3 Handpicked Quotes From Some African Leaders and Entrepreneurs and What They Mean To Us


Every now and then, we get inspired by the statements made by top African leaders and entrepreneurs and many of their statements go on to be preserved in gold to inspire many generations to come. At ALU, while some of the quotes of these leaders can be seen as you navigate your way in the students’ dorms, classes have also been named in memory of some of these inspirational leaders. In this post, we highlight three key quotes made by some of these leaders and what this means for us at ALU.

“Your idea can transform Africa. Let’s stop talking and let’s start doing.” – Tony Elumelu, Founder – The Tony Elumelu Foundation & Chairman, UBA.

At ALU, this quote stands as one of the statements that indirectly inspires our students to take ownership of their lives and start living up to the dreams they set for themselves. We believe that the greatest resource of the continent is not the crude natural resources embedded in the depths of the soils of the continent but rather, the people. Thus, the innovative ideas that are wielded by the people in the quest to solving the challenges we currently face as a continent are pivotal to what the future will look like (what the future holds) for the continent. Thus, Tony Elumelu’s quote above encourages our students to act beyond talking; that is, it propels them to do something to bring their ideas to life rather than talking about the problem or the proposed dream. In time past, our students have gone on to create their own businesses, ventures, campaigns and NGOs within the campus and even in their home countries.

“The ability to confront complex problems, and to design solutions to those problems; the ability to create is the most empowering thing that can happen to an individual.” – Patrick Awuah, Founder –  Ashesi University.

Patrick Awuah, just like many other leaders, believes that the ability to manage complex tasks and create long-lasting solutions to pressing problems are two relevant skills that are required in today’s labor market. Employers want to make sure that the people they hire are able to manage complex tasks and provide solutions to issues that can hamper the company’s growth. At ALU, this is part of the 7-meta-skills we focus on especially through the leadership core program. We want to ensure that our students graduate with the ability to manage complex tasks and provide real-time solutions to challenges so that they can thrive in whatever environment they find themselves in.

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.” – Nelson Mandela, First Black President of South Africa.

Servant leadership, empathy, and emotional intelligence are key terms that every student at ALU will repeatedly hear especially in their first year. This is as a result of the Entrepreneurial Leadership class which aims to expose students to the types of leadership paradigms there are, what it means to be empathetic and how to develop emotional intelligence. These are key traits that must be imbibed by every leader that aims to make a change in the lives of people. As the quote above states, the difference we have made in the lives of others will determine the significance of the lives we lead. In this regard, leaders who hope to make an impact in the lives of others must realize the relevance of the art of serving and what it means to be a true servant leader. They must also recognize the vital role of emotional intelligence, empathy, innovative thinking and creativity in the creation of opportunities for others to actualize and reach their fullest potentials.

About ALU

ALU provides higher education for a higher purpose. Our students declare missions, not majors.

They develop the real-world skills to take on the world’s most pressing challenges. And they take ownership of their learning from day one through our peer and student-led approach – because ALU believes in the power and agency of young people to start shaping the future right now.

Together with a world-class faculty and staff, our students are igniting a ripple of positive impact across Africa and the world. Join us


Bumbogo, Kigali Innovation City, Next to Azam, Kigali, Rwanda
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