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The Forum of Young Global Leaders Announces African Fellowship Programme – Sponsored By Aliko Dangote

Richard Elliott, Communications, Tel.: +27 (0)82 379 5806 – richard.elliott@weforum.org

  • On the occasion of the World Economic Forum on Africa, The Forum of Young Global Leaders is proud to announce a fellowship programme for young African leaders made possible by Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria
  • The goal of the fellowship programme is to guarantee the full engagement of African YGLs into the World Economic Forum community and thus be integrated into global dialogue and decision-making processes
  • More information about The Forum of Young Global Leaders at www.younggloballeaders.org

Cape Town, South Africa – A group of Young Global Leaders (YGLs) from Africa will soon benefit from a fellowship programme established between Aliko Dangote, President and Chief Executive Officer, Dangote Group, Nigeria, and The Forum of Young Global Leaders. The announcement was made today at the World Economic Forum on Africa, Cape Town, South Africa. More than 30 young leaders from across the African continent will benefit from these fellowships. They are part of the larger group of over 700 Young Global Leaders selected each year by the World Economic Forum for their outstanding leadership, professional accomplishments and commitment to society. 

The objective of the fellowship programme is to increase the engagement of African YGLs in the YGL community of the World Economic Forum, particularly those from the non-business sector for whom the cost of travel and accommodation prohibits their full participation. 

This is the first time that such an innovative collaboration has been established. The move is part of Aliko Dangote’s philanthropic activities aimed at increasing the quality and quantity of young African leaders. 

Through this programme it will be possible to fund up to seven non-business YGLs from Africa to the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, up to 35 non-business YGLs to the YGL Annual Summit and up to 35 non-business YGLs to two regional meetings (including the World Economic Forum on Africa). The current and stable size of the African YGL Community is 71 people. The estimated total annual cost for this is CHF 400,000. 

Dangote explained his rationale for the programme, “We believe the youth are the future leaders and as much must be empowered to enable them to function effectively in this role. We have a new crop of highly talented young Africans who are championing generational change, gender equality, social entrepreneurship and good corporate governance.” 

Speaking about the fellowship programme and its importance to The Forum of Young Global Leaders, Founder and Executive Chairman Professor Klaus Schwab said, “I am very proud of this initiative by Aliko Dangote which will greatly strengthen the participation of our African YGLs into the global platform of the World Economic Forum. I hope that successful business leaders in other parts of the world will follow Dangote’s example and invest in the next generation of leaders. We need their passionate engagement in today’s global challenges.” 

YGLs are under the age of 40 when they are selected by the World Economic Forum to join the Young Global Leaders community. YGLs are selected from all sectors of society (business, public sector, universities, non-profit organizations, arts and culture) and from all regions of the world. They engage in meetings to share experiences and establish task forces to address specific challenges of public interest. For example, the YGL initiative “Table for Two” aims to diminish obesity in the developed world while simultaneously fighting against malnutrition in developing countries. Partner organizations commit to serving healthy meals in their cafeterias and contribute 30 cents for each meal served to a fund which finances school meals in developing countries.

Young Global Leaders from various regions of the world convened in Cape Town, South Africa this week as part of the World Economic Forum on Africa to discuss innovation and entrepreneurship in Africa and their potential for stimulating the economic and social growth of the continent. YGLs explored innovations in information and mobile technologies at the University of Stellenbosch, discussed the unique challenges associated with start-up firms in the African context, and spent time with community leaders in the township of Kayamandi, exploring the role of technology and its effect on people’s lives. 

According to the Head of the Forum of Young Global Leaders, David Aikman, "The economic, technological and social innovation we saw in Stellenbosch and Kayamandi underscores the importance of young African leaders sharing their expertise and experience with the world. Thanks to the Dangote fellowships, we will be able to integrate significantly more African voices into the global agenda through The Forum of Young Global Leaders.” 

Notes to Editors


The World Economic Forum is an international institution committed to improving the state of the world through public-private cooperation in the spirit of global citizenship. It engages with business, political, academic and other leaders of society to shape global, regional and industry agendas.

Incorporated as a not-for-profit foundation in 1971 and headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, the Forum is independent, impartial and not tied to any interests. It cooperates closely with all leading international organizations (www.weforum.org).