Last updated August 14, 2012

Partner Description:

African Leadership Academy (ALA) is an institution established to transform Africa by identifying, developing and connecting the continent’s next generation of leaders.

To address what it sees as Africa’s most critical need -- the need for ethical and effective leadership -- ALA aims to develop thousands of transformative and ethical leaders for Africa over the next 50 years. To achieve this goal, the institution 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 boarding school in South Africa.

ALA’s model for change can be distilled into three components:

  • Identifying the most outstanding young leaders across Africa.
  • Developing these young leaders through an innovative and formative program that focuses on hands-on experience.
  • Fostering powerful, lifelong networks for these leaders, ultimately positioning them to make a significant impact on the continent. Today, the ALA network includes almost 450 young leaders from 44 African countries.

ALA admits young Africans with a passion for public service, a commitment to Africa, and demonstrated potential to lead and impact the world. The foundation of ALA’s model is its intensive, two-year residential program that focuses on hands-on leadership experience, training in social entrepreneurship and a deeply analytical exploration of the issues facing Africa today.

ALA believes that by identifying young leaders with immense potential, enabling them to practice leadership skills, and connecting them with transformative opportunities, it can develop and empower the next Nelson Mandela, the next Wangari Maathai, and Africa’s Jonas Salk and Steve Jobs. ALA will continue to cultivate these leaders throughout their lives, through university and beyond by providing mentorship and connecting them with career opportunities and high-impact networks of people and sources of capital.

The need:

ALA employs a rigorous, multi-faceted admissions process that brings in not only top scholars, but students who exhibit leadership potential. However, the overwhelming majority of Africa’s young leaders come from disadvantaged backgrounds -- almost all ALA students require some financial assistance and nearly 85% require full scholarships.

One of ALA’s biggest challenges is finding funding to provide lower-income students with the resources they need to succeed once they’re enrolled. One such critical need is funding for student laptops.

ALA currently depends on donors to fund laptop purchases for its campus library because the majority of students cannot afford to purchase one upfront. This system is not ideal because:

  • There are not enough library laptops to meet the computing needs of ALA’s 200 students.
  • Laptops have an already short life-span that is further reduced by the added wear and tear of many users.
  • Students leave ALA without having their own laptops for further use.

For these reasons and more, ALA would like to equip each incoming student with his or her own laptop to help with their schoolwork and teach them responsibility.

To help meet this need, Kiva provides laptop loans of approximately $500 per ALA student at the start of each academic year. Students who take out these loans pay them back over the course of their two years at ALA with funds earned through a combination of campus work assignments, entrepreneurial activities and parental or guardian support where possible.

You can hear from ALA students firsthand on the school’s “In Their Own Words” blog.

Repayment Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Start Date On Kiva Sep 14, 2012 Oct 12, 2005
Total Loans $17,500 $573,010,825
Amount of raised Inactive loans $0 $311,275
Number of raised Inactive loans 0 306
Amount of Paying Back Loans $15,000 $117,333,875
Number of Paying Back Loans 30 122,956
Amount of Ended Loans $2,500 $455,365,675
Number of Ended Loans 5 580,312
Delinquency Rate 49.38% 3.62%
Amount in Arrears $2,489 $2,773,489
Outstanding Portfolio $5,040 $76,542,883
Number of loanDelinquent 30 11,589
Default Rate 0.00% 1.08%
Amount of Ended Loans Defaulted $0 $4,927,943
Amount of Ended Loans $2,500 $455,365,675
Number of Ended Loans Defaulted 0 15,212
Currency Exchange Loss Rate 0.00% 0.07%
Amount of Currency Exchange Loss $0 $406,266
Refund Rate 0.00% 0.78%
Amount of Refunded Loans $0 $4,479,350
Number of Refunded Loans 0 5,008

Loan Characteristics On Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Loans to Women Borrowers 42.86% 74.23%
Average Loan Size $500 $418
Average Individual Loan Size $500 $656
Average Group Loan Size $0 $1,823
Average number of borrowers per group 0 8
Average GDP per capita (PPP) in local country $11,500 $3,442
Average Loan Size / GDP per capita (PPP) 4.35% 12.16%
Average Time to Fund a Loan 0.19 days 5.5 days
Average Dollars Raised Per Day Per Loan $2,652.42 $76.14
  Average Loan Term 20.57 months 10.24 months

Journaling Performance on Kiva

    This Field Partner All Kiva Partners
  Total Journals 0 286,081
  Journaling Rate 0.00% 42.44%
  Average Number of Comments Per Journal 0.00 0.08
  Average Number of Recommendations Per Journal 0.00 1.94

Borrowing Cost Comparison (based on 2011 data)

    This Field Partner Median for MFI's in Country All Kiva Partners
  Portfolio Yield N/A N/A 33.65%
  Profitability (return on assets) N/A N/A -1.29%
  Average Loan Size (% of per capita income) N/A 9.00% 41.84%

Country Fast Facts

Field Partner Staff

Frank Aswani
Sarah Benjamin
Elizabeth Wangu