Seeking Authors: Creatives, Artisans, Shapers and Doers

“In a disparate world, children are a unifying force capable of bringing us all together in support of a common ethic.” Graça Machel

Proclamations around the provision and enhancement of education around the world have long been part of the development narrative. Our children will always represent our future. Their education remains one of the most important investments we can make.

Today, those in the know are questioning the way we have educated our youth in the past. The consensus resoundingly declares that we can do better, especially in anticipation of 21st century challenges and opportunities. Flipping through the history books we have come to learn that the road to a meaningful life and career does not follow the same pattern. A one-size fits all approach to education will not enable all of our youth to flourish. How can we do better?

Today is a new day in education on the African continent. Our countries have an opportunity to learn from educational models that have evolved and matured over centuries. By taking those lessons and developing our own culturally relevant educational models, we have an opportunity to lay a strong foundation for our youth.

Our mission at African Leadership Academy is to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting its future leaders. A new generation of ethical, committed leaders is the key to Africa’s development, and ALA seeks to become the training ground for these future leaders. Our vision is to develop 6,000 leaders over the coming 50 years. Students in our network will complete an interdisciplinary curriculum with an emphasis on Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing and Rhetoric.

Each year we seek to identify high potential youth aged 16 to 19 from across the continent. The Academy has a diverse student body that represents the best of the African continent.

Seeking Authors: Creatives, Artisans, Shapers and Doers

Our collective learning since we started recruiting students in 2007 has revealed that academic performance is a limiting measure of potential. We have enrolled young people who have proven to be exceptional in their ability to rally support for a cause, implement a business idea, represent their countries on a global forum or express themselves through the arts. These young people are self-directed, and driven. We have not discounted those that are exceptional at writing tests, but we have come to learn that test taking is only one measure of potential.

A common thread among these exceptional young people is a desire to author their own learning and development. Every day we see the power of authorship in our students and alumni as they navigate their leadership journeys.

Most of us will have a hand in the education of a child at some point in our lives and we have a responsibility to invest what we can in their development. In some instances, the provision of any educational opportunity is enough. In all cases, we must encourage our youth to pursue areas they are curious about and let them author their own journeys where possible. Our institutions are starting to understand the importance of student driven learning, where an educator acts as a facilitator.

We are all authors in our own right, let us ensure that we all rally in ensuring that our youth can take up their pens and write their own stories.

The application window for African Leadership Academy’s two year program is open. Email us at to connect with the Admissions team!


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