Category Archives: leadership

ALU: Africa’s University of the Future

The African Leadership University (ALU) is a pan-African university, which  aims to prepare students for jobs that don’t exist today. Their programs aim to equip students  with necessary skills including entrepreneurship, leadership, critical thinking, and project management – right from their first term. They have an intense online engagement process to monitor student performance that starts right from the time students apply and  through admissions, assignments, courses, exams and assignments.

Their current degrees on offer at their Mauritius campus are Computing (Bsc), Business Management (BA), Social Sciences (BA) and Psychology (Bsc) . It opened in September 2015, and has over 200 students from over 30 African countries.  Every year, students can get up to 4  months of internship at one of the ALU partner organizations which include Cellulant, Coca Cola, McKinsey, Tiger, IBM, PWC, Thomson Reuters,  Pernod Ricard and Swiss Re. The partners also help subsidize the cost of education at ALU where year of tuition and accommodation is about $,7000 – a modest amount compared to the cost of university education in many countries.

They also have a study abroad program that takes 4-12 months and ALU will have an MBA program at a new campus that will soon open in Rwanda, and for which they are already accepting applications. ALU is part of the Africa Leadership Group, and has founders including Fred Swaniker, Graca Machel and Donald Kaberuka. Eventually, they plan to have  25 campuses across Africa that can host 10,000 students a year.

ALU teams are currently on road shows to promote the university in Accra, Nairobi, Johannesburg, and Lagos. They have a workshops, schools visits, and other events this month as they promote the university, and they are accepting applications up to a deadline on June 5.

Namibia President wins Mo Ibrahim Prize

President Hifikepunye Pohamba was today announced as the winner of the 2014 Ibrahim Prize for Achievement in African Leadership. The award

Earlier, there was some speculation or expectation, with the announcement being made in Nairobi, that Kenya’s former president Mwai Kibaki might be this year’s winner. The prize panel comprising Salim Ahmed Salim, Martti Ahtisaari  Aïcha Bah Diallo, Mohamed ElBaradei, and Graça Machel addressed that in a  Q&A session after the announcement was made by Salim

He said President Pohamba made a mark in terms of reconciliation, cohesion, and respect for the constitution. He had offered sound leadership while remaining humble. His achievements were seen in gender equality (48% of parliamentarians are women) a focus on health (80% of HIV cases receive therapy and transmission rates are falling) and education, tackling poverty (social safety nets and disability grants) while grappling with challenges like the widening inequality.

  • Questioned on the criteria, Baradei said the awards are not given in a vacuum – and this is measured by improvements in governance and leadership. President have to do the right things amid challenges, and create a cohesive society in which citizens can work together. Aicha mentioned his acceptance of political parties  and consultation with opposition leaders.  Graca said the achievements in his country were done in a very short period of time.
  • Are all winners from the Southern Africa region? Machel said that was not true and they analyze every case regardless of region. She said that while three winners are from Southern Africa, the SADC regional also had some bad (young) countries
  • Does it create encouragement? Has the prize had an impact in Africa and is it work all that money? Yes they said. Salim said they would rather go a few years without an award, than give an award for no reason. There has been no winner for three years, and that may happen again in future. Ultimately, the answers lie in numbers derived from the Foundation’s Index of African Governance.
  • The MC read out a tweet from a Kenyan newspaper that Kibaki lost to the prize to Pohamba’ – and Salim said that it was an assumption that they had considered Kibaki for the prize.Mo Ibrahim at the 2014 Prize announcement
  • Chris Kirubi compared giving a prize to wealthy retired presidents to putting water back into the river. Mo Ibrahim stood and disagreed with the that generalization saying it was detrimental  to make. He said this was due to Africans relying on foreign media  and only knowing a few continental leaders like Mandela and then the infamous ones – and asked how many in the room knew the past winners like presidents’ Festus Mogae  or Pedro Rodrigues Pires or Pohamba (before today)? He appealed to the media to report properly on Africa by knowing the 54 presidents, some of who were wealthy, but others who lived humble lives, and find more heroes, beyond Mandela. He said Pires, a former liberation leader who became president, called a taxi and went to live with his mother after he lost the election. He also cited Botswana’s former President Masire who once traveled to  a meeting in Addis where he was overlooked by VIP protocol as they didn’t know he was traveling in economy class (to set an example).
  • ElBaradei said  the fact they don’t have winner every year is also a message. They would like to see 2 or 3 qualified ex-presidents every year but Africa is still facing challenges of transiting to democracy and good governance.
  • The award, which is a $5 million prize paid over 10 years, followed by $200,000 annually for life thereafter, remains open to any president who has left office in the previous three years. It affords winners a chance to have dignified years in retirement and invest or fund activities they believe in.

Idea Exchange: Scholarships, Fellowships to Apply For

Applications are open for Chevening Scholarships  2015/2016. The Scholarships offers the opportunity to study for a one-year Master’s degree at leading UK universities and are awarded to outstanding established or emerging leaders across a wide range of fields: including Public Policy/Governance, International Law, Energy/Environment, Human Rights and Journalism. The deadline is 15 November.

