The 2023 cohort of Calestous Juma Fellows convened in the vibrant city of Nairobi during the week of 13-17 November for the second workshop of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded Leadership Accelerator Programme, which AFLI has been running in partnership with other African and international organisations.

The 14 Calestous Juma Fellows were selected by the BMGF as leaders in the field of health science and innovation, and in recognition of the fact that Africa needs strong leadership in science and innovation to develop the full potential of this under-developed sector in Africa, AFLI was requested to design and run a tailored leadership programme for these brilliant scientists.

A successful first workshop was held in March at Mont Fleur near Stellenbosch, laying the foundation of leadership learning, and offering the opportunity to reflect on their personal leadership journeys amidst the beautiful surroundings of the Cape winelands, whilst beginning to tackle some of the leadership challenges that face the scientific community in Africa.

This learning experience was deepened and broadened in Nairobi, with some particularly powerful one-on-one sessions with a leadership coach, with a communications specialist, and a review of their personal profiles. The workshop was kicked off in dramatic fashion by a characteristically provocative key note address by the brilliant orator, Prof. PLO Lumumba, who questioned why science and innovation was not being funded by Africans and African institutions rather than rely on foreign aid, and berated the lack of scientific leadership in African governments. This set the tone for an absorbing week of self-reflection and leadership learning, and seeking ways to address Africa’s scientific challenges.


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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.