ALX Kick-Off: One Step Closer to Our Moonshot

Insights into the idea behind, and components of ALX, an innovative leadership development program and a new addition to the African Leadership Group.

In his speech at the ALU Grand Opening back in 2016, our fearless leader Fred Swaniker called a moonshot vision a “big, bold, audacious goal that is beyond most people’s imagination.” A moonshot vision frightens us. It makes us uncomfortable. It makes people call us crazy and insane. But it also ignites a small but unquenchable flame in the middle of our bellies. This is the fire that pushes us to take risks, to be daring, and to do hard things.

Around a year ago, we at ALU set out to do a very hard thing: accelerate our moonshot vision of developing 3 million entrepreneurial leaders through a new kind of offering. Riding on the success of our two undergraduate campuses in Mauritius and Rwanda, we were determined to continue breaking out of the traditional mould of tertiary education. Our goal was to bring our transformative learning model to more people in an affordable and scalable way.

Back then, this was all just an idea. Today, we have just launched three flagship programs in Nairobi, Kenya in service of our moonshot vision of developing 3 million entrepreneurial leaders. We decided to call this trifecta ALX. The first two letters of this name honour our connection to the “AL” Group and network, while the “X” signifies the growth and exponential transformation of our organization and its members.

ALX has three core pillars:

  1. The Launchpad: a 6-month leadership development program for high-potential university graduates that empowers them to launch their careers of impact and purpose.
  2. The Xcelerator: a 6-month leadership experience that turns managers into high-impact leaders and empowers them to fast-track their growth.
  3. The Community: a platform that is building a purpose-led, pan-African network of innovative problem-solvers, leaders and entrepreneurs committed to tackling challenges and sustaining journey of lifelong learning.

Through these offerings, ALX aims to bring Young Leaders, high-impact managers and an ecosystem of innovative problem-solvers together. We will continuously evolve as a community devoted to the ALX vision and creating impact.

This October, we witnessed our efforts lift-off as 140 Young Leaders and 100 middle managers congregated at our first ever ALX Hub in Nairobi. We first welcomed our Young Leaders with a week-long Bootcamp, with workshops centered around connecting to the ALX vision, mapping out career ownership journeys, and listening to a panel with some of the most successful companies in East Africa. We topped off this week with a lot of dancing, laughter, and a basement jam session that shook the entire building!Just a week after that, we welcomed our Xcelerator participants with a kick-off reception, beginning with a leadership experiential and wrapping up with a beautiful sit-down dinner. Ken Njoroge, CEO of Cellulant, and James Mworia, CEO of Centum, also shared their own leadership development stories with the crowd and talked about their reasons for investing in the growth of their company’s middle managers.

At both events, participants were officially welcomed to the AL Community with a candle-lighting ceremony, bringing to Nairobi the longstanding AL tradition of torch lighting from ALA and ALU. This signified the passing of a flame from one community to another and the igniting of a spirit of transformation across the continent.

Now, with 140 Young Leaders joining our Launchpad Program and over 100 middle managers in our Xcelerator Program in just our first intake, ALX continues to build on the 15-year legacy of the AL Group and propel us towards our moonshot vision. We are immensely grateful for everyone who contributed to this journey to date — we are truly standing on shoulders of giants!

As we look toward the next six months, we are eager to see our Young Leaders join thriving organisations or start their own, witness our Xcelerator middle managers transform their organisations and their sectors, and the ALX community become an engine of entrepreneurial energy and positive change.  We look forward to seeing their impact across Kenya and the African continent as they continue to do hard things!

ALX Nairobi is the beginning of the ALX journey, and we are excited for our next ALX Hubs to launch across Southern, Western and Northern Africa in 2019 and beyond. With this, we continuously move towards our moonshot vision of developing 3 million entrepreneurial and ethical leaders.

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
Phone: +250 784 650 219