EDIT CGI U 2015 Application Now Open. The eighth Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) U meeting takes place between March 6-8 2015, at the University of Miami, and will bring together more than 1,000 innovative student leaders to make Commitments to Action that address some of the world’s most pressing challenges. More than $500,000 in funding will be available to select CGI U 2015 students to help them turn their ideas into action. If you are 18 years or older and enrolled in an institution of higher education, Apply Now to be one as the early decision and travel assistance deadline is October 17, 2014, and the final application deadline is December 1, 2014.

The Deloitte Technology Fast50 Africa Programme is the region’s most objective industry-ranking to focus on the technology field, recognising technology companies that have achieved the fastest rates of revenue growth in Africa over the past five years. The deadline is 29 August.

The International Reporting Project (IRP) has a Health reporting trip that sends journalists to Mozambique (new media journalists are encouraged to apply) for an all-expense-paid, two-week reporting trip this fall. Interested applicants must be citizens of France, Germany, India, Japan, South Africa, the United Kingdom or the United States. Deadline is Sept. 2.

Five  (5) Journalism (5) opportunities to apply for in August include:

  • AJ+ offers reporting fellowship. Deadline was Aug. 1
  • Free online course in slideshow storytelling Starts Aug. 4
  • ICFJ, UN Climate Change Fellowship Deadline Aug. 12
  • Knight-Mozilla OpenNews Fellowship Deadline Aug. 16
  • Thomson Foundation hosts journalism competition Deadline Aug. 29

Apply to become a 2015 Knight-Mozilla Fellow  which comes with an opportunity to work with various leading news organizations. The deadline for applications is August 16.

Kenya’s Maktaba Award (Library of the Year Award) 2014 will be awarded in September. The Award, modeled on the German Library of the Year Award, aims to recognize excellence in the provision of library and information services in Kenya. Read More

The 2014 Mo Ibrahim Foundation Leadership Fellowships Programme is now accepting applications and those selected will receive mentoring from leaders at key multilateral institutions, namely the African Development Bank (AfDB), the International Trade Centre (ITC), and the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA). To apply for this fellowship you must be a national of an African country,  have 7-10 years of relevant work experience, have a Master’s Degree, be under the age of 40 (or 45 for women with children) and the  deadline for submissions is 12 September.

The newly launched  Open and Collaborative Science in Development Network (OCSDNet) will provide funding support (of $50,000 to $80,000 CAD) to up to 15 case studies from eligible countries, mainly to researchers and practitioners affiliated with organizations based in countries that are eligible for support by the IDRC (these include within the Global South (Latin America, Middle East and North Africa, East and South Asia, and Sub-Saharan Africa). The deadline for submissions is September 8.

The Orange African Social Venture Prize  2014 aims to promote social innovation by supporting development through information and communication technologies (ICT). In addition to funding of up to 25,000 euros, Orange will provide support to three projects for six months from its local subsidiaries as well as expert advice from business and telecoms professionals, and the winner will benefit from a patent application that will be submitted and paid by Orange. Also, a special prize of 10,000 euros will be awarded to a project which has used an Orange API. Deadline is September 19.

Pivot East’s Mobile Impact Ventures Program (“MIVP”). The Mlab, East Africa’s accelerator program for impact ventures with innovative solutions in agriculture, health & water and education, is currently seeking applications for its second cohort. The program is backed by the Rockefeller and Tony Elumelu Foundations, through the Global Impact Investment Network’s (“GIIN”) Africa Impact Economy Innovations Fund (“IEIF”). The deadline is 27 August.

The Safaricom Journalism Fellowship Program at Strathmore University is designed to provide skills which combine technology literacy with business literacy for journalists engaged in business writing across the media houses in Kenya. The program will admit 15 of the most promising candidates in the first year.

StyledByAfrica seeks a Kenyan designer who will have a chance to feature at Berlin’s Fashion Week 2015. Young African designers based in Kenya are encouraged to apply by submitting a portfolio of their work to FA254′s official website. The deadline is August 20.

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Acumen:The Acumen East Africa Fellows Program is a one-year, fully-funded leadership development program that gives 20 individuals from across East Africa the training they need to accelerate their social impact and leadership potential. Applications are open until September 8.

Google RISE Awards are grants for organizations across the globe that promote Computer Science (CS) education or run initiatives that reach girls, underrepresented minorities, and students facing socio-economic barriers under age 18. Grants range from $15,000 to $50,000.

 Innovation Prize for Africa aims at mobilising leaders from all sectors to fuel African innovation in key sectors such as science, technology and engineering which contribute towards the sustainability of Africa. The IPA is becoming integral to facilitating ground-breaking thinking, creativity and driving awareness to the outstanding work being done in Africa by Africans. Entries for the Innovation Prize for Africa (IPA) 2015 are now open and the deadline for entries is 31 October 2014.  Note the IPA 2013 winner, AgriProtein went on to raise $11 million to build its first two commercial farms in Cape Town, South Africa.

Morland Writing Scholarships  are available for published works of between 2,000 to 5,000 words from anyone who has been born in Africa or both of whose parents were born in Africa. They are worth £18,000 and the application deadline is October 31.

