This page provides an overview of the 2021 Leaders Africa program. For the latest information, visit


africa pattern

While past Leaders Africa programs have begun with a multi-day convening in the region with 200 Leaders from across the continent and then continued online for one year, this year’s program has been adapted given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impacts on travel, gathering limits, and more. In light of those constraints and to prioritize the safety of our program participants, supporters, and staff, the 2021 Leaders Africa program will be a six-month, non-residential, virtual program for approximately 35 emerging leaders from across the continent.

This year’s program will focus on honing leadership skills, building deep relationships with fellow leaders, and exploring how to drive, scale, and make sustainable change. Participants will discuss a wide variety of regionally focused and global issues with thought leaders in government, civil society, and the private sector from across Africa and the Obama Foundation’s global network. Upon graduation, this group of Leaders will join a pan-African community of like-minded changemakers and will become part of a lifelong Obama Foundation community with access to a deep network of support.

The virtual Leaders Africa program seeks to identify exceptional leaders in government, civil society, and the private sector who have a clear issue-focus and who can illustrate the impact of their work. Our objective is to build a network of leaders with integrity, who create positive, innovative change in their communities, throughout Africa, and across the globe.

The program will run from January 2022 through June 2022. Leaders will participate in the following core elements of the program:

Twice Monthly Virtual Video Calls
These live virtual sessions will be the primary form of collective engagement. Connections two times monthly will offer a mix of new content (conversations with experts, introductions to leadership frameworks, skill-building, etc.) and interactive, small-group work in breakout rooms.

Monthly Community Groups
Leaders will work in peer learning groups that encourage deeper relationship-building and peer-learning, and offer an opportunity to reflect on or discuss open questions from the group sessions.

Individualized Leadership Coaching
Leaders will be paired with a coach to help them gain self-awareness, clarify goals, brainstorm ideas, achieve their development objectives, and unlock their potential.

In addition to the required elements, Leaders will have the opportunity to participate in a range of supplementary programming, including virtual Obama Foundation events, virtual cultural events, and virtual one-on-one conversations with experienced leaders in the global Obama Foundation network.


africa pattern

The 2019 program year concluded with acts of service across the continent

To mark the close of the 2019 program year, Obama Leaders from across the African continent volunteered to design and implement collaborative service projects that positively impacted their local communities. Check out highlights +

  • The Gambia
  • Benin
  • Madagascar
  • Zimbabwe
  • Mauritius
  • Angola
  • Botswana
  • Namibia
  • Cote d'Ivoire
  • Zambia
  • Uganda
  • Madagascar

africa pattern