James is a 20-year-old, full-time student at African Leadership Academy (ALA), a two-year pre-university program in Johannesburg, South Africa, with a mission to identify, develop, and connect Africa’s future leaders.
James was selected as one of 95 ALA students out of a pool of over 3,000 applicants from across the continent for his passion for public service, his commitment to Africa, and his demonstrated leadership potential to lead change in Africa and beyond.
James is applying for a loan of $500, which will enable him to purchase a laptop to help him conduct assignments and research, to run his community service project and/or student-run business which form part of the ALA curriculum, and to participate fully in the world-class program offered by ALA.
James grew up in the small city of Yei, South Sudan. He was instrumental in negotiating with his local government in 2008, when it decided to close down his school unexpectedly. A charismatic young leader and a true politician in the making, James drafted a memo to arrange a meeting between select students and the county commissioner, which ultimately led to the re-opening of the school.
James has repeatedly displayed an unyielding commitment to service and a natural ability to lead through diplomacy and negotiation. During a time of significant ethnic unrest in his community, James started the Greater Nilotic Student Association, which hosted a meeting to bring the hostile groups together and restored calm to the community. In an amazing show of solidarity, the young members of this group later led a joint protest against the invasion of South Sudan by the North. James now acts as an advisor to the group.
At the age of 13 he initiated and structured the Sunday School Children’s Union through which he educated young people about the dangers of HIV and discouraged tribalism, encouraging the spirit of peaceful co-existence. He also formed a union called the Discussion Club, which brought students together to discuss a wide array of issues – he made a proposal to the principal and also invited MPs, religious leaders and NGOs to help brainstorm a way forward for the club. James was also a member of the Civil Society Youth Initiative during the referendum for South Sudan.
James’ natural ability to motivate and encourage others was also displayed in his role as the Public Relations Officer for the Peace Project by the Catholic Church of Yei. In this capacity, James counselled children who had lost family in ethnic conflicts.
James is passionate about the transformation of the African continent. He wants to see Africa transformed into a democratic, secular and innovative continent.
About African Leadership Academy
African Leadership Academy (ALA) is a pan-African institution established to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the continent’s next generation of leaders. ALA utilizes a vast network of contacts across Africa to identify the most promising 15- to 19-year-old leaders on the continent. These future leaders are then brought together for a two-year pre-university program at a world-class institution in Johannesburg, South Africa. Many of these students attend college in the U.S. with the promise to return to Africa after their studies. ALA’s student body comes from over 44 African countries and includes equal numbers of boys and girls.
In the digital age, the importance of technology in leadership and student life cannot be underestimated. To equip ALA students with the technological tools they need to be transformative leaders, Kiva provides laptop loans totalling about $500 per student ad the start of every academic year.
Loan documentation for this student has been signed by both the student and his or her parent or guardian. Further, this student's parent or guardian has been consulted throughout the process of this student's decision to take on a loan through Kiva.
This partner joined Kiva through our Experimental Partnership Program, and has therefore received a lighter level of due diligence. Accordingly, loans associated with this partner pose a higher level of risk than typical Kiva loans.