The African Leadership University

Developing and connecting three million leaders to make Africa flourish

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The African Leadership University

Pamplemousses, Pamplemousses District, Mauritius

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To learn more about – or provide significant funding to – this project, please contact Lever for Change.

Project Summary

By 2035, Africa will have the world’s largest workforce. By 2100, the continent will be home to 40% of the world’s population. The keys to a new era of prosperity and innovation will be in the hands of the one billion working-age people who will live in Africa in 15 years. African Leadership Group is on a mission to create leadership capacity for 40% of the world’s population by developing three million ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders by 2035. Since 2005, we have brought this moonshot to life by empowering high-potential young people through our lifelong learning ecosystem - an elite secondary school, two pan-African universities, and a highly-scalable post-graduate leadership accelerator. Together, our practical, project-based learning model and growing network of 10,000+ African leaders and innovators will equip the next generation of leaders to solve the largest challenges and capture the greatest opportunities facing both Africa and the world.

Problem Statement

The African continent’s population of 1.3 billion people continues to bear an outsized burden associated with what we refer to as the seven global challenges: urbanization, education, healthcare, infrastructure, job creation, governance, and climate change. A child born on the African continent is 2 times more likely to die before age five, 4 times more likely to spend their entire lives living in poverty, and 4 times less likely to attend university than anyone else in the world.Post-secondary education in Africa, which should be a critical part of the solution to these challenges, is plagued by issues of under-supply, high cost, and low quality and outdated, ineffective instruction. So even if a young African is one of the lucky ones that does get to attend university, they are unlikely to graduate with the skills, mindset, and network necessary for them to contribute meaningfully to solving this set of complex problems. Therein lies the root cause of Africa’s slowed progress: if young African’s are not equipped to solve uniquely African problems, there is little to no chance that Africa will be able to catch up.An immense workforce without adequate education, healthcare, jobs, food, or security has the potential to become one of the greatest humanitarian crises of the 21st century. Alternatively, however, this massive talent pool could become a source of untold global innovation, entrepreneurship, and prosperity.

Solution Overview

We’re creating a fundamentally different world which unlocks the innovative spirit, entrepreneurial energy, and problem-solving ability of millions of African youth. We envision a world where high-quality education is affordable, Africans are highly employable, and the next generation of leaders are equipped to create jobs and capture Africa’s greatest opportunities.We’ve developed an unconventional, highly-scalable, low-cost, and extremely high-quality model that can be rapidly deployed. ALG has refined a model for the future of learning, unique in that it’s:-Selecting high-potential leaders by taking a holistic admissions process where we value passion, purpose, and resilience-Student-driven rather than faculty-led, which shifts the driver of learning from a scarce resource in Africa (qualified teachers) to an abundant resource (passionate students)-Solving real-world problems, pushing students to ‘learn how to learn’ so they can reinvent themselves as the world changes, and develop the skills necessary to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers-Affordable to all leaders through innovative financing like income-share agreements and social contracts in exchange for scholarships-Creating the network to connect our leaders to financial and social capitalWe’re tracking the leaders who enter our programs (aiming for 3 million by 2035), their employment rates, entrepreneurial ventures launched, and jobs created. We’re also tracking their trajectory, and how they’ve meaningfully contributed to solving one or more of Africa’s challenges. We expect to have a deep impact on those we serve, and much broader impact on the African continent - and the world - via the work of those leaders.

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Project Funders

  • Anders Holch Povlsen (Bestseller Foundation) 2017 - 2019
  • MasterCard Foundation 2012 - 2018
  • Omidyar Network 2010 - 2018

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