On February 5th  — February 8th, our Director of Strategic Relations Dr. Frank Aswani, and two of our young leaders at ALA (Priscilla Semphere from Malawi and Oluwasanmi Joshua Oyenuga from Nigeria) attended the 2013 Economist Africa Summit in London, called Africa Unchained: The Next Generation.

Dr. Aswani, Priscilla, and Oluwasanmi were invited to attend The Economist Africa Summit as both guests and keynote speakers. The goal of this Summit was to uncover the truth behind the numbers that reflect the current and fast growth rates of the African continent, by highlighting and examining the latest trends in governance, society, and economic policy. The Africa Summit 2013 also provided real insight into the challenges and opportunities of investing in Africa.

Recognizing that Africa’s next generation will be shaping the strategies for economic growth and institution building, the views and perspectives of Africa’s youth are absolutely critical to understanding changes taking place throughout the continent. The Africa Summit 2013 therefore invited and brought our young leaders to the fore to overhauld old assumptions and map the real future of Africa’s growth.

Dr. Aswani, Priscilla, and Oluwasanmi spoke on a panel in a session titled, “Aspirations For Africa: The New Generation, Innovation and Entrepreneurs.” This session was moderated by CNN Presenter, Becky Anderson. Priscilla and Sanmi discussed the aspirations they have for the Continent and how they intend to turn these aspirations into a reality. Priscilla and Oluwasanmi also discussed how best Africa can tap into the demographic dividend of the youth, given that a large majority of the continent is under 25 years of age. They also talked about the ALA model and the flagship Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum.

Our students were able to sit in and listen to guests like: Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President, Republic of Liberia – via Skype; Mo Ibrahim, Chairman, Mo Ibrahim Foundation; Komla Dumor, Senior Broadcast Journalist & Presenter Focus on Africa, BBC World News; Obiageli Ezekwesili, Senior Advisor, Africa Economic Development Policy, Open Society Foundations; Richard Sezibera, Secretary General, East African Community; Babatunde Osotimehin, Executive Director, United Nations Population Fund and Under- Secretary General, United Nations; Charles Robertson, Global Chief Economist, Renaissance Capital; Shanta Devarajan, Chief Economist, Africa Region, The World Bank; and more.