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Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Convening Begins Today

July 14, 2018 at 8:00 AM CDT

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Today the Obama Foundation launched its Leaders: Africa gathering, a 5-day convening of 200 rising leaders from 44 countries representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The convening is part of a one-year leadership development and civic engagement program designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change in their communities. The convening will include plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, leadership sessions, and skillbuilding trainings to increase the Leaders’ capacity to drive positive change in Africa. Leaders will also complete a group service project to honor Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth and to underscore the important relationship between leadership and service.

The Foundation will be sharing select photos and video from the gathering daily on and via press release. To ensure you receive these updates, please sign up here (Opens in a new tab). Below is a daily schedule for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Convening.

Sunday, July 15

  • Plenary Session: “Ethical Leadership in Africa,” with speakers Mo Ibrahim and Uzodinma Iweala.

  • Leadership Sessions:

    • Leadership Session 1: “Leadership of Self,” with speakers Hatim Eltayeb, Ryan Findley, and Rachel Adams.

    • Leadership Session 2: “Storytelling and Leadership,” with speakers Rob Burnet, Mimi Kalinda, and Taiye Selasi.

    • Leadership Session 3: “Leadership of Others,” with speakers Veda Sunassee and Samantha Ngcolomba.

  • Plenary Session: “Failing Forward: Risk-taking and the Benefits of ‘Failure,’” with Jason Njoku, Bina Maseno, Patrick Awuah, and Khanyi Dhlomo.

Monday, July 16

  • Plenary Session: “Leadership in the Face of Adversity,” with speakers Graça Machel, Bogolo Kenewendo, Thulisile Madonsela, and Nozipho Mbanjwa.

  • Skillbuilding Workshops: Communicating for Impact: Building Effective Campaigns; Innovating in Government & Policy; Pitching for Investors; Goalkeepers: Accelerating Progress on the SDGs Fundraising; Fundamentals for NGOs; Leveraging Technology and Technological Tools; Scaling Your Organization; and Strategizing for Impact: Using Systems and Complexity Thinking for Tackling Big Challenges.

  • Plenary Session: “Future Trends and the Importance of Governance in Africa,” with speakers Fred Swaniker, Sangu Delle, Maryana Iskander, and Judy Sikuza.

Tuesday, July 17

  • Plenary Session: “The Future of Africa: Elders Pass the Baton,” with speakers Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Patrick Gaspard.

  • IdeasFest:

    • This group ideas competition will mobilize Leaders to engage in design thinking so that they can begin to create concrete, implementable solutions to real-world social challenges.

    • The Leaders will break into 40 teams of five to tackle a social issue/leadership challenge that is of common interest and design with a potential solution.

    • Later in the day they will compete among each other and pitch a panel of judges on their proposed solution.

Wednesday, July 18


Contact: Kate Berner, [email protected]