Exploring ALA’s Unique Core Curriculum

Three classes – Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies, and Writing & Rhetoric – form the cornerstone of ALA’s curriculum. This rigorous foundation equips young leaders with the knowledge, skills, and inspiration to become agents of positive change and drive progress across Africa.

African Studies

African Studies is an interdisciplinary course that enables students to think critically about contemporary Africa from multiple perspectives. With a focus on research skills, students will develop a deep understanding of the ways in which Africa can be engaged with and use research tools to understand how the continent is shaping its future. During this course, students will inquire into pivotal moments in Africa’s growth and development, enrich their understanding of Africa’s key voices, explore Africa’s geography, examine the ways in which the world at large has shaped Africa, and critically evaluate how Africans have influenced the world. Along the way, students will sharpen their ability to read critically, inquire effectively, research skillfully, and communicate impactfully.

Writing & Rhetoric

Writing & Rhetoric is based on the core premise that “writing is thinking”. Regardless of their career path, leaders need to be complex, creative, and reflective thinkers and writers. This course aims to sharpen students’ ability to read texts closely and critically. It equips students with the tools to interpret sophisticated ideas, identify premises and develop evidence to make compelling arguments of their own.

With a distinct focus on the process of writing, students will learn the building blocks of effective argumentation, and learn to write with clarity, precision and coherence. Students will explore a multiplicity of voices from around Africa and around the world. In turn, the analyses, discussions, and regular writing practice will drive students to discover and establish their own voice, explore their own identity, and develop empathy. These goals ultimately support their journeys as critical thinkers, well-versed writers, and articulate social changemakers.

Entrepreneurial Leadership             

One of our founding beliefs is that entrepreneurship is fundamental to growth. Africa needs entrepreneurial leaders across all sectors who will throw off the constraints of existing institutions to change the paradigm and create value on the continent. Most entrepreneurs in Africa today are “subsistence” entrepreneurs, with small businesses and meager incomes that allow them to support only their families. To break the cycle of poverty and generate significant growth, however, Africa needs large-scale entrepreneurs

In Entrepreneurial Leadership, students are challenged to develop the mindset, approach, and skills necessary to become transformative entrepreneurial leaders on the continent. The department aims to provide a solid foundation for a lifelong leadership journey so that young leaders achieve their highest potential.


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