Blog

Tapiwa Gambura ’18 – Reclaiming the African Narrative through Film

“I believe that individuals who have ideas can change the world, and I have ideas. How do we ensure that our continent emerges and gains the economic and political independence it deserves? This is what my life’s purpose should be about.”

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ALforEducation’s Little Bets Challenge Highlights Fresh Thinking in Education

On August 20th and 21st, ALA had the honor of hosting its own virtual event, under our educational sector group: AL For Education. Titled “2020: A Year for Action”, the…

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ACN Securing Internships During a Global Pandemic

How did we secure jobs during the height of one of the most devastating pandemics we have experienced in recent history? We chat with Ayado Ewinyu, Director of our Africa…

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Reimagining the Future of Secondary Education in Africa

The Mastercard Foundation’s latest report reveals that for every 100 young people that enter primary education, 9 will go on to tertiary education and 6 will complete it. What solutions…

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Women in Peacebuilding: An ALforGovernance Masterclass

In celebration of South Africa’s Women’s Month in August, the ALforGovernance Masterclass explored the role of Women in Peacebuilding on Friday August 7th. Two female guest speakers drove the session,…

Entrepreneur and Designer David Lewis ’15 Partners with Bremen Fashion House

Nigerian fashion designer David Lewis ’15 is the founder of Lewini, a design-thinking clothing company reinventing the use of colors in everyday unisex clothing. After his second year of studying…

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Batswana photographer Towela Tembo ’19 uses multimedia to cross creative borders

When second-year ALA student Towela Chawezi Tembo (also known as Towela Kams) from Botswana picked up a camera for the very first time in 2015, she didn’t know that photography…

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ALA Alumni Female Vocalist Group, Malkia the Band Performs at UN Women’s International Youth Day 2020

The African Leadership Academy (ALA) student body consists of multi-talented future leaders who come together to exchange ideas and creativity through various cultural and arts events regularly taking place on…

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Najmeddine Harrabi

Filmmaker and Comedian Najmeddine Harrabi’s Journey into the Creative Arts Industry

Najmeddine Harrabi ‘13 speaks often about how his upbringing as a shepherd boy in Tunisia has led him to Los Angeles where he is currently pursuing an MFA in Film and Television Production at University of Southern California. He reckons that his lowly background has propelled him to do what he has always wanted to do – to create art.

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LA Summer Engineering Academy

ALA Partners with Chevron to Deliver Summer Engineering Academy

A cohort of 18 students from Angola and Nigeria have participated in the first Summer Engineering Academy at ALA, a partnership between Chevron Corporation and African Leadership Academy.
Last year, when Mr. Hans Sowder, African Leadership Academy’s Head of Science, learned of an opportunity to partner with Chevron Corporation to expose high school students in Chevron’s operating countries to the field of engineering, he soon began to create the program that became the ALA Summer Engineering Academy (ALA SEA).

ALforGovernance Presents a Thought Provoking Masterclass about the Decolonization of Education

On Tuesday, July 14th, members of the ALA community took part in meaningful discussions around the topic of decolonizing education on the African continent. The ALA Networks Team has scheduled four Masterclasses for the ALA community until the end of 2020. The goal of the series is to display how global challenges pertaining to people navigating a dynamic world can be successfully addressed in the governance and development sector. The virtual classrooms of 20-25 participants will bring together industry experts from around the world with experience in conflict management, peacebuilding, government, diplomacy, education, politics and humanitarian work and will teach on practical ways for the community to sharpen their skills and build their understanding on each topic.

Martin Joseph Lubowa

Martin Lubowa ‘18 on Building a Support Network and Education Hub for Ugandan Communities

While completing his two-year ALA diploma, Martin Lubowa ‘18 also co-managed the Africa Student Support Network, a Ugandan organization that not only provides scholarships for disadvantaged students but also equips young leaders with soft skills to help them navigate the 21st-century working world.
“We want to re-imagine how giving back looks like on the African continent by creating realistic, user-friendly approaches that involve everyone in the giving back process,” says Martin Lubowa ’18, co-founder of the Africa Student Support Network (AFRISSUN).

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GSSC Entrepreneurship for Social Change

ALA Hosts Hundreds of Teenagers for Global Summer Short Courses

During a normal July at African Leadership Academy, campus would be bustling with activity and energy from students and facilitators involved in our Global Scholars Program (GSP). Although the ongoing COVID pandemic prevented the Academy from bringing students to Johannesburg for the traditional program, the ALA campus remains far from quiet. This month marked the start of our Global Summer Short Courses, bringing students from around the world together for a unique online program.

