|   Let integrity lead.

About Us

It is well known that Africa continues to face social and economic challenges. It is also evident that the unfortunate trend can only be reversed through enlightened African leaders, who are eager to address and solve our continental issues, through strong values and unwavering integrity. It was for this reason that the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) was formed in 2003.

Since our inception, ALI has served as a Pan-African initiative with a strong view that Africa’s future lies in the investment and development of effective, values-based and enlightened African leaders.

As the Africa Leadership Initiative, it is our clear-cut objective to develop the next generation of values-based African leaders. These leaders will not only impart knowledge and share opinions, but also guide and lead their countries with integrity.

Our mission has not been an easy one, but through our programme, we have been able to empower a number of leaders who are now shaping the continent in a positive light.

ALI forms part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network (AGLN). This network was established worldwide in collaboration with the Aspen Institute, and consists of other leadership initiatives similar to ALI.

The Africa Leadership Initiative also spans across Africa. It is represented in three regions: ALI West Africa, ALI East Africa and ALI South Africa.

Ken Ofori-Atta, Ali Mufuruki and Isaac Shongwe are the respective drivers of these regional initiatives.

Leadership and morality are indivisible. Good leaders are the custodians of morality.” – Archbishop Desmond Tutu

ALI Fellowship Programme

There is an African proverb that reads; ‘tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today’. We believe that if Africa is to reclaim its former glory, we will have to sow the seeds today, by preparing, developing and enlightening our leaders, to address the many challenges of Africa with integrity and boldness. In so doing, we believe that tomorrow, we can all enjoy the fruits of our continent. We see the ALI Fellowship Programme as the starting point of this journey.
The ALI Fellowship Programme provides a unique mixture of seminars, designed to broaden the perspectives of the participants and develop value-based, community-spirited leaders.
We pull together leaders from various sectors of influence such as business, government and civil society. We then provide a safe environment for these leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue, about their respective responsibilities. As part of our vision, we want each fellow to create a positive social change in the community, country and region where he or she lives. The idea is to spur the leaders ‘from thought to action’ by encouraging and requiring the fellows to implement sustainable individual community projects of their own.

Our Fellows attend four seminars (within four days) over a period of 2 years. They also have to commit to carrying out a high-impact Leadership Project of their own choosing — vetted and approved by their peers.

In short, the programme is designed to capture the energy, resolve and talent of an emerging generation of African leaders. We seek to inspire them so they can move from ‘success to significance’. We also want to create a continental community of like-minded people who are driven beyond their own personal success to achieve global significance.

The seminars are led by skilled moderators trained by the Aspen Institute. These seminars are:

1. The Challenge of Leadership

A 4 day seminar in which the Fellows are exposed to a range of leadership styles – from Martin Luther King Jr. to Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi to Jean Monnet. Case studies include the pharmaceutical industry and HIV/AIDS in Africa, Nike and international labour practices in Asia. The Fellows produce a personal handbook of the attributes of effective, enlightened leaders – and of what such leaders do and don’t do.

2. The Aspen Seminar: Defining the Good Society

A 4 day seminar in which the Fellows build their vision of “a good society” by reading, discussing, debating and relating the writings of a wide range of thinkers to their present-day conditions. Thinkers include Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Hobbes, Lee Kwan Yew, Friedrich Hayek, Julius Nyerere, Rachel Carson, Ibn Khaldun, Simon Bolivar and others. The Fellows share their personal thoughts on the proper role of government in society as well as on the sorts of trade-offs they are willing to accept in the name of economic growth.

3. Leading in an Era of Globalisation

A 4 day seminar in which the Fellows explore the economic, political, scientific, cultural and ethical dimensions of globalisation. Readings and discussions cover a wide range of topics including the demands of global capital, the future of the African Union, the challenge of eliminating corruption, the growth of Asian outsourcing and the importance of financial remittances to local economies. This seminar will be held in different parts of the world (South Africa, China, USA and Central America) together with Fellows from other similar Leadership Initiatives that form part of the Aspen Global Leadership Network.

4. The Promise of Leadership

A 4 day seminar in which the Fellows share the results and lessons learned from their Leadership Projects and explore issues of balancing work and family, community engagement and personal legacy.

Outside of the seminars, the Fellows meet in informal settings, and generally serve as a support group for one another in their quest to build a good society. In addition, they have designed community transformation projects, which they implement, with guidance and support from ALI, and their peers.

Thanks to our valued partners and to all the Fellows who continue to contribute in many ways.

  • Aspen Global Leadership Network
  • Yellowwoods
  • Barloworld
  • Tshikululu