The ALI-EA Fellowship Programme

ALI East Africa is one of the Africa Leadership Initiatives divisions. It currently comprises of 11 Fellowship classes with 208 Fellows—this is in addition to Fellows in South Africa, West Africa, and Mozambique.

The Fellows are men and women between the ages of 35 and 50, who are successful in their fields of influence. 60% of these Fellows come from the business sector, while 20% are derived from government, and the remaining 20%, from civil society organizations.

These Fellows are committed to promoting – and personally exemplifying — effective, values-based leadership in their countries. The Fellows in East Africa are selected by a Selection Committee who applies a crafted criterion for a balanced class of differing viewpoints — a class that will stimulate constructive debates.

The ALI Fellowship Programme provides a unique mixture of seminars, designed to broaden the perspectives of the participants and develop value-based, community-spirited leaders.

We pull together leaders from various sectors of influence such as business, government and civil society. We then provide a safe environment for these leaders to engage in meaningful dialogue, about their respective responsibilities. As part of our vision, we want each fellow to create a positive social change in the community, country and region where he or she lives. The idea is to spur the leaders ‘from thought to action’ by encouraging and requiring the fellows to implement sustainable individual community projects of their own.

Our Fellows attend four seminars (within six days) over a period of 2 years. They also have to commit to carrying out a high-impact Leadership Project of their own choosing — vetted and approved by their peers.

In short, the programme is designed to capture the energy, resolve and talent of an emerging generation of African leaders. We seek to inspire them so they can move from ‘success to significance’. We also want to create a continental community of like-minded people who are driven beyond their own personal success to achieve global significance.

The Four Seminars


The Challenge of Leadership

A six-day seminar in which the Fellows are exposed to a range of leadership styles – from Martin Luther King Jr. to Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi to Jean Monnet. Case studies include the pharmaceutical industry and HIV/AIDS in Africa, Nike and international labour practices in Asia. The Fellows produce a personal handbook of the attributes of effective, enlightened leaders – and of what such leaders do and don’t do.


The Aspen Seminar: Defining the Good Society

A 4 day seminar in which the Fellows build their vision of “a good society” by reading, discussing, debating and relating the writings of a wide range of thinkers to their present-day conditions. The Fellows share their personal thoughts on the proper role of government in society as well as on the sorts of trade-offs they are willing to accept in the name of economic growth.


Leading in an Era of Globalization

A six-day seminar in which the Fellows explore the economic, political, scientific, cultural and ethical dimensions of globalisation. Readings and discussions cover a wide range of topics including the demands of global capital, the future of the African Union, the challenge of eliminating corruption, the growth of Asian outsourcing and the importance of financial remittances to local economies.


The Promise of Leadership

This is the final seminar in the series of four and is the most introspective. In this six-day seminar in which the Fellows share the results and lessons learned from their Leadership Projects and explore issues of balancing work and family, community engagement and personal legacy. They are poised from here to engage in the next phase of their leadership and have began their journey from success to significance.

Program Structure

Each class of 22 ALI Fellows will be chosen from a pool of candidates nominated by ALI Fellows. The two-year program is comprised of :-

  1. A structured series of four seminars—16 days in total—under the guidance of skilled senior moderators along with
  2. A required community project of each Fellow’s own design and choosing and
  3. Occasional, optional opportunities to participate in gatherings with fellows and distinguished guests.

From Thought to Action

During the seminar each fellow identifies and begins a personal leadership project reflecting his/her passions with support from Fellows and Mentors who share similar interests. These projects mark the beginning of each Fellow's commitment to action and their impact on their communities and the East Africa region in general. This action and impact are the defining characteristics of an ALI-EA Fellow.

Nomination Procedures

Nominations of Fellows are open between the 1st of August and the 30th of November each year. Candidates must be between the ages of 35 and 50 and should be established leaders in their businesses, civil society and government sectors. They must be willing to leverage on their success to have a significant impact in Africa.

Fellows are nominated to enroll into the ALI Fellowship Programme by recognized leaders of business and community organizations, or by Fellows in the ALI Alumni Network. Nominators are asked to complete the attached nomination form stating reasons for recommending the candidate, with a special focus on:

  1. The candidate’s leadership and entrepreneurial experience,
  2. His/her potential influence or impact on the African continent, and
  3. Why they think this is the right time in the nominee’s life and career to participate in the programme.

Thoughts from the Fellowship Experience