16 July 2018 Laia

Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa Convening Continues with Discussions on Civic Leadership in Africa

JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA — Today the Obama Foundation continued its Leaders: Africa gathering, a 5-day convening of 200 rising leaders from 44 countries representing the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. The convening is part of a one-year leadership development and civic engagement programme designed to train, support, and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change in their communities. The convening includes plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, leadership sessions, and skillbuilding trainings to increase the Leaders’ capacity to drive positive change in Africa. Leaders will also complete a group service project to honor Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth and to underscore the important relationship between leadership and service.


“Leadership in the Face of Adversity” session at the Leaders: Africa gathering.

Video of today’s plenary, “Leadership in the Face of Adversity,” with speakers Graça Machel, Bogolo Kenewendo, Thulisile Madonsela, and Nozipho Mbanjwa, as well as other content from the gathering, can be found below and on The panelists discussed the power and promise that the next generation of leaders holds for the continent and emphasized the importance of young people working together for positive change.

To ensure you receive daily updates about the gathering, please sign up here. Below is a schedule of upcoming events.

Tuesday, 17 July

  • Plenary Session: “The Future of Africa: Elders Pass the Baton,” with speakers Kofi Annan, Lakhdar Brahimi, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, and Patrick Gaspard.
  • IdeasFest Programme:
    • This group ideas competition will mobilize Leaders to engage in design thinking so that they can begin to create concrete, implementable solutions to real-world social challenges.
    • The Leaders will break into 40 teams of five to tackle a social issue/leadership challenge that is of common interest and design a potential solution.
    • Later in the day they will compete among each other and pitch a panel of judges on their proposed solution.

Wednesday, 18 July

  • Panel: “Innovating for the Next Generation,” with speakers Aliko Dangote, Trevor Manuel, John Collison, and Eleni Giokos.
  • Town Hall with President Obama. Livestream available at and on the Obama Foundation’sFacebook page.

For more information, please contact MSL:

Beverley Bradley on +27 72 272 5166 or

Lesley Rencontre on +27 76 993 6045 or

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“Just believe it is your time. It is your time to redesign systems, redesign the institutions, redesign the agenda of where we need to go.” –Graça Machel, @G_MachelTrust, to 200 emerging #ObamaLeaders from across Africa.

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The Obama Foundation’s mission is to inspire, empower, and connect people to change their world. The Foundation equips civic innovators, young leaders, and everyday citizens with the skills and tools they need to create change in their communities.