Fred Swaniker is a 34-year-old Ghanaian born entrepreneur who has lived in at least four African countries namely: Gambia, Botswana, and Zimbabwe. He has also been privileged to work in Nigeria, Ghana, Tanzania and South Africa.
At 18 years old, he was appointed Headteacher at a school in Botswana. From just a head teacher, he has moved on to establish African Leadership Academy, a leadership school in South Africa. The school hopes to address one of the major problems in Africa- lack of visionary and trustworthy leaders.
The Academy is a residential secondary school in Johannesburg, South Africa for 16-19-year-olds. The academy is definitely not an ordinary one as the criteria for entrance is indeed very serious. These criteria include; leadership potential, entrepreneurial spirit, dedication to service, passion for Africa, etc. The idea is to train these young ones to practical leadership by modeling ethical African leaders.
The Academy’s vision is to create up to 6,000 new leaders for Africa through the ALA’s leadership program in the next 50 years.
Swaniker believes that Africa’s development lies in its caliber of leaders. This is why he is so passionate about leadership in Africa. Besides the African Leadership Academy, he has also established the African Leadership Network (ALN) aimed at creating a network of young leaders to drive prosperity in Africa.
In 2013, he founded the African Leadership University in Mauritius. He has a vision of opening at least 25 campuses in Africa by 2060. In line with his passion for leadership in Africa, Fred Swaniker is also the founder of Global Leadership Adventures.
Swaniker’s contribution towards education and leadership in Africa has been recognized globally by both individuals and organisations.
In 2006, Echoing Green recognised him as one of the top 15 entrepreneurs in the world.
In 2009, he was recognized as a TED Fellow.
In 2010, he was part of the 115 young leaders who have the opportunity to meet President Obama at the first President’s Forum for Young Africa Leaders which took place at the White House.
In 2011, he was named by Forbes as one of the top ten young power men in Africa.
In 2012, he was also recognised by the World Economic Forum as a Young Global Leader.