GE Africa has announced a partnership worth over $5 million (Kshs 435 million) with the Johannesburg-based African Leadership Academy (ALA), which aims to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the next generation of African leaders.
The academy, located in Honeydew Johannesburg admitted its first students in 2008, and has become the leading pan-African institution focusing on youth entrepreneurial and leadership development.
ALA has about 550 young leaders in its network and its scholars have won bursaries/scholarships to study at leading global universities such as London School of Economics in the UK, Harvard, Stanford and Duke in the United States and the University of Toronto in Canada.
A Kenyan student from the ALA inaugural class, Benjamin Munyao, now a second year student at Colorado College, USA won the US$10,000 Kathryn Davis Project for Peace in 2012 for his proposal “Vijana Amkeni Sasa Initiative: Creating a Peaceful Society in Kenya.” Partnering with Joseph Munyambanza, Munyao’s project was submitted with the background that Kenyan youth were highly involved in the 2007 post election violence both as victims and as perpetrators.
His proposal aimed at helping to break the cycle of youth involvement in election violence.
“We are excited about this unique partnership with ALA. ALA’s mission is very much aligned with GE Africa’s commitment to developing leaders not just in Africa for Africa, but for GE (worldwide) and Africa. This initial investment is just the beginning. We will pilot this initiative first in Angola and will expand throughout Sub-Saharan Africa,” said Tamla Oates-Forney, Senior Executive –Human Resources.
“This is an investment in a future generation of African leaders and in skills development for this continent,” said Jay Ireland President and CEO for GE Africa.
“These are bright young people who will have the opportunity to acquire the skills and academic qualifications to pursue long-term careers at GE and other companies in Africa.”
Frank Aswani, ALA Vice President and Director of Strategic Relations welcomed the partnership with GE.
“We thank GE for their commitment to Africa’s prosperity and for investing in Africa’s biggest asset; its youth. This will enable us to expand our operations, select and admit additional students, and support their lifelong growth and development. In so doing, we shall be fulfilling our mission of transforming Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the next generation of African leaders.”
GE’s investment includes funding participation in ALA’s flagship two-year preparatory programme, gap year programme, and further studies at approved tertiary institutions. GE will also provide internship and post-graduate employment for their scholars and other ALA graduates to give them much needed work experience.