Programme Overview

Launched in 2011 in East Africa and subsequently in West Africa, the programme is a prestigious regional programme that selects high potential emerging leaders from government, civil society and business. The programme focuses on creating cross-cultural collaborations where young leaders from different sectors of society can share their perspectives. The main objective is to create dialogue and group activities where participants are able to find solutions for regional issues that are mutually beneficial and benefit the broader community.

On completion of the programme, Leadership for Change Fellows go on to engage as a cross-sector network. They are bound together by mutual respect and understanding of each other’s perspectives. This network of young leaders is well placed as a feeder programme for the Archbishop Tutu Fellowship Programme. To date 49 Fellows have completed the Leadership for Change Programme.

The leadership learning experiences are based on four pillars:

1. Sharing experiences & perspectives – with experienced African leaders, and with peers from different sectors, backgrounds and nationalities. Individual story telling and working collaboratively on group projects is a key component to this

2.  The practice of leadership: the programme is designed in such a way that it creates ample opportunity to practice leadership and to get feedback from your peers and the faculty

3.  Focus on critical regional issues within a broader context: The critical issues are topical and change at each workshop, but as an indication, the sort of issues which may be discussed are:

  • Greater transparency in business/government dealings
  • Improving global competitiveness of the Region
  • Creating employment
  • Supporting sustainable living in rural communities
  • Removing bottlenecks to growth
  • Developing the skills needed to compete in the modern world.
  • Growing intra-regional trade, etc.

4.  Tutoring and personal reflection: Through our self-learning frame-works, dedicated time is provided for the young leaders to self reflect while becoming more self aware through the tutoring sessions.

A core element of the workshops is syndicate work on critical regional issues, offering the opportunity for future leaders in their respective sectors to share perspectives on crosscutting issues, and to explore possible solutions. These solutions form the basis of the project work to be undertaken jointly by representatives of government, civil society and business between the workshops. The programme is run with the support from Oxford University, the Africa Forum of Past Presidents and was previously funded by the Private Investors for Africa.


Leadership Qualities

Young African leaders return to their countries and positions confident and fully equipped for the responsibilities of leadership in both the African and global arenas. They emerge from AFLI programmes with:

  • A self-formed view of leadership principles and values.
  • A better understanding of their own strengths and weaknesses.
  • A finely tuned moral compass.
  • The importance of having a mentor.
  • A commitment to leading change and development on the continent.
  • A deep understanding of the complexities and demands in being a leader.
  • A fuller appreciation of the regional and global forces that will influence the decisions and behaviours of future leaders in Africa (through Scenario Planning exercises).
  • Practical experience and feedback from working as part of a team of high calibre individuals


Selection Process

Leadership for Change Fellows are emerging leaders who, by their actions and achievements, have demonstrated their potential to be future leaders in their sector and their region of Africa. Whether working in government, the private sector or civil society, these individuals demonstrate integrity, reinforced by strong values and principles. Importantly, participants need to be committed to living in Africa and contributing to its long-term success.

The Leadership for Change Programme is highly selective with approximately 25 candidates selected for each regional programme per year. Participants are invited following a rigorous nomination and selection process to identify the region’s high potential emerging leaders. The selection process will be governed by strict guidelines to ensure the highest quality of participants.


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.