By Nnamdi Odumody
The African Leadership University founded by Fred Swaniker, a Ghanaian social entrepreneur, who wanted to fix the leadership paralysis is redesigning education in Africa. The program goes with an innovative approach to 21st century education with undergraduate and postgraduate experiences to develop Africa’s next generation of leaders. It prepares its students not just to excel, but also to lead. It prioritizes students that have key skills that are widely applicable and transferable across disciplines.
In its Year 1 Leadership Core, students build 4 fundamental skill areas necessary for every job. They develop the quantitative reasoning skills and data analysis abilities needed by entry level employees and industry executives, gain critical thinking skills and problem solving experience working on real life projects with its employer partners. In the process, the students develop core skills and best practices to communicate effectively in the professional world, and discover the skills and mindset needed to unlock their leadership potentials. Students begin their career development journey from day 1 with internships and student venture opportunities integrated throughout their undergraduate program.
For its undergraduate program, it offers 8 accredited degree programs in its Pamplemousses campus in the northern region of Mauritius which include BA Business Management, Bsc Computing, BEng Electrical Power Systems Engineering and BA Social Sciences. In its Kigali, Rwanda campus, it offers Bsc Computer Science, BA Entrepreneurship, BA Global Challenges, and BA International Business & Trade.
The learning process helps its undergraduates to discover the gaps in their knowledge, exchange knowledge with their peers, learn at their own pace and extend their learning to other contexts.
The African Leadership University School of Business MBA program is unique compared to other programs from different tertiary institutions across the continent in the sense that its cases are written in the context of African business with Faculty having extensive, diverse and respected experiences of doing business on the continent. There is a 20 month work-study program which blends six weeks of in person learning in Kigali with interactive online learning, allowing students to stay in work, grow as leaders while applying learning on the job.
Another unique program which African Leadership University offers which sets it apart from its peers is the MBA for Conservation Leaders offered by its School of Wildlife Conservation. This program is designed for emerging leaders in sectors that impact or depend on wildlife and natural landscapes or those in traditional conservation organizations, combining its School of Business 20 month MBA program with a specialization in Conservation Leadership for full time working professionals.
The African Leadership University wants to develop 3 million leaders that will be the pillars of Africa’s transformation by 2035. Its vision and mission are audacious, bold, and with a continent-centric view in modeling these young leaders of tomorrow. The knowledge base of the 21st century in this continent looks hopeful.