ALA Honors Outstanding Graduates at Graduation Ceremony

Each year at ALA’s graduation ceremony, four exceptional graduates are honored with awards for their leadership inside and outside the classroom. These awards celebrate students who have shown outstanding dedication, initiative, and excellence in their academic and extracurricular activities, embodying ALA’s core values.

This year’s awards celebrate:

The Leadership Award

The Leadership Award is awarded to the graduating student in the graduating class whose leadership is a model and inspiration for the students, faculty, and staff in the African Leadership Academy community. For his leadership in the dorms and across campus, this award was given to Tiekoura Ouattara from Cote D’Ivoire.

Tiekoura has demonstrated exceptional leadership and initiative at ALA, gracefully managing spaces and maintaining high accountability. As a resident assistant and student intern, he has shown grounded, solutions-focused leadership, bridging gaps and fostering cooperation among peers. His courage to do what is right, teachable spirit, and reliability make him a standout leader. Tiekoura’s dedication to assisting others and taking responsibility exemplifies the qualities celebrated by this award.


The Sani Prize

The Sani Prize was awarded to a student whose tireless effort, innovative solutions, lofty ideals, and commitment to excellence serves to further the mission, vision, and values of the Academy, in the spirit of Mr. Iliyasu Adinoyi Sani, an African pioneer and member of the inaugural ALA faculty. For his unwavering commitment to environmental initiatives, this award was given to Fabris Mulindi from Uganda.

Fabris’s unwavering commitment to environmental initiatives and innovative solutions at ALA exemplifies the spirit of this award. His groundbreaking work on a generator prototype, water purification systems, and creative approaches to empowering technologies align perfectly with ALA’s mission and values. Fabris’s dedication to serving communities in Uganda and on campus, his passion for climate justice, and his ability to engage others through his love of music and storytelling make him a deserving recipient.


The Spirit of Africa Award

The Spirit of Africa Award is awarded to the graduating student whose infectious passion for the African continent resonates across the Academy community, inspiring each of us to discover and serve Africa and its people. For her enthusiasm and endless passion, this award was given to Djomompinin Aim e Juliana Tuo from Cote D’Ivoire.

Juliana embodies dedication and fervor in everything she does, from her expressive dance and dedication to the ALA Model African Union to her leadership as Chairlady of the Student Government. Her vibrant energy is both infectious and inspiring, making her a true role model.


The Dean Christopher Khaemba Award for Academic Excellence

The Dean Christopher Khaemba Award for Academic Excellence is given to the student who took a wide and rigorous curriculum and whose academic results over two years personify the Academy’s value of Excellence. For his commitment to academic excellence, this award was given to Lesley Machimbidza from Zimbabwe.

Demonstrating an unwavering commitment to ALA’s value of excellence, Lesley has excelled in a wide and rigorous curriculum, mastering A-levels in Physics, Math, and Computer Science over two years. His outstanding academic results embody the highest standards of academic achievement at ALA.


Finally, in recognition of exceptional leadership in service to Africa, the Honorary Diploma in Leadership is conferred upon the Guest of Honor at the ALA Graduation ceremony. This year, for her storytelling, vision, and unwavering passion for the African continent, the honorary diploma is awarded to Danai Gurira.

Congratulations to the four award winners, and to all of our graduates! We cannot wait to see what the future holds.

If you missed it, you can watch the graduation ceremony below.

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