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Early Deadline: 15 October 2023

The African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa. ALA seeks to enrol the most outstanding young leaders, aged 15 – 18, from across Africa and around the world. We are on a mission to find brilliant young leaders who have the potential to transform the future of our continent.

Each year, ALA identifies exceptional young leaders from across Africa with demonstrated leadership potential and a strong sense of purpose. Through ALA’s unique curriculum, these young leaders develop the skills, mindset, and network to contribute to the mission of enabling lasting peace and shared prosperity in Africa. ALA continues to accelerate these leaders throughout their lives, with connections to careers and networks of people and capital that will enable their dreams of transformational change.

ALA teaches a two-year curriculum in African Studies, Writing and Rhetoric and Entrepreneurial Leadership, as well as the usual core academic courses. They have accepted students and alumni from 46 African countries since founding in September 2008 into our growing community. There has been 8 students from Eswatini accepted and graduated from ALA since 2013.


African Leadership Academy is an accredited Cambridge International Examinations (CIE) test centre. CIE is the world’s most popular international examination for high school students and A-Levels are accepted as proof of academic preparedness for entry into outstanding universities globally.

During the first year of studies at African Leadership Academy, each student takes a range of multidisciplinary courses designed to highlight connections across disciplines and build deep knowledge within individual subjects of choice. All students will study the core offering of English, Mathematics, Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing and Rhetoric. Students will then choose a combination of Cambridge-administered IGCSE, AS or A2 electives that can include courses from the Natural Sciences, the Humanities & Languages and Commerce. Courses are offered at a range of levels. There is also the choice of an online Computer Programming course.

In the second year, students will continue with the core offering of English, Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies and Writing and Rhetoric. They will also select a combination of higher-level courses from the IGSCE, AS or A Levels that can include courses from the Natural Sciences, the Humanities & Languages and Commerce. A continuation program exists for the online Computer Programming course. Students who demonstrate sufficient capability are able to additionally pursue higher challenges through research in the Sciences, the Humanities or Creative Arts.


The Academy is dedicated and committed to the long-term success of its students. ALA’s team of experienced university guidance counsellors works with its young leaders to help them prepare for and navigate the entire university application process; including identifying schools that fit career goals and interests, preparation for entrance exams and interviews, and identifying and securing scholarships and financial aid. Finally, ALA’s guidance staff work to educate students about all of their options in order to help them make an informed decision when they hear back from universities.

Students from ALA have been accepted to 302 universities in 57 countries across the globe. They have received over USD 172 million in scholarships to attend university.


African Leadership Academy admits 130 young leaders yearly. You must be born after September 1 2004 to apply for the ALA Class of 2023. Applicants are evaluated based on the following admission criteria:

  1. Intellectual readiness: ALA students demonstrate academic achievement through strong performance and consistent improvement in their secondary school. They are driven to learn and achieve, and they set high standards for themselves. Their academic performance gives confidence that they can thrive in the rigorous ALA curriculum.

  2. Interdependence: ALA students are interested in engaging with those from different backgrounds and who have differing opinions. We believe that differences should be celebrated as a source of community strength. ALA students embrace differences of opinion, valuing respectful and productive dialogue as an avenue for individual and communal learning.

  3. Ownership: ALA students have a commitment to positive change and aspire beyond success for themselves to lives of significance, in which they are remembered for their impact on others.

  4. Perseverance: ALA students have initiative. They have the courage to do hard things when they set their mind to something that feels important.


  1. Reflect on a time when you identified a need in your community and took action. This can be your family, school, village, town, civil society organisation, workplace, religious community, and outside an assigned classroom task.

  2. For this set of essays, we would like you to think about your leadership journey to date and about your future self. Attach a piece of work (academic or non-academic) that you have completed over the past year and a half to this application.

  3. Attach a piece of work (academic or non-academic) that you have completed over the past year and a half to this application. You may attach a paper, a video, a presentation, a photograph, etc. Please do not attach a certificate or a transcript. Whatever you choose, it should show a final product that you are proud of, and which reflects your curiosity and effort.


ALA is one of the most prestigious education institutions in the world, with a unique financial model designed to enable us to identify, develop and connect Africa’s future leaders. Everyone who applies and is then admitted to ALA, regardless of financial background or nationality, is eligible to receive significant financial assistance in the form of scholarships and loans towards studying at ALA and accessing membership to our lifelong network. The cost of tuition at ALA is USD $30,900 per year. Please note that however each family is required to make a small contribution commensurate with the income level of that family, to ensure that they are invested in the education of their child.

At ALA, the value of financial awards is determined after admissions decisions have been made. Fees charged to a given student will be based on a family’s financial means. We expect that every family will stretch themselves to finance the ALA education, just as we ask ALA’s network of supporters from around the world to stretch themselves to ensure that every admitted student is able to attend. Students from more financially disadvantaged backgrounds receive more significant financial assistance from ALA, and families with more resources are expected to contribute more to their child’s education at ALA.

Every student will sign the ALA Social Contract – a commitment to contribute to peace and prosperity on the continent for at least 10 years in return for the financial assistance provided by our community.


All questions regarding the application form may be directed to To add any information to your application before the deadline contact the Admissions department: Tel: +27 11 699 3000

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1 Kommentar

Mildred Mhaka
Mildred Mhaka
18. Nov. 2023

Brilliant initiative.

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