Inspiring Tomorrow’s Leaders in South Africa

Themes: Education, Community Development

Related GLA Programs: South Africa: Social Change Project

Grant Recipient: African Leadership Academy

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a pan-African high school in Johannesburg, South Africa that seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of  leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges. ALA believes that to create lasting change in Africa, it is necessary to make investments to treat causes and not just the symptoms of problems – and that the greatest root cause of Africa’s challenges is an undersupply of ethical leadership.

ALA seeks out youth with exceptional potential, closing the opportunity gap and developing their skills in a two-year residential program. ALA connects graduates to opportunities such as career and postgraduate opportunities that enable students to lead change in Africa’s public, private, and social sectors.

Donations to ALA contribute to building the next generation of leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges and meet the needs of a changing continent and the demands of its citizens.


1. ALA's Ghanaian founder, Fred Swaniker, was recognized by President Obama for the positive community impact of ALA. Before attending Stanford Graduate School of business, Fred managed a top-performing school in Botswana.

2. Ninety percent of ALA graduates have actively engaged in work or transformative projects in Africa; 99% go on to attend college.

3. ALA provides partial and full scholarships to students who show enormous potential but have a financial need.

Additional Information

The African Leadership Academy and Global Leadership Adventures actually share a founder! As a way to develop the curriculum for ALA and bring together students from Africa and around the world, Fred Swaniker created the Summer Academy at Cape Town. That’s when Fred joined forces with Andrew Motiwalla, a returned Peace Corps volunteer, to lead a new organization that provided summer leadership experiences to all interested teenagers. Building on the success of the Summer Academy at Cape Town, and believing in the potential of every young adult to be a global leader and make an impact, Global Leadership Adventures was born.