I recently learned about the African Leadership Academy and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. Here is a world class secondary boarding school in South Africa that admits exceptionally gifted 16-19 year old Africans. The curriculum emphasizes leadership, African issues and entrepreneurial training. And even better- students are required to contribute to the betterment of Africa after graduating from colleges and universities.
Ghanaian native, Fred Swaniker is the founder and CEO of the African Leadership Academy. He’s a young guy who is clearly passionate about raising Africa’s future’s leaders.
Swaniker was a TEDGlobal 2009 Fellow. Here is how the website described Swaniker:
“Fred Swaniker is passionate about Africa and believes that Africa’s future will be determined by the quality of its future leaders. He has thus devoted the last several years to building an institution that aims to transform Africa by developing its next generation of leaders: African Leadership Academy. Before founding African Leadership Academy, Fred founded Global Leadership Adventures, a leadership development program for youth throughout the world, and also helped launch Mount Pleasant English Medium School, one of the top-performing private elementary schools in Botswana. Fred began his career after college in the Johannesburg office of McKinsey & Company, where he advised management teams of large companies across Africa. Fred has an MBA from Stanford Uni-versity, where he was named an Arjay Miller Scholar, a distinction awarded to the top ten percent of each graduating class. He also holds a BA degree magna cum laude from Macalester College.”
Check out Swaniker’s TED Q & A.
William Kamkwamba is a student at the school and if you haven’t heard William Kamkwamba’s story, you’re probably living under the ground because this Malawian kid has appeared on TED, Current TV and The Daily Show with John Stewart… William, the boy who constructed a windmill out of a hodgepodge collection of “stuff” is definitely a name that you need to be familiar with.
His website shares his current venture to rebuild the primary school he attended, as well as his dream to build more windmills throughout Africa. A gift indeed.
Its Yunus here. Speaking about the importance of innovation and creativity in the new generation of African kids and youth. I think an important ingredient is the centrality of valuing and transmitting our culture to our children and the upcoming generation. The importance of stories, as Adichie Chimamanda would agree, is stories. My recent projects have been producing children stories which are an adaptation of stories that I heard when I was growing in Tanzania.
These are the first two: