African Leadership Academy (ALA) 2018 for Young Leaders across Africa (Two-Year Pre-University Program)

Application Deadline: October 31st 2017

African Leadership Academy (ALA) seeks to transform Africa by developing a powerful network of over 6,000 leaders who will work together to address Africa’s greatest challenges, achieve extraordinary social impact and accelerate the continent’s growth. ALA identifies young leaders between the ages of 16-19 from across the continent with demonstrated leadership potential, a passion for Africa, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a track record of community service.
These young leaders are then brought together for a two-year pre-university program at our
world-class boarding institution in Johannesburg, South Africa. ALA continues to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, in university and beyond, by providing on-going leadership training, supporting their growth through access to internships and careers, and connecting them to high-impact networks of people and capital that will empower them to create transformative change.
The Academy admits 125 young leaders from across Africa each year for the two-year pre-university program, anchored on Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies, and Writing & Rhetoric. Students also take Cambridge A’level subjects as electives, alongside specialized research classes in the Sciences, Humanities and Creative Arts.
The Academy is a boarding school; all students are accommodated and catered for at the Academy’s campus in Honeydew, Johannesburg, South Africa for the duration of their studies.
  • ALA searches for young leaders across the continent between the ages of 16 and 19. Please note that ALA’s admissions team does not expect an applicant to be extraordinary in all five criteria; ALA seek students with a variety of interests, strengths, and backgrounds.

The admissions team will review applicants based on the following criteria:

Leadership Potential
ALA encourage you to share with us the activities in which you participate and the leadership roles you assume at home, in your school, or in your community, and we hope you will think critically about what “leadership” means to you.
Entrepreneurial Spirit
Do you often think about how you can improve the world around you? Do you act when you see a need in your community? Do you enjoy thinking about new ideas and creating new products? We encourage you to celebrate your entrepreneurial spirit and share your entrepreneurial ideas with us.
Commitment to Service
Are you passionate about uplifting your community? Do you dream of a world in which all people are able to realize their dreams? Have you demonstrated this passion at school or in your community? If so, please share with us how you plan to give back to your community and the world.
Passion for Africa
Do you have an African dream? Are you excited by the idea of spending two years in a community of individuals from a wide range of cultural, ethnic, socioeconomic, and religious backgrounds from across the continent? Are you excited about playing a role in making Africa a peaceful and prosperous continent?
Academic Achievement
The Academic environment at ALA is very rigorous and challenging, therefore the selection committee will closely review scores from national examinations and the marks and comments on each applicant’s school reports to ensure that applicants are fully prepared
to maximize the inter-disciplinary nature of the ALA curriculum.


August 31st 2017 : First application deadline (early decision)

October 31st 2017 Second application deadline (early decision)

December 2017 Rolling reviews and early decision finalists interviews. All early decision applicants will be interviewed by December 31st.

November 1st, 2017 – January 12th, 2018 regular decision applications
January 2018  – March 2018 Early decision applicants will receive notification of admissions status. Regular decision applicants notified of their first round status.
Regular decision applicants selected as finalists will be invited to interview with the Admissions team.
May 2018 : All finalists will be notified of their admissions status. Candidates who apply through our online portal will be able to check their application status online.
Financial aid awards will be made by end of May.



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