Climate Challenge Leadership Programme

Climate Challenge Leadership Programme

An online programme bringing together emerging leaders from across Africa, the wider global South, and the global North.

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The aim of this programme is to strengthen the capacity of a cohort of dynamic emerging leaders who, as they progress in their careers, will build bridges between the global North and South and find new ways to address the environmental crisis.

This Climate Challenge Leadership Programme is a collaboration between Common Purpose and Africa Finance Corporation (AFC).

Samaila Zubairu
President & CEO, Africa Finance Corporation
"For far too long, Africa has been viewed by the rest of the world as a place of ‘problems’...I wish to propose a rethink...I believe Africa holds the solutions to many of the fundamental problems afflicting the world today."

How will it work? 

The programme comprises two key elements:


Participants will be introduced to the Common Purpose thought leadership of 'Leading Beyond Authority' - the ability to cross boundaries and deliver results outside of your direct circle of control. Essential to tackling any complex challenge.

Participants will focus on a climate challenge set at the start of the programme.

Through the Common Purpose 'Innoventure' process, based on design thinking principles, participants will explore the challenge in a creative and dynamic way. The final stage of this process will be a presentation by participants, to a panel of senior leaders, on their ideas to meet the challenge.


Who is it for?

Successful applicants will be from different sectors, countries, and communities across Africa, the wider global South, and the global North.

They will be:

  • Emerging leaders (typically with over 5 years professional experience)
  • Highly motivated individuals who show commitment to bringing about positive change, and who can demonstrate their leadership potentials and/or capability
  • Interested in environmental issues and in addressing the imbalance between the global North and South

Nnaji Igwe
Chief of Staff, NESTOIL (Obijackson, Nigeria)
"Being immersed in an incredibly diverse environment with Common Purpose has better equipped me to work with diversity, to deal with people from different backgrounds, perspectives and ways of thinking."

Why take part?

Participants will:

Enhance their ability to Lead Beyond Authority equipping them to work across boundaries; a pre-requisite to solving any complex problem

Grow new networks by connecting with diverse participants, contributors and speakers from the global North and South who they would otherwise never meet

Stretch their analytical and creative skills by exposing them to a new approach to innovation

Develop their influencing skills by putting them in front of senior decision-makers to present their findings

Generate new ideas and approaches to meet this hugely important challenge

Climate Challenge Leaders Programme

The first Climate Challenge Leadership Programme ran in September and October 2023. Read the impact report here.


Applications for the next Climate Challenge Leadership Programme will open soon

Speak with us

Curious to find out more about the Climate Challenge Leadership Programme?

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Common Purpose

Common Purpose is a leadership development organization that specializes in cross-boundary leadership. A not-for-profit, we run programmes in over 100 cities worldwide. Founded in 1989, we have over 115,000 alumni globally. Our leadership development programmes inspire and equip people to work across boundaries. This enables them to solve complex problems in organizations and in society.

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Africa Finance Corporation (AFC)

AFC was established in 2007 to be the catalyst for private sector-led infrastructure investment across Africa. AFC’s approach combines specialist industry expertise with a focus on financial and technical advisory, project structuring, project development, and risk capital to address Africa’s infrastructure development needs and drive sustainable economic growth.

Sixteen years on, AFC has developed a track record as the partner of choice in Africa for investing and delivering on instrumental, high-quality infrastructure assets that provide essential services in the core infrastructure sectors of power, natural resources, heavy industry, transport, and telecommunications. AFC has 42 member countries and has invested US$12.7 billion across Africa since inception.