African Leadership Academy’s (ALA) founder and executive chairman, Fred Swaniker is a true pacesetter in driving the growth of entrepreneurial African Leaders. Forbes has named him among the top ten young power men in Africa, and he was named a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. Swaniker is also the founder of the African Leadership Network and the Africa Advisory Group. Today the ALA has placed students in leading global universities and boasts of successful graduates, many of whom have launched nonprofits and for profit enterprises to date.
Swaniker has been described as a visionary and a risk taker, so it’s only fitting that we learn a thing or two from his pool of genius. Here are six of his best quotes on the future of Africa and the potential impact of the continent’s next generation of leaders.
“Everywhere I went I experienced the wonderful beauty of our continent and saw the resilience and the spirit of our people, and at that time, I realized that I wanted to dedicate the rest of my life to making this continent great” ~From a TEDtalk given in Rio de Janeiro on The Leaders who ruined Africa and the generation who can fix it (October 2014).
“By 2030, Africa will have a larger workforce than China, and by 2050, it will have the largest workforce in the world. One billion people will need jobs in Africa, so if we don’t grow our economies fast enough, we’re sitting on a ticking time bomb, not just for Africa, but for the entire world” ~From the same TEDtalk given in Rio de Janeiro on The Leaders who ruined Africa and the generation who can fix it (October 2014).
“People have a lot of ideas……they don’t recruit other people with solid skills who can help them make things happen……so things don’t fly because you don’t put enough muscle behind it. That’s the problem with Africans, we like to talk, but don’t do enough” ~From an interview with Solving Africa, on the most important thing behind a strong business plan (December 2009).
“Seeing how a few leaders like Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, just one or two people who could transform an entire country like South Africa; I believe that if we can find more young people like that and develop them into significant leaders, we can really transform the continent” ~From an ALA interview where Swaniker spoke about the vision of the African Leadership Academy.
“We believe that unless we can create our own wealth and prosperity, we will forever be dependent on the rest of the world” ~From an interview with ABN’s Hannah Viviers to discuss the vision of the African Leadership Network.
“When it comes to Africa, the issue of leadership is much more important in Africa than anywhere else in the world…..when institutions are weak, leadership makes all difference” ~From a lecture on November 2012 given at MIT’s Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship.