The ALA community welcomed 96 young leaders from 32 African countries into the Class of 2014 at a colourful Opening Ceremony on Monday, 15th September 2014. The class of 2014 arrives at ALA with very impressive records of community service, academic achievement, entrepreneurial success and proactive leadership.
The Class of 2014 includes ALA’s first ever students from Angola and Benin, and our second students from Cape Verde, Togo and Somaliland. Of special note is Abdirahim Mohammed from Somaliland who was originally admitted in May 2013 for the Class of 2013, but after much diplomatic difficulty, he finally arrived at the Academy on 1st October 2014.
Other members of the Class of 2014 include Deborah Kalala (Democratic Republic of Congo) who started as a street vendor in the small city of Gombe, Congo and developed a thriving business that evolved into a tuck shop and eventually a chain of stores where she currently employs several women. She aspires to operate a microfinance company to offer financial advice and services to women like her who would like to start their own enterprises. Liston Cosmas (Tanzania) has always had a knack for Science and Technology, and after establishing the Science Club at his previous school, he built a power generator which runs on hydrogen gas, butane and petrol. Estela Naula (Mozambique) is known as “the girl of the paper charcoal” in her country because of the income-generating paper-recycling project that she developed for the 2011 National Science Fair. Through this project, Estela tutors girls in her community, while feeding and clothing orphans and managing her own radio program discussing health and gender equality issues.
The 2014 Opening Ceremony was a very eventful occasion, featuring a welcome by the Chair of the ALA Student Government, an address by a member of faculty, and the country parade during which current students welcomed new students into the ALA community. The day concluded with an inspiring concert by prominent South African singer, Vusi Mahlasela.