A delegation of four students from the African Leadership University (ALU) has called on US policymakers and Silicon Valley leaders to strengthen partnerships with African universities and help educate the next generation of change-makers in the continent.
The students namely Isaac Odhiambo from Kenya, Vivian Amah Ofre from Nigeria, Mutijima Ali Noble from Rwanda, and Alice Ballo Dyonah from Ivory Coast made the appeal on a visit to Washington, New York, and Boston. The trip was organized by ALU.
ALU has a state-of-the-art campus in Kigali, Rwanda, and a college in Pamplemousses, Mauritius, and aims to develop three million ethical and entrepreneurial African leaders by 2035.
During their visit to the US, the students met with Michael McCaul, Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, John James, Chair of the House Subcommittee on Africa, and members of the US Senate.
They presented first-hand accounts of the political, economic, cultural, and social challenges facing their countries, as well as opportunities for closer partnerships between the US and Africa.
Isaac Odhiambo, from Kenya, said, “The US is an undisputed leader in innovation and philanthropy, and by strengthening ties with African universities, it can help our continent translate its vast potential into lasting change – not just in Africa, but all over the world.”
The students attended Harvard Business School’s Africa Business Conference and heard from entrepreneurs and policy experts on opportunities for the continent.
They also visited Google’s offices in New York for a private tour.
Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of African Leadership University, Veda Sunassee said, “The US has unleashed some of history’s brightest ideas and is home to some of the world’s most groundbreaking companies. I hope more American leaders can partner with us and help us skill up the next 3 million African changemakers. After all, Africa’s future is America’s future.”
In December 2022, at the US-Africa Business Forum, President Biden announced $15 billion in partnerships and trade and investment commitments, focusing on key priorities such as sustainable energy and digital connectivity. By 2030, Africa is expected to make up 42% of the world’s youth, and five of its countries – Rwanda, Côte d’Ivoire, Benin, Ethiopia, and Tanzania – are among the world’s top 10 fastest-growing economies.
ALU was launched in 2015 to shape the next generation of African leaders through a combination of classes, mentorships, and practical assignment.