The African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa, is bringing a brighter future to its students and to the world through education in leadership, entrepreneurial skills, and the history of the African continent. The school has attracted students from all over the world, including students from each of the fifty-four countries in Africa. Since its founding in 2004 by Acha Leke, Chris Branford, Peter Mombaur, and Fred Swaniker, the ALA has been fulfilling its mission to support the development of young people, and to equip them to solve the complicated problems Africa and the world face in the modern age.
Along with the MasterCard Foundation, the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and other contributors, the African Leadership Academy is also a sponsor of the Anzisha Prize, an award for young entrepreneurs working within communities in Africa to find fresh solutions to local problems. The prize is meant to encourage the development of novel products and services while getting young people involved in business and entrepreneurship. Since the prize was first awarded in 2011, the foundation has appointed dozens of Fellows, whose projects range from a local website development firm to a perfume company and a rabbit farm. Recent winner Barclay Paul Okari, a 21-year-old from Kenya, launched a company to produce cheap, washable sanitary towels for women, after finding out that the cost of disposable sanitary towels was prohibitive and keeping girls and women from being able to attend school. Finalists for the prize all win a trip to South Africa, and the ultimate prize winners receive a share of $75,000. In addition to the Anzisha Fellowship, Okari won an additional grant and a trip to Palo Alto, California. Anzisha Fellows win more than acknowledgement of their current achievements, but also are connected to the mentoring network provided by the ALA.
African Leadership Academy graduates are connected to leaders in many fields to ensure their ability to thrive in the real world. In addition to a network of mentors, the school has a Global Advisory Council staffed with top thinkers in the fields of education and business. By working to support the ALA, citizens worldwide, such as Tunde Folawiyo, are investing in the future of the entire continent. For more information on this Nigerian businessman, see video updates from Tunde Folawiyo’s page at Daily Motion.