African Leadership University

Graça Machel named ALU’s Inaugural Chancellor

ALU is privileged to have Graça Machel, an accomplished Mozambican politician, international advocate for women and children’s rights and social activist as its inaugural Chancellor. Machel will serve as a global ambassador for ALU, representing the institution in various public forums and with governments.

Machel was Minister of Education and Culture in Mozambique from 1975 to 1989, initially starting as the only woman in cabinet. After her ministerial appointment, she persuaded the Mozambican government to devote as much as 12 percent of the national budget to education – a rare feat in Africa. Within five years the illiteracy rate had been cut by 22 percent, and the school-going population increased from 400,000 to 1.6 million.

Machel was awarded the InterAction Humanitarian award in 1997 and was made an honorary Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire at the request of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown in 2007.

She has also founded various civil society organizations that work to ensure the rights of families and communities across Africa. These include the Graça Machel Trust, an organization with the mission to protect women and children’s rights as well promote women’s leadership across Africa. The Trust also runs the Graça Machel Scholarships for Women. She is also a Founding Member of the Elders, an independent group of global leaders who work together for peace and human rights.

Machel is the Founder of the Foundation of Community Development in Mozambique and currently serves in various capacities in several organizations. These include, the Africa Progress Panel, and the UN Millennium Development Goals Advocates Panel. She is also an Eminent Person of the GAVI Alliance and the UN Foundation, Chair of the Board of the African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes. Machel is the former First Lady of South Africa and Mozambique.

ALU is privileged and honoured to have Ms. Machel as its inaugural chancellor. We are confident that her experience in education will be of tremendous value in strengthening ALU’s governance and helping us achieve our goal to develop the future leaders of Africa.