African Leadership University

African Leadership University Celebrates Its Biggest Graduation Class To Date

In a momentous event, African Leadership University (ALU) celebrated the graduation of 431 students from 30 African countries – the largest graduating cohort to date. Graduates were congratulated by His Excellency President Paul Kagame at a ceremony held on 7 June at the ALU campus in Kigali, Rwanda. The Hon. Minister of Education for Rwanda, Dr Gaspard Twagirayezu, and the Mayor of Kigali City, Samuel Dusengiyumva, were also among the African leaders celebrating the graduates’ achievements.

ALU 2024 Graduates were conferred Bachelor of Arts (BA) degrees in Entrepreneurship, Global Challenges, and International Business and Trade, and Bachelor of Science (BSc) degrees in Computer Science. The graduating class also included a cohort of students enrolled on the ALU-Patoranking Scholarship Program. Sponsored by award-winning Nigerian musician Patoranking, the scholarship aims to support equitable access to education for young African changemakers.

H.E. President Paul Kagame said in his speech:

This one-of-a-kind institution is a reminder to all of us that, in Africa, we have the means to solve our problems. The uncomfortable truth is that we rely too much on others to tell us what to do and, more often than not, we pay a hefty price as a consequence. We need to take responsibility about what belongs to us and have a sense of identity in doing so. It all begins with how we teach our children, and shape their mindsets and sense of ownership for Africa’s future. 

“ALU is a trailblazer because it has invested in building a new generation of critical thinkers and innovators here on our continent.”

During the ceremony, President Kagame was awarded the ALU Honorary Certificate of Merit for Exemplary Entrepreneurial Leadership, in recognition of his contribution to Rwanda’s economic and social development, and his enduring support of ALU. 

Graduation celebrations kicked off the day before the ceremony with Asante Sana Day – literally translating to ‘thank you very much’ in Swahili – an on-campus event which brought together graduates, their family and friends, ALU staff, and alumni to celebrate those who supported their journey

The following day, educators, politicians, and students’ guests assembled at ALU’s state-of-the-art campus in Kigali’s Innovation City for the graduation ceremony. It began with a welcome address by Veda Sunassee, CEO of ALU, followed by a keynote speech by ALU co-Founder Fred Swaniker.  

Veda Sunassee, CEO of ALU, said in his speech:

At a time today when headlines are dominated by wars and politics, it is very easy to feel that the future is fraught with division and despair. But we are today surrounded by some of the most brilliant young minds the world has ever seen, ready to embark on a journey not just to succeed in your personal ambitions, but to serve and to bridge divides.”

Fred Swaniker, co-Founder of ALU, said in his speech:

“We realised that you are entering into a world where employers are demanding skills, not content mastery; critical thinking skills, how to lead yourself, how to lead others, how to manage complex tasks and projects, how to communicate for impact, how to think like an entrepreneur, how to analyse data and use it to make decisions. These are the things that matter, not what you studied.”

Computer Science graduate Millicent Malinga delivered an inspiring speech on behalf of the cohort. Another highlight of the ceremony was the presentation of the Unsung Leader Awards by Elizabeth Tolu Ojo, Dean of ALU, in recognition of those who have shown dedication to nurturing the next generation of African leaders. Serge Muludiki received the Parent Leader Award for his significant contribution to initiatives and events run by the Parent Engagement team. James Namani, ALU Campus Operations Coordinator, collected the accolade for Unsung Staff Leader, and Thadee Gatera, a member of the Computer Science department, won the Unsung Faculty Leader Award.

Celebrations concluded with the ALU Homecoming Day, which welcomed alumni from across Africa back to campus to attend a series of festivities.

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