning in the marketplace, investing in learning and innovation, and unleashing the school’s alumni network.

ALA students Jesse Forrester and Wuntia Gomda won the Zayed Sustainability Prize for Global High Schools, sub-Saharan Africa for their project, The Living Machine.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdowns, ALA launched the Global Summer Short Courses Program, where our students remotely tutored their peers in other schools across the continent. 

Fifty-two students worked together to lead the first virtual conference in ALA’s Model African Union History. The conference brought together 250 delegates from across the continent to discuss the theme “An Africa United: Fostering Resilience Post COVID-19”.

ALA opens a newly renovated auditorium, expanding seating to fit 400 people and incorporating state-of-the-art audio-visual equipment.

ALA hosted its Decennial Model African Union conference themed ‘An Inclusive Africa: A Future for All’.

Who we are

Together our board, leadership, staff and partners are developing the next generation of entrepreneurial and ethical leaders.