TED Fellows: Apply now to be a 2015 TED Fellow. Deadline is September 21.

We look for different applicants than many other leadership-oriented programs. Instead of business people, professionals, policy wonks and government officials, the TED Fellows program focuses on doers, makers, inventors, advocates, filmmakers and photographers, musicians and artists, scientists, entrepreneurs, NGO heads, and human rights activists.

The inaugural East Africa Property Awards seek to bring together pioneers and leaders in real estate to showcase their products and who will be celebrated at a gala in Nairobi on November 27. There are 21 categories categories spanning across developers, real estate agents, interior design, telecommunications service providers and media. Apply before 11 November.

#TurnthePageonHateSpeech photo contest Are you a Journalist? Photographer? Filmmaker? Writer? Blogger? Cartoonist? Poet? Social Activist? Or simply an Engaged Citizen? Tell us What Hate Speech Means To You for a chance to win a free trip to the African Media Leaders’ Forum in Johannesburg! Deadline, October 15.

Ushahidi is launching a campaign dubbed Translators Power Ushahidi to help get 15 new languages translated to more than 80% completion by the end of 2014! Goodies and Schwag up for grabs.

See another EXTENSIVE list of online opportunities from Advance Africa.

What other opportunities are there for readers to apply for?

YALI 2014

The Young African Leaders Initiative 2014 – #YALI2014 kicked off this week in Washington DC. Speaking at a meeting with 500 of the first class of YALI fellows, President Obama said that it will be renamed the Mandela Washington Fellowship (& doubled to have 1,000 fellows by 2016) and that four regional leadership centers would set up in Africa.

The regional leadership centers will be established in Senegal, Ghana, South Africa and Kenya and will offer courses on leadership, support for entrepreneurs through mentoring and access to capital and a networking forum. 

The Center in Kenya will have a robust training curriculum with direction from a partnership that brings together Deloitte’s global management and strategy skills, the established curriculum and capacity of Kenyatta University, the public administration training of the Kenya School of Government, and Africa Nazarene University’s youth engagement and outreach.

USAID is investing $38 million in the new YALI centers with support from the MasterCard Foundation ($10 million), Microsoft ($12.5 million), Intel ($5million) and Dow Chemical ($4 million). Others are McKinsey, IBM, General Electric, Procter​&​​G​amble and the Mara Foundation. (More at the YALI site). 

In a Q&A session, Obama also spoke about AGOA and the on-going  for renewal of the the trade partnership between the US & Africa; He said, they have learnt lessons from the previous phase of the partnership and will work to lower other export barriers (such as transport & trade finance), and, starting with Uganda, Kenya and Tanzania, take steps to see how AGOA can work with effective trading bloc for intra-Africa trade.
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The YALI Summit events will lead up to the the first US-Africa Leaders Summit, which, with over 50 presidents & prime ministers expected, is the largest gathering of African Leaders ever hosted by a US president.

Kenya’s President Kenyatta is to participate in two events next week – a doing business in East Africa session and a presidential dinner, both organized by the Corporate Council on Africa (CCA) who have events for several other African leaders and nations like Ethiopia, South Africa, Ghana Liberia Congo  Mozambique and Tanzania among others.

Diplomatic Dialogues

Last night had the Safaricom Power Hour Series, a talk session that featured  the British High Commissioner, Dr Christian Turner. In a forum similar to Mindpeak, and other leadership series, he spoke freely on many subjects of his time as a political advisor (as an aide to prime ministers) and as diplomat in the Middle  East, Washington and Africa.
He also answered questions on issues  such as the Mau Mau settlement, the UK Miraa ban, the Scottish referendum (later this year), and Britain’s acquiescence in the weapons of mass destruction (they knew what would happen in Iraq after the war but didn’t seem to have cautioned the US)
Some points:
– An aide has to be able to break down complex issues for his/her boss and present them in rapid short sessions (such as corridor walks, or car rides) and get them to make important decisions in those few minutes. To get to this position the aide has to first earn the trust of the boss.
– A lot of what happens goes wrong in government are the result of mistakes (cock-ups), but the public likes to believe that these are due to conspiracies..the reality is much harder to fathom (Westgate)
– The important of a leader surrounding himself/herself with/and enabling people with diverse views (avoid group think – or you end up with the WMD war)
– Even in the age of twitter in which rapid opinions are formed and add on pressure to look decisive, a leader should resist that  temptation to look like they’re taking action – and sometime the best way is to go slo.
– Also avoid sweeping generalizations like the Arab Spring, and Africa Rising. He said each country in the Middle East had turbulence experienced that due to very different reasons.
– There’s no East vs. West anymore. Britain did not lose ground to China in Kenya. He said China is investing in things that Britain does not like roads and some manufacturing – and that  the balance of trade between Kenya and Britain is still almost even, while that with China is very skewed.
Funny anecdotes
– Meeting with eccentric leaders like Gaddafi who thought he was irresistible to women and Saleh (of Yemen) who boldly asked for guns (instead of capacity building assistance) from Britain
– Some people diss Britain as they drink Scotch whiskey, drive Land Rovers and watch Arsenal football.