A Decade of Nurturing Values Based Leaders

Almost 10 years ago, at a café in Johannesburg, South Africa, the seed that is the Leo Africa Institute today was planted.

Dear fellow, board member, faculty, partner, guest participant,

I am excited to welcome you to our second convening of the Annual Leaders Gathering for the LéO Africa Institute network across Africa.

The last year-and-a-half of the pandemic has been difficult, and meetings of this kind have been rare. Thankfully, the worst now seems to be behind us and we are glad to have in-person Gatherings again. Almost 10 years ago, at a café in Johannesburg, South Africa, the seed that is the LéO Africa Institute today was planted.

It was a meeting of minds between myself and Magnus Mchunguzi, another fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, who listened to my vision then of an authentic African platform for building and nurturing networks of values-based leaders with a can-do attitude, and inspire them to contribute conversations and narratives about Africa.

Members of the LéO Africa Network at the 2021 Annual Leaders Gathering. The Annual Leaders Gathering takes place annually in the last week of November.

In the spirit of comradeship as ALI Fellows, through his generosity and a great deal of moral encouragement, Magnus enabled us to build the foundation on which the Institute stands today.

His commitment, and contributions of so many who have since offered their valuable time and resources to building the LéO Africa Institute is testament to the potential we have as Africans to cause positive change on our continent if we work together.

Somalian YELP Fellow Mohamed Okash (second left) receives the Magnus Mchunguzi certificate from Standard Bank Group for Eastern Africa Chief Executive Patrick Mweheire (second right) and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung’s Mathias Kamp (right) in recognition of his outstanding leadership.

In today’s special session “LéO Africa Institute at 10” we will share more about the decade-long journey and what the future looks like for our growing network of change makers and values-based leaders.

As we mark our 10-years anniversary next year, I would like to use the occasion of this year’s Annual Leaders Gathering to make a rallying call to you as a member of our esteemed network to support the Institute’s vision of establishing a home that will be conducive for such conversations, and allow more intimate interactions.

To be built over the next five years, the LéO Africa Institute campus will host future gatherings, retreats in reflection, and our signature thought leadership seminars. Our fundraising team will be in touch at the beginning of 2022 to elicit your support towards this effort.

I look forward to connecting with you and all our other members of the network who we haven’t seen in a while.

Awel Uwihanganye is the Founder and Senior Director at LéO Africa Institute, an Aspen Global Leadership Network Fellow, and an Africa Leadership Initiative Fellow.

These remarks were first shared at the 2021 Annual Leaders Gathering.

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Awel Uwihanganye
Author: Awel Uwihanganye
Awel Uwihanganye is our Founder and the visionary behind the LéO Africa idea. An entrepreneur and communications specialist, he has over the years built a successful career in the non-profit and knowledge sectors, especially supporting growth and development of young people. He is also a co-owner of Tetea Communications, & Silverback Travel Company, a specialized Safari company.