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The First Youth Leadership Development Programme

Last Saturday the 10th of November we concluded our first Youth Leadership Development Program in Johannesburg, South Africa. It consisted of three sessions, facilitated by Africa Matters co-founder Farai Mubaiwa and industry experts who generously came on board because they too recognise the key challenges facing African youth today - a lack of soft skills, high youth unemployment, millennial career challenges and an increasing youth population.

For the first session Craig Spalding - the director of Tuesday Consulting, an executive search and advisory firm that operates across the continent – delivered a career strategy and planning course to participants. Spalding takes this work seriously - “I remain ever mindful about the impact we have when influencing career decisions…by quite literally changing the course of a life’s journey.”

It was particularly important to us to make clear that participants can benefit from this expertise – whatever stage of their career they are at. Participants called the session, “eye-opening,” “interactive,” and a “great learning experience.”

The second session tackled the topic of Understanding Leadership within Africa, with a focus on the role of youth. Oyinkansola Isola facilitated this


Oyinkansola founded the talent acquisition software Sorterbox and is a Human Resources Consultant of the African Leadership Academy (ALA). The ALA’s goal is to transform the continent by cultivating a network of leaders who collaborate to solve “Africa’s greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact, and accelerate the continent’s growth trajectory.” Oyinkansola’s current priority is reconstructing the narratives around human resources in Africa – currently in Nigeria.

The final session, on Social Enterprise and Entrepreneurship, was facilitated by David Fu, Chief Operating Officer of Streetlight Schools. Streetlight works to rethink approaches, environments and standards in learning with the ultimate aim of creating “globally competitive schools in some of the most under-served communities in South Africa.”

‘Fu,’ as he prefers to be known, thanked the participants for “their energy, questions, and pitching their own ideas.” This session culminated in a Pitching competition in which cash prizes were up for grabs.

The team was thrilled to receive the following feedback after the program ended:

You can learn more about these organisations here:

The program was created in response to key challenges being faced by African youth - a lack of soft skills, high youth unemployment, millennial career challenges and an increasing youth population.

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