Emmanuel Murairi ’18: Profile of a Self-Taught Technology Entrepreneur

When Emmanuel Murairi first arrived at African Leadership Academy in September 2018, he was instantly recognizable, with his trusted accomplice often found balanced on his chin and its accompanying appendage in his right hand. Emmanuel’s dexterity with the violin quickly earned him a reputation on campus, as he performed at several campus events ranging from the weekly all-community Assembly to the annual Taalu welcoming ceremony. Emmanuel had learned to play the violin as part of a church orchestra in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo, and it formed an essential part of his personality. However, by the time he graduated from ALA in June 2020, he had become known for something entirely different – he was the “IT guy”.

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ALA’s Celebrates 11th Graduation Ceremony – Virtually

How do you organise an event that encapsulates community and celebrates the achievements of our graduates, during a global pandemic? Find out how ALA pulled off one of the most memorable graduation ceremonies yet! On Thursday, 18th June 2020, African Leadership Academy had the honor of hosting its first-ever virtual graduation ceremony, giving the entering Class of 2018 the send-off they deserved – despite the effects of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Class of 2018 Present Formidable Virtual Thesis Presentations Under COVID-19

In the week leading up to the 11th annual ALA graduation ceremony, the Class of 2018 presented their final Thesis to the community. Although this year, due to COVID-19 restrictions, the Thesis presentations were completed virtually, the opportunity allowed for a more diverse group of attendees ranging from family members to donors and alumni to engage in meaningful conversation. The ALA Thesis is composed of three components: 1) Presentation, 2) Discussion and 3) Reflection. The presentation pushes the students to explore an issue using the seven ALA Traits (Africanist, Autodidactic, Entrepreneurial, Ethical, Collaborator, Communicator, Critical Thinker) and share how they have grown as leaders in the past two years.

Anannyabrata Mandal

Anannyabrata Mandal ’18 Working to Create Sustainable Agricultural Practices for Cocoa Farmers in Cote d’Ivoire

Anannyabrata Mandal ’18 came to ALA from Cote d’Ivoire with a piqued interest in learning about other cultures and societies. As his passion for research developed, his focus shifted into farming and agricultural sustainability, and it is through some of his most memorable classes at ALA, like African Studies and Model African Union (MAU) research that he was able to identify a need in his community back home, and expand his skill set. Anannya has been accepted to Cornell University and plans to continue his research to develop an economic model that will help to address growth and development in the agricultural sector simultaneously.

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Naira Abdula ’14 Graduates from Skidmore College with Seven Top Awards

Before her graduation ceremony from Skidmore College was unfortunately curtailed as a fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Naira Abdula ’14 from Mozambique was scheduled to be one of the student speakers at the ceremony. It would have been a fitting conclusion to her momentous journey at the College where she was graduating with seven top awards and a double major in Economics and Business Management. Coming from Mozambique, Naira’s early ambition was to be an Engineer, but she references the Entrepreneurial Leadership curriculum at African Leadership Academy as her introduction to the world of practical business, with modules on business models, profit making and strategy being particularly influential in her decision on undergraduate study. She applied to Skidmore College in New York because of the opportunity to study Business Management.

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Uzoma Chidumaga Orji

Uzoma Chidumaga Orji ’12 Uses Art and Technology to Explore Identities and African Realities

Uzoma Chidumaga Orji ’12 is a visual artist and creative technologist who, while solidly defining the themes he explores in his creative and technological endeavours, is not bound by the boxes that titles and definitions often require.
When you google “Uzoma Chidumaga Orji”, his website ‘uzomaorji.com’ leads you to a unique, interactive and colourful portfolio encapsulating the essence of his work. Uzoma is a creative young man who designs engaging human-centred digital experiences as well as art that observes and creates representations of the society in which he lives.

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Tolu Ogunlowo

Tolu Ogunlowo ‘14 Builds Hybrid Race Car for Senior Capstone Project at Notre Dame

Musodiq Tolu Ogunlowo ‘14 graduates from the University of Notre Dame after completing his Capstone Project within the school’s Formula Hybrid racing program. Tolu, who hails from Lagos, Nigeria, came into Notre Dame already knowing that he wanted to study Electrical Engineering. He credits ALA for this strong sense of purpose, even as a first year university student. He says that the Academy taught him that, “when you’re trying to decide what you want to do with your career, think about… how can you merge your interests and your skills with a challenge that will actually impact the lives of a lot of people?.” This lesson is what helped Tolu narrow his Electrical Engineering studies to focus on renewable energy.

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