(Aspen Leadership Initiative Networks African graduates)
Rosette Chantal Rugamba, well remembered for her time at the helm of ORTPN and then as Deputy CEO in charge of Tourism and Conservation at the Rwanda Development Board, has last week graduated as a Fellow of the Aspen Leadership Initiative alongside an impressive name list of other graduates drawn from all over the East African region. Rosette, who set up Songa Africa after leaving RDB two years ago, expressed her delight over her achievement, which she said was not just for me but also for my country Rwanda when she was nominated as a fellow of ALI back in 2010.
The fellowship comprises four seminar spread over a two-year period. During the seminars, fellows engage in Socratic conversations on various issues reading from classical and contemporary texts under the careful watch of expert moderators. The themes of the seminars include a study of leadership styles and a search for the fellows own moral compass and appreciation of how it affects their exercise of authority; a search of the Good Society (going back in history to understand the evolution of human societies, the political, cultural and spiritual structures that underpin them, sources of strength and instability, etc.); a look at the challenges of leading in an era of Globalisation, understanding the challenges leaders are facing in todays fast changing, connected and increasingly interdependent world defined by rapid technological, economic and societal changes and finally a study of the balance between self and society, encouraging fellows to think about their own legacies.
The Fellows also commit to carrying out a high-impact Leadership Project of their own choosing and design vetted and approved by their peers.
The 2010 Fellows whose class is aptly named "UWEPO" meaning "presence" in Kiswahili, were named as:
Stella Kilonzo, Chief Executive of Capital Markets Authority of Kenya, Magnus Mchunguzi, Vice President Commercial & MD of Ericsson South Africa, Awel Uwihanganye, Managing Partner of Tetea Uganda; David Mpanga, Partner, Kampala Associated Advocates; Dr Laila Macharia, Principal of Scion Real, Kenya, Richard Mugisha, Managing Partner, Trust Law Chambers of Rwanda; Leslie Rance, Head of Corporate and Regulatory affairs at British American Tobacco, Southern Africa Region, Andrew Rugege of Rwanda is Africa Regional Director of ITU and ITU Rep to the UN ECA in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, Winnie Ouko, Managing Director, Lattice Consulting Limited of Kenya, Mugo Kibati, Director General, Kenya Vision 2030 Delivery Secretariat; Pauline Mbayah, Director, ATMS Foundation, Johannesburg, South Africa; Jeremy Awori, MD and CEO, Standard Chartered Bank Tanzania Ltd, Rosette Chantal Rugamba, Founder, Songa Africa of Rwanda, Davith Kahwa, Founder, President & CEO, Equip Advisory Group (Pty) Limited of Tanzania, Frederick Kitaka-Mutebi, Co-Founder & Director of Finance, Quality Chemicals Ltd of Uganda and Rehmah Kasule, Founder and CEO of Century Marketing Uganda.
Speaking at the ceremony at the Fairmont Mt. Kenya Safari Club in Nanyuki over the last weekend, Dr. Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank was quoted to have said: The majority of African countries attained independence from their colonial rulers long before most of you were born. Half a century later, there is broad agreement Africa is turning the corner, building a new momentum. My view is that the challenge of the leadership now is how to sustain the momentum. It is for this reason that I am very pleased to be here to bear witness to a process of leadership development that gives me hope of a better future for our continent. I want you to know that in me and the institution I lead, ADB, you have a partner you can call upon whenever in need and please do so without hesitation. Our support for and partnership with the Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa emanates from our firm belief in that tackling the leadership problem in Africa is key to the successful turnaround of our continent’s fortunes. I wish you all the best and look forward to engaging with you individually and collectively in the days and months ahead.
Capacity building at its best and at a level where truly the future of Africas economic development can be shaped to the better, this correspondents sentiment echoed also in the opening address by ALIs East Africa Chapter Chairman Ali Mufuruki when he said: We selected you to join this program because we believed that each and every one of you has within them the qualities of a great leader. Our purpose was and remains that of helping you to recognize and come to terms with that reality and the implied responsibility. This programme was designed to equip you with the tools you will need to face up to the responsibility of leading and by that I mean leading well. We have brought you together in this group so that you know you are not alone and have unlimited access to a vast network of resources you can rely on for useful feedback and wise counsel, a network of leaders whose values you share. So let’s go and do the work that awaits us with the confidence that derives from knowledge and the urgency the work demands.
Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) East Africa Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in June 2006 to roll out ALI Fellowship classes in East Africa. From 2008-2015, the ALI-EA Foundation Limited aims to identify, strengthen and motivate 180 East Africa ALI Fellows, with 45 each coming from Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Kenya.
The launch of the ALI-EA Foundation set the pace for a passionate search for a new generation of leaders in East Africa, not just leaders who have achieved impressive levels of personal success, but enlightened and values-based leaders working together to build the good society.
The Africa Leadership Initiative (ALI) is designed to capture the energy, talent, and the resolve of an emerging generation of leaders in Africa, who have already realized a certain level of personal success, to inspire them to move from success to significance and from thought to action by engaging in the foremost challenges facing their countries and their times.
ALI is a collaborative effort of five partner organizations in Africa and the United States The Aspen Institute (United States), CETA Construction Services (Mozambique), the Databank Foundation (Ghana), Infotech Investment Group LTD (Tanzania), The Letsema Foundation (South Africa), to foster values-based, action-oriented leadership in Africa.
Congratulations to Rosette and all the other graduates and all the best for their future and for the future of Africa. Visit www.aspeninstitute.org for more information.