Africa Venture
A programme for emerging leaders across Africa

The Africa Venture is an annual leadership development programme that seeks to bring together exceptional emerging leaders from across all African nations onto a common platform, where they work together to address pressing issues relevant to the region.

The Africa Venture assembles exceptional emerging leaders from government, businesses and non-profits across Africa, including north, south, east, west and central Africa.

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. It creates a new generation of African leaders who have the Cultural Intelligence to work fluidly and flexibly across the continent, who have the analytical and creative skills to use diversity to spark innovation, and who have extraordinarily broad African networks.

High points included quality engagement with Dr. Ing. Kenneth Adem Ashigbey – CEO, Ghana Telecommunications Chamber; Naina Desai – Head of Revenue Growth Management & Advanced Analytics for Coca-Cola Southwest Beverages, in the US operations of Arca Continental; Prof Pat Utomi, former presidential candidate and Nigerian entrepreneur; Ken Okwero, Head of Strategy, Safaricom; Juliet Phoebe Masiga, Editor – Peace & Security, The Conversation Africa; Abraham Ondeng, Ministry of ICT; and Boniface Mwangi, Kenyan activist, photographer and politician as well as a range of other inspiring leaders in the cities of Nairobi and Lagos.


Upcoming dates:

Phase 1 : 
Online begins 7 June - 9 July 2021

Phase 2 : 5 days, 12-16 July 2021 (Nairobi, Kenya) 

Phase 3 : Online begins 19 July - 3 September 2021

Phase 4 : 7 -9 September 2021 (Lagos, Nigeria)

If necessary, the Phase 2 dates will be revisited in line with unfolding developments relating to the virus on our continent.

Unati Mgandela, Public Affairs Specialist, Discovery, South Africa

"A fantastic rich, interactive, informative programme which has not only broadened my knowledge capacity but it has broadened my network base."

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 will equip them with the skills and the networks to operate effectively across the African continent. 

The participants will:

  • Understand how to solve complex problems with people who may think and act in a completely different way
  • Stretch their analytical and creative skills by exposing them to new approaches to innovation

Who is it for?

The Africa Venture brings together exceptional emerging leaders from across Africa who are in the early to mid-stage of their careers. The participants are recognized as those who will rapidly progress to more senior roles. Each participant group includes a diverse mix drawn from the public, private and not-for-profit sectors.

All applications will be reviewed by the Africa Venture Selection Group, composed of senior leaders from organizations across the continent and across the sectors.
The participants will:

• develop their Cultural Intelligence (CQ): the ability to cross boundaries and thrive in multiple cultures
• enhance their ability to lead beyond authority – the ability to lead in situations where they have no formal authority.
• build diverse networks with exceptional emerging leaders from across the continent, whom they would never otherwise meet

Hear from participants on the 2018 Africa Venture

Samantha Domoina Spooner

Sitali Wamundila

Tafadzwa Sasa

About the Africa Venture

Muhigirwa Kinyunyi, Strategy and Operation Member LUCHA, The Democratic Republic Of The Congo

“I had a good moment with people from different sectors, from different countries, but very engaged to the development of Africa and ready to work on the connectivity of Africa.”

How does it work?

Applied learning

Throughout the programme, we emphasize helping the candidates to learn to apply the leadership concepts which are taught.

In the first half of the programme, we do so by presenting the participants with a practical and compelling challenge facing Africa today. They work together, using their leadership learning, to find solutions to the challenge. The challenge is set by a Think Tank made up of senior leaders from across the continent. This year’s challenge is: How can we use technological innovation to improve healthcare in Africa?

In the second half of the programme, participants begin to apply their leadership learning to a challenge which they identify from within their own workplace. They are encouraged to share the learning from this as they proceed, and at the final contact module, they report back on progress and learn from each other’s experiences.

COVID-19 update

This year we have devised an exciting initial online module, providing stimulating real-time digital engagement for participants while they are still in varying degrees of lockdown. They will engage with  key global leaders focusing on applicable solutions to current world realities.


Blended learning

The programme follows a blended learning approach, with two online phases interspersed with two contact modules, completed over 12 months.The seamless integration of contact and online learning enables participants to continue to develop their ideas, grow their Cultural Intelligence and develop their relationships before and between the face-to-face modules, even though they are dispersed across the continent. The two contact modules comprise five and three intensive days of learning, respectively.

The programme uses the two host cities as the classroom. The participants visit organizations across the cities and engage in discussions with senior leaders from across the public, private and NGO sectors. Over the two contact modules, the participants have the opportunity to explore both the group challenge and their own workplace challenges from the perspective of a different countries and cities. The participants are guided through a process of creativity and innovation to discover how to bring new solutions to old problems.

The face-to-face modules will be delivered in Nairobi, Kenya and Lagos, Nigeria. Participants have the option of attending the second contact module with their counterparts on the Indo Pacific Venture – a truly amazing opportunity to see Africa through the eyes of others.


Think tank:
  • Frannie Leautier, Senior Vice President, African Development Bank (Tanzania)

  • Joyce Banda, Founder and Leader of the People's Party (Malawi)

  • Marguerite Barankitse, Humanitarian (Burundi)

  • Reuel Khosa, Chairman of Dzana Investments (Pty) Ltd and AKA Capital (Pty) Ltd (South Africa)

  • Sir Sam Jonah, Executive Chairman of Jonah Capital and Director of Vodaphone (Ghana)


Selection panel:
  • Barbara Kokonya, Managing Director, Very Chic Limited, Kenya

  • Caroline Kayonga ,Independent Consultant in Environment & Climate Change Policy and Natural Resources Management, Rwanda /China

  • Elias Mpondela, President, Zambian Amateur Athletics Association, Zambia

  • Kenneth Ashigbey, Chief Executive Officer, Chamber of Telecommunications, Ghana

  • Mabel Mungomba, Chief Executive, Belcomm Limited, Zambia

  • Vanessa Naicker, Head of Early Talent, Anglo American, South Africa

How to apply

Date and Location

The online learning starts on 7 June and continues till 3 September 2021.

The face-to-face modules take place in two locations. The first part will take place in Nairobi, over five days between 12 and 16 July 2021. The second part will take place in Lagos, over three days from 7 to 9 September 2021.

What is the cost?

2021 fee is payable in any of the following currencies:

  • South African Rands – ZAR 97,000
  • Nigerian Naira – NGN 2,550,000
  • Kenyan Shillings – KES 694,000
  • Egyptian Pounds – EGP 59,200

The fee is subject to exchange rate fluctuation and will be reviewed quarterly. The ability to pay the full fee is not one of our application criteria. There are a number of part bursary places for every Common Purpose course, and individual negotiation of fees is possible for those who are genuinely unable to meet the full fee.

Africa Venture 2019 Report

Developing emerging leaders from across Africa

Abiola Osho, Investments Associate, Africa Finance Corporation, Nigeria

"The programme has fundamentally challenged me to focus more on my circle of influence. I have grown so many skills and acquired a lot of knowledge that now is the time to launch out and ensure the wider society benefits from what I can offer."

More about the Africa Venture

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

In association with