On June 15th, 2023, ALA celebrated the graduation of the Class of 2021, filling the campus with overflowing joy. We bid farewell to these extraordinary young leaders who have left an indelible mark on ALA, guided by the African proverb: “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” Each graduate’s success at ALA symbolized personal growth and an unwavering commitment to collaborative action, community engagement, and the pursuit of positive change in Africa and beyond.
The Class of 2021 is our 14th graduating class, and they will join the ranks of 1,500 alumni making an impact throughout the continent.
The ceremony featured an inspiring speech from Mr. Ebrahim Rasool, a distinguished South African politician and diplomat who served as the South African Ambassador to the United States from 2010 to 2015. Mr. Rasool emphasized the need for strong and ethical leadership in addressing the world and Africa’s challenges, urging our students to take their next steps with impatience and a sense of purpose.
During the ceremony, we bid farewell to Uzo Agyare-Kumi, who served as the Acting Dean at ALA for the past year. Uzo has been an integral part of the ALA community and will be dearly missed. In her graduation speech, she shared nine profound lessons she learned during her remarkable nine-year journey at ALA. Dean Uzo also warmly welcomed the incoming Dean, Derek Smith, to the ALA community, assuring him of her wholehearted support.
ALA’s CEO, Hatim Eltayeb, addressed the challenges that many students will face, encouraging them to seek lessons from across the globe and to confront challenges with bravery and resilience. He concluded his speech with heartfelt emotion, thanking the graduates and expressing gratitude for their golden resilience, promising futures, and the lives they will lead.
Amidst the graduation festivities, we recognized four outstanding students with well-deserved honors: Aamen Muharram (Egypt) received the Dean Christopher Khaemba Award for Academic Excellence, Mukudzeiishe Madzivire (Zimbabwe) was awarded the Leadership Award, Mary Keni Maithya (Kenya) received The Sani Prize, and Tafara Dennis Godo (Zimbabwe) was honored with the Spirit of Africa Award.
The graduation day attendees enjoyed performances by ALApella and ALA’s marimba band. We were also honored to have ALA founders Fred Swaniker and Chris Bradford join us in celebrating this special occasion.
As the Class of 2021 steps into the world as exceptional young leaders, we are confident that they will make a positive impact, and we eagerly look forward to witnessing their future endeavors. Congratulations to the Class of 2021!