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Obama heads to Johannesburg – Foundation announces 200 leaders for New Civic Leadership Programme in Africa

Obama heads to Johannesburg – Foundation announces 200 leaders for New Civic Leadership Programme in Africa

The Obama Foundation, Friday announced the 200 rising leaders selected for the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme.

The one-year leadership development and civic engagement programme, the Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme will launch this week in Johannesburg with a five-day gathering, including a town hall with President Obama.

The leaders selected have already demonstrated extraordinary potential for impact, a clear commitment to integrity, and a capacity to advance the common good within their spheres of influence.

They represent 44 countries and every region in Africa and are working in a range of disciplines including health, agriculture, media, government, education, business, and technology, and on issues such as climate change, conservation, entrepreneurship, food security, and girls’ empowerment. To learn more about the individuals selected for the Leaders: Africa programme, please visit

“The Obama Foundation Leaders: Africa programme is our largest and most ambitious international effort to date – the launch of what will become a global network of changemakers,” said Bernadette Meehan, Chief International Officer of the Obama Foundation.

“We want to inspire, empower, and connect this pan-African group of leaders who show so much potential to change our common future for the better. We look forward to hearing their ideas and to supporting them to scale their work and reach,” added Meehan.

From 14 July to 18 July, Leaders will participate in plenary sessions, problem-solving workshops, leadership sessions, and skill-building trainings to increase their capacity to drive positive change in Africa – all from an African perspective.

The majority of the gathering’s speakers and facilitators are African, and the agenda and activities are focused on regional and local challenges, opportunities, and solutions.

Leaders will also complete a group service project to honour Nelson Mandela on the 100th anniversary of his birth and to underscore the important relationship between leadership and service. The convening will also include an opportunity for Leaders to participate in a town hall event with President Obama.

Following the Johannesburg gathering, leaders will remain connected to the Obama Foundation and each other through an online platform where they will engage in topical discussions, access leadership and training resources, and participate in trainings and webinars led by experts and industry leaders.

The Foundation will be sharing select video footage from the gathering daily on and via press release. To ensure you receive these updates, please sign up here.

While in South Africa, President Obama will also deliver the 16th Nelson Mandela Annual Lecture to commemorate the 100th anniversary of former South African President Nelson Mandela’s birth. President Obama’s speech will take place on 17 July.

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