In the spirit of ALA’s commitment to developing the next generation of African leaders, it has been particularly exciting to host the 200 young leaders from all over the continent taking part in the Leaders: Africa program of The Obama Foundation. We’d like to congratulate all 200 of the leaders selected for this program, and wish them every success as they begin to leverage this new network to accelerate their work.
Having served as a home to nearly 1000 young African leaders who have studied and lived at African Leadership Academy, the ALA campus is creates an immediate feeling of hospitality, warmth, safety and a celebration of African identity. Over these past five days, the mantra “Learn where leaders learn” has come to life in many ways, with the Obama Leaders gaining much more than a conference venue during the convening, but an entire supportive community. From the Academy’s staff who co-designed the leadership program, to our alumni who have facilitated workshops, to our catering, hospitality and security staff who all work together to create an enabling learning environment, the ALA community has lived up to its reputation for curating outstanding learning experiences for all who walk through its doors.
Just under a year ago, we commissioned the Fred Pardee Learning Commons at the Academy, following the earlier commissioning of the Nelson Mandela residences – these ultramodern spaces have created the backdrop for the networking, leadership lessons and workshops that the Obama Leaders have experienced. The ALA auditorium has itself been transformed to host the plenary sessions with world leaders including President Barack Obama, Kofi Annan, Graca Machel, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf and Lakhdar Brahimi among many others.
We are extremely proud of the learning community that we have deliberately created and the many ways in which it transforms itself to enable the development of young leaders from all around the world. #LearnWhereLeadersLearn
To get a sense of the experience and spaces created with The Obama Foundation for their program on our campus, watch these three daily recap videos: