Shazia SharifShazia Shariff



Occupational Information

Job Title: Founder of Leaders

Professional History

Shazia Sharif is the founder of leaders, a Pan-African organization that empowers young, exceptional grassroots leaders to drive innovative solutions to local systemic challenges, working with their communities and stakeholders in government, civil society and private sector.

Championed by 100+ eminent leaders across Africa, leaders is establishing its inaugural hub in Rwanda - ejo leaders - in partnership with the Rwanda Development Board, MIT Gov Lab, Mastercard Foundation, and others. Their goal is to empower a network of 50,000 leaders in six countries by 2040, who are equipped to deliver tangible local systemic change across specific sectors such as healthcare, education, urbanisation, digitization, agriculture among others.

Prior to establishing leaders, Shazia was a public sector advisor at McKinsey & Company and the World Food Programme, serving governments across Africa to design and deliver large-scale programs on rural electrification, financial inclusion, agricultural transformation, and civil service capacity building.

She was also responsible for leading a Bill & Melinda Gates Gender Equality strategy grant to empower a million women across Africa.


Bachelors of Commerce in International Management and Political Science - McGill University, Canada
Masters in Public Policy, with Distinction - University of Oxford, UK


2023 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

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About AFLI




The African Leadership Institute (AFLI) focuses on building the capacity and capability of visionary and strategic leadership across the continent. Developing exceptional leaders representing all spheres of society, the Institute’s flagship programme is the prestigious Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship. Offering a multifaceted learning experience and run in partnership with Oxford University, it is awarded annually to 20-25 carefully chosen candidates, nominated from across Africa. Alumni of the African Leadership Institute form a dynamic network of Fellows passionately committed to the continent’s transformation, bridging the divide between nations and ensuring that Africa is set centre-stage in global affairs.