The Leaders: Africa program seeks to build a growing network of innovative and ethical changemakers who will drive positive change in their communities, the continent, and the world.
Leaders: Africa is a year-long program that provides 200 emerging African leaders with the skills they need to create change. The non-residential program offers leaders with a range of backgrounds, the opportunity to attend in-person and online seminars focused on values-based leadership development, skill-building for social change, hands-on service learning, and technical trainings.
In addition to sharpening these leaders’ collaboration and management skills, it also equips them to be force multipliers in their communities and on the continent long after the program concludes. That’s why several members from the inaugural 2018 program year returned to serve as speakers, facilitators, and mentors for the 2019 cohort. More program offerings include:
An Inspirational Convening
The program begins with an intensive leadership and skill-building convening that brings together the entire cohort for five days of connection and training in their region. The gathering includes inspiring speakers primarily from the region, interactive workshops, service learning, and collaborative work projects.
A Digital Platform for Learning and Connection
Leaders are connected to their cohort online, as well as to sub-cohorts by issue area and region, to
foster peer-to-peer learning and collaborative problem-solving. Obama Foundation staff will regularly convene smaller groups for virtual workshops and seminars, as well as regular check-ins.
Bonds that Last a Lifetime and Support Action
After the program, Leaders join a larger network of Obama Foundation-affiliated changemakers, with ongoing access to thought leaders and opportunities in our growing network.
See the latest updates from the Leaders: Africa program.
In Côte d’Ivoire, Obama Leaders tackled food insecurity and weakened supply chains brought on by COVID-19 lockdowns across the country. The group created an SMS platform to help women, people living in rural communities, and people with disabilities to more easily access food products at prices up to 80 percent off. The platform allows users to order goods for direct delivery.
For their service project, Obama Leaders in Nigeria provided 100 families across six districts of Lagos with food boxes, hygiene packs, workbooks, and radios to help children tune in to their remote schooling. They also awarded educator Mariam Babalola a special plaque and a cash prize for her sacrifices to ensure that her students are engaged and supported during the lockdown.
In Togo, Obama Leaders have created the “Operation One House One Plant” service project to tackle deforestation. The initiative aims to educate communities on the importance of the environment and equip young people with a plant to care for in their own homes. Learn more about their work +
With their “Masking Covid N Washing Covid Out” end-of-year service project, Obama Leaders in Liberia are protecting their communities from COVID-19 by distributing protective masks and promoting social distancing, hand washing, and other COVID-19 preventative measures.
Obama Leaders from South Africa and Lesotho have united to raise awareness and provide information, tools, and support for the mental health and wellbeing of their fellow leaders in the Obama Foundation network and beyond. The inspiring change makers have created virtual safe spaces for participants to heal during this unprecedented time, all while becoming mindful leaders and mental health ambassadors who can relay the importance of wellness to their employees, coworkers, and beneficiaries. Learn more about their work +
In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, blood banks across Cabo Verde have run dry. To address the issue, Obama Leader Pedro Lopes created an online campaign and platform to encourage those in his network and community to donate blood. To help limit the number of people who would visit the hospital on a given date, Pedro’s online platform allowed users to plan which day and time they would visit clinics.
When Leaders from The Gambia sat down to develop their service project idea, it was critical for them to ensure that no one was left behind. The group of changemakers united to hand sew and provide 1,200 cloth face masks for every prisoner and prison officers in all three facilities in The Gambia. Learn more about their work +
Obama Leaders in the Republic of the Congo joined local entrepreneurs, members of Marien Ngouabi University’s science and tech faculty, as well as the National Standards Agency, to locally produce 250 liters of certified hydro-alcoholic gel along with hands-free mechanical dispensers. 150 liters of the gel and several dispensers will be distributed to schools and medical centers in the near future. Learn more about their work +
For their service project, Obama Leaders in Benin installed handwashing stations to ensure the families of park rangers can protect themselves from COVID-19. The group of Leaders also created public health campaigns to keep their communities informed on the symptoms of the virus as well as how to prevent transmission. Learn more about their work +
Dr. Kakenya Ntaiya founded Kakenya’s Dream to empower her rural Kenyan community by educating girls and ending harmful traditional practices like female genital mutilation (FGM) and child marriage. Her organization was recently awarded a $725,000 grant through Jack Dorsey’s Start Small initiative to fund their COVID-19 relief efforts and to build a youth-friendly health clinic in Enoosaen. Learn more about Kakenya’s Dream +
Liberian Leader Goto Cooper collaborated with seven emerging community organizations to create the COVID-19 Partnership Network. The network is educating rural communities about the symptoms of the virus and how to prevent its spread in coordination with the Liberian government and the World Health Organization’s efforts to curtail the outbreak.
Ghanaian Leader and albinism rights activist Kwame Andrews Daklo serves as President of the Tsiyinu Students Union, an organization that helps students in his community improve their academic performance. Thanks to a program facilitator Kwame met during the Leaders convening, his organization was able to open a community library. In Kwame’s own words, “This library is a game changer, for it promotes reading among both the young and the elderly, and it will help teachers better prepare for their lessons. Learn more about Kwame and his work +
Togolese Leader Jean-Luc Agboyibo started his organization Leading Youth, Sport & Development Milédou (LYSD x Milédou) to use the power of sports to support education for young people in his community. Over the course of the Leaders program, Jean-Luc learned how to embrace sharing his own leadership journey and has recently taken on new responsibilities as Senior Manager at the Basketball Africa League (BAL). Learn more about Jean-Luc and his work +
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June 12, 2019More
MEET THE LEADERS
Part of the theory of change of the Obama Foundation is that our Leaders continue to be force multipliers in their communities and on the continent long after their program year concludes. That’s why we’re pleased to welcome back 15 members of the 2018 class to serve as speakers, facilitators, and mentors for the new class. Meet a few of them below!
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