Africa Venture
Run in collaboration with the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid

A programme for emerging leaders across Africa.


The Africa Venture develops emerging leaders from across Africa through a leadership programme that includes focused, personal, privileged and generous interaction between this rising generation of leaders and former Heads of State and Government from the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid.

The programme enables the transfer of knowledge, know-how and inspiration across the generations, involving some of the most inspiring leaders in the world today.

The inaugural Africa Venture began in March 2016, and has included both online and face-to-face learning to date. The high point to date was the gathering of the group of 40 emerging leaders in Nairobi for four days in April, where they had the opportunity to visit many local leaders, as well enjoying quality engagement with Sir James Mancham, former President of the Republic of Seychelles, and Member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid.

Read the report here.

Sir James Mancham, Former President of the Republic of Seychelles, and Member of the World Leadership Alliance – Club de Madrid (Keynote speaker, Africa Venture 2016)

“Crossing boundaries is very important because different people come from different mindsets, different backgrounds. And it is only in meeting and getting to know them that you realise there could be two or three or four or sides to every story.”

How does it work?

The challenge

A ‘Think Tank’ of Senior leaders from across the continent sets a challenge for the group, which provides the framework for the programme.

Participants will explore the challenge from every possible angle and will see both the problems and the possible solutions. They then work up practical ideas in response to the challenge, which they present to a panel of senior leaders and World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid Members.

Blended learning

The programme follows a blended learning approach, with three online phases interspersed with two face-to-face modules. The seamless integration of face-to-face and online learning enables participant to continue to develop their ideas, grow their Cultural Intelligence and develop their relationships before, between and after the face-to-face modules, even though they are dispersed across the continent.

The online learning starts in early March 2017 and finishes in early October 2017.

Face-to-face modules

The two face-to-face modules each comprise four intensive days of learning. The participants are guided through a process of creativity and innovation. They visit organizations across the city and engage in discussions with senior leaders from across the public, private and NGO sectors, including members of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid. Over the two face-to-face modules, the challenge is explored from the perspective of a different countries and cities. In 2017, the face-to-face modules will be delivered in Kenya and India.

Dates and locations:

Location: Kenya
Duration: 4 days
Dates: 4-7 April 2017

Location: India
Duration: 4 days
Dates: September 2017

Brenda Wakaba, Executive Assistant, FSI Capital Limited, Kenya, Participant, Africa Venture 2016

“Innovation is in all of us.”


Think tank:
  • Reuel Khoza, Chairman, AKA Capital, South Africa
  • Joyce Banda, Former President, Malawi and Member of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
  • Frannie Léautier, Senior Vice-President, African Development Bank Group and Chairperson and Co-Founding Partner, Mkopa Private Equity Fund


Selection panel:
  • Kithinji Kiragu, Chairman, Africa Development Professional Group Ltd
  • Tswelo Kodisang, Group Exec: Human Resources, Tiger Brands
  • Tina Razafinimanana, Founder, Youth First
  • Mamadou Toure, Chairman and CEO, Ubuntu Capital

Who and why?

Who is it for?

The Africa Venture brings together future leaders from across Africa – north, south, central, east and west - to focus on common challenges and in so doing will create an extraordinary network of young leaders across the continent.

Applications are invited from exceptional leaders in the early to mid-stage of their careers from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors. They will be recognised as those who will rapidly progress to even more senior roles. Applicants must be working in Africa.

All applications will be reviewed by the Africa Venture Selection Panel, composed of senior leaders from organisations across the continent and across the sectors.

Why take part?

The Africa Venture encourages participants to work in new directions and develop innovative approaches to challenges facing Africa today. In the process, it equips them to operate effectively across the African continent.

The participants:

  • Grow as leaders through interaction with some of the most respected and dynamic African leaders, including African members of the World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid
  • Build new networks through exposure to participants, contributors and speakers that they would otherwise never meet
  • Develop their Cultural Intelligence: the ability to cross divides and thrive in multiple cultures, by throwing them into a difficult task with a very diverse group
  • Enhance their ability to lead beyond authority – the ability to lead in situations where they have no formal authority
  • Stretch their analytical and creative skills by exposing them to new approaches to innovation
  • Strengthen their influencing skills by bringing them together with senior leaders to discuss ideas and present their findings. 

How to apply

Date and Location

The online learning starts in early March 2017 and finishes in early October 2017.

The face-to-face modules take place in two locations. The first part will take place in Kenya over four days between 4-7 April 2017. The second part will take place in India over four days in September 2017.

What is the cost?

The 2017 fee is payable in any of the following currencies:

  • South African Rands ZAR 83,740
  • Kenyan Shillings KES 542,635
  • Nigerian Nairas NGN 1,073,590
  • Egyptian Pounds EGP 47,850

The fee is subject to exchange rate fluctuation and will be reviewed quarterly, on 1 September 2016, 1 December 2016 and 1 March 2017 respectively.

The fee includes all tuition costs (online and offline), programme materials and accommodation and travel during the face-to-face modules. It excludes travel to the face-to-face modules.

There are a number of part scholarships available for those who are unable to afford the full fee.

Hear from participants on the 2016 Africa Venture

Africa Venture 2016

The value of experiential learning

Sir James Mancham on the Africa Venture

The need for the Africa Venture Programme

Sir James Mancham, Former President of Seychelles

Zein Baluch, Director, Bectrum Investment International, UAE, Participant, Africa Venture 2016

“It is a game changer for me. Learning to listen changes everything.”

Cultural Intelligence is a passport to doing business in Africa.

Our work in Africa

Common Purpose, established in Africa in 2000, runs programmes for students and for both emerging and senior leaders from across the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

As well as participating on our programmes in African cities, people from across the continent have joined Common Purpose programmes around the world. African diaspora leaders have also taken part in programmes (both in Africa and the UK) focused on helping them to contribute to their country of origin.

There are over 4,000 Common Purpose alumni from Africa, including students from twenty nationalities and over eighty senior leaders who have taken part in one of our global programmes.

Lucy Corkin, Executive Assistant to Global Market CRO/ Class Of Programme, Rand Merchant Bank, South Africa, Participant, Africa Venture 2016

“Common Purpose has landed the realisation that being a leader is not about being at the top, but contributing of yourself to achieve a top notch outcome. It’s a process.”

The World Leadership Alliance-Club de Madrid is an international non-profit organisation, the world's largest assembly of independent political leaders.

In association with

Contact us

If you are interested applying or want more information about the Africa Venture, please get in touch.

Dr. Elsbeth Dixon
Head: Common Purpose Africa 

T: +27 (0)11 836 6348
Skype: cpza-elsbethd