For more than ten years, the African Leadership Institute has been working with young leaders to empower them, create a network of ethical, like-minded servant-leaders that can support one another as they seek to create positive change across Africa. The Tutu Fellowship, which comprises Fellows who have completed the Tutu Leadership Programme, are steadily making changes that are positively changing the trajectory of Africa. The Fellowship, however, is a relatively small group of people. Project Pakati seeks to broaden the scope and impact of young leaders in Africa beyond that of the Fellowship.
This initiative seeks to harness the collective influence of Africa’s young leaders by building a networking platform and a commmunity in greater numbers that affords young leaders the ability of reaching a critical mass to impact the issues that Africa faces. AFLI will be working with leadership organisations across Africa to build this networking platform and community to be able to collectively have a greater impact for good. "Pakati" is a Bantu word – Shona, Ndebele and Zulu - which means the 'centre' and aptly captures the objective of the project which is to make young leaders more visible in this journey.
Funding for this AFLI initiative and platform is provided by the Ford Foundation.
The foundation awarded the African Leadership Institute a three-year grant that was titled: Harnessing the Collective Influence of Africa’s Young Leaders through Building a Regional Networking Platform and Community of Practice. AFLI's role was to manage and provide direction to the project, which had three key objectives in relation to the landscape of young African leaders:
- To map the landscape of African leadership initiatives across the continent, of which findings will be captured in a report. A fully searchable directory of the data obtained in the research mapping the landscape of leadership initiatives has been compiled and is at DIRECTORY.
- To create spaces and opportunities where young people can identify synergies and engage, resulting in the conceptualisation and execution of collective agendas and activities that drive the African developmental agenda forward. These efforts will be directed by an Advisory Board consisting of young African leaders and chaired by a young African leader. One outcome of this was a directory of youth serving and youth led organisations.
- To build a Community of Practice consisting of the curators of various African youth initiatives where collaboration can be explored, and experiences and best practices are documented and shared so that learning across and between programmes is enhanced with those learnings. This in turn can inform programme design for enhanced effectiveness and strengthen the response and interventions with respect to youth leadership initiatives on the continent.