Skip to content

Leaders Africa 2019



The Obama Foundation Leaders Africa Program was a one-year leadership development and civic engagement program that sought to inspire, empower, and connect emerging leaders from across Africa. Through a core set of shared values and leadership skills, the program supported a new generation of active citizens and positive role models prepared to create tangible solutions to the challenges in their communities, countries, and across the continent.

The Program sought to identify emerging leaders in public, civil society, and the private sector who had demonstrated a commitment to advancing the common good within their sphere of influence. The objective of the program is to build a growing network of innovative and ethical changemakers who seek to drive change in their communities while developing and supporting one another. 

Leaders will participate in the following core elements of the program:

Regional Kick-Off Convening On July 10-15, the Leaders Africa program brought together 200 emerging leaders from 45 countries across the continent to explore new ways to take on the biggest challenges in their communities. Leaders also created personal action plans and a values manifesto for engagement in the full-year virtual program.

Monthly Virtual Calls These live virtual sessions were the primary form of collective engagement. These connections offered a mix of new content (conversations with experts, introductions to leadership frameworks, skill-building, etc.) and interactive, small-group work in breakout rooms.

Service Projects During the regional kick-off convening, Leaders engaged in service activities with nonprofits and local schools. During a dedicated week near the end of the program year, Obama Leaders across the continent were encouraged to engage in service projects in their countries in their personal capacity.

Members of Leaders Africa 2019

Returning 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. Get to know a few of them below!

Taryn Lock is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of Read to Rise, an organization that promotes youth literacy in under-served communities throughout South Africa. Taryn will attend the kick-off event for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program July 14-18, 2018, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

King Gyan plays soccer with one of his students.

King Gyan is a star Ghanaian footballer, but we know him as a changemaker who’s inspiring the next generation through sport. Take a peek at King's day-to-day work at the Right to Dream Academy.

Linda Kamau is a founding member of AkiraChix, an organization in Kenya devoted to increasing the number of women in technology and empowering them to reach out to help others along the way. Linda will attend the kick-off event for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa program July 14-18, 2018, in Johannesburg, South Africa.

Nichole Yembra speaks to a group of young people during a training in Nigeria.

Nichole Yembra is inspiring, empowering, and connecting the future of women-led tech in Africa. See how she's doing it.

“Effective leadership isn't about telling others what to do. It takes emotional intelligence: self-awareness, self-regulation, and empathy.”
- Veda Sunassee, Mauritius
A group of children and adults of various skin tones walk holding hands across a basketball court.

Support Leaders Like These

Your gift amplifies the work of changemakers around the world.

More Leaders Programs by Region