AFLI explained

Programme Philosophy

AFLI incorporates a combination of theory, the sharing of experiences by successful leaders, experiential learning, varied practical applications, and assignments, all conducted in an Oxford-style tutorial environment. During the learning process, a balance is maintained between personal development, self-reflection, and the African context of leadership. The values and ethics of leadership also form a major component of the learning. In line with the principles of servant leadership that underpin the programme, participants are required to undertake a community-based project and, in so doing, extend the benefit of their learning to the broader community. Emphasis is placed on peer interaction and feedback on the basis that leaders need to be aware of how followers experience them.

Opportunities Available to Fellows

  • Thought-leadership and speaking opportunities
  • Advocacy opportunities
  • Networking opportunities and network memberships
  • Access to projects, causes and campaigns
  • Collaborating with like-minded peers on projects
  • Accountability to peers for the values of the Tutu Fellowship
  • Job opportunities
  • Pan-African exposure
  • Access to invitations to attend multinational meetings and conferences
  • Leadership of, and participation in, multi-country organisations and projects
  • International exposure
  • Opportunities for ongoing debate and knowledge-exchange
  • Profiling in the media
  • Greater visibility for consideration for awards
  • Consideration for selection as board members or trustees to high profile companies/organisations

AFLI develops Africa’s emerging and exceptional leaders through a range of offerings that can be read about further below:

  1. Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship
  2. Programmes for Third Parties

Programme Overview

As AFLI’s flagship leadership development programme, the Archbishop Tutu Leadership Fellowship welcomes an elite group of Africa’s highest potential young leaders, representing a wide range of sectors. Offered on a part-time basis over six months, the Programme includes two 9-day Group Learning Modules with an impressive array of distinguished leaders and faculty. These are intensive interactive workshops; one at the historic Mont Fleur conference facility (South Africa), and the other split between Oxford University and London (UK).  The video below explains effectively how our program works.

The programme has been designed specifically for African leaders in consultation with our African faculty and advisors and with Oxford, whose famous tutorial style has been adopted. It provides participants with an intensive learning and broadening experience on the principles and application of leadership, and an opportunity to explore the issues and specific characteristics of leadership in Africa, as well as the global challenges and dimensions of an African leader.

The programme places emphasis on learning and experiencing, not teaching, offering a variety of formal and innovative informal learning opportunities to enhance the leadership capabilities of the candidate. Emphasis is also placed on peer interaction and feedback, and the participants highly value being able to share pan-African perspectives and experiences. Overall it provides a unique environment for mid-career self reflection on one’s leadership journey in transforming Africa, and has been described as life changing by many participants.

Between modules, Group Projects are undertaken. The objective of the project is for the group to develop solutions for some of the challenges that Africa is facing. This is an opportunity for participants to work through the scenario planning methodology and put it into practice. In addition, candidates are required to develop their own individual projects (in consultation with their mentors), and submit these in a year-end dissertation for peer review. Over the years, the range of these Community Projects has been extensive and impactful with a strong focus on the youth.

Upon completing the programme, Tutu Fellows return to play active roles in their respective communities, countries and spheres of influence. Great value is placed upon becoming a member of an established exclusive and supportive network of Africa’s future leaders – the Tutu Fellows. As part of this network of global leaders, all Fellows are expected to attend AFLI alumni events, as well as function as ambassadors for the Fellowship across all segments of society.

Al Jazeera News has done a four-part documentary series on the Tutu Leadership programme - titled Tutu's Children - that provides additional insights.Tutus Children Al Jazeera

Selection Process

As one would expect from a programme that targets the cream of Africa’s future leaders who are deemed to bring about massive change throughout the continent, the selection of candidates for the Fellowship is rigorous and thorough. 

The nomination and selection process is online at a dedicated site for this purpose: TutuFellows.Africa.  

Competition is extremely tough for the 20 fellowship places available; each year we receive more than 300 top-quality nominations from all over Africa, which are put forward by our existing Fellows, partners and network of influential leaders. The Awards are aimed at the cream of the continent’s future leaders, specifically targeting the next generation of Africa’s leaders in all sectors of society, between the ages of 30 and 40.

Candidates must be citizens of an African country, and must be currently living in Africa, or temporarily placed abroad by their employer or completing further education abroad, or working on African projects for a global organisation. They should be committed to living in Africa and to actively contributing to its long-term success. We are keen to seek outstanding candidates who may not otherwise have access to such a leadership training opportunity or who have not yet benefitted from the variety of leadership initiatives now being offered by various institutions.

Only nominated candidates will be considered for admission into the programme. Nominators are required to complete an online Nomination Form for a proposed candidate that is published at TutuFellows.Africa during the nomination window period.  AFLI emphasizes integrity, strong values and responsibility, courage and a demonstrated ability to lead and inspire. A candidate must demonstrate a commitment to Africa and to serving the greater community. We seek leaders not managers.

Future Programme Applications

For those visiting this page interested in applying for the programme, please subscribe to our newsletter list.  AFLI will announce the programme by email, typically sometime in the third quarter of the year.  Additionally check back at the TutuFellows.Africa site where the current status of the process will be posted.



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.