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The African Leadership Academy is a highly selective Two Year Pre-University Diploma Program is geared at young leaders aged 16 - 19 from across Africa who have the potential to catalyze positive change on the continent. During their time at ALA, students complete a unique curriculum that includes courses in Entrepreneurial Leadership, African Studies, Writing & Rhetoric, and graduate with Cambridge A-Levels qualification that is recognized by all universities across the world. ALA students are admitted to top universities around the world to pursue their degree studies, on scholarship, as well as receive opportunities and assistance for internships before they graduate.

ALA provides high value networking opportunities for its young leaders while they are completing their studies. For example, President Obama was at ALA in August 2018 to meet the students and learn about their leadership ambitions in Africa. In 2019, Bill Gates, who is the richest man on earth, sent his daughter to study at ALA. It is common for presidents, CEOs, top political and business leaders to not only visit ALA to interact with students, but also to send their own children to study there. Therefore, ALA students develop networks and friendships with current and future transformative leaders of Africa.


  1. SAT Tutoring: Students at the Academy have access to a tutoring program at the Academy in preparation for the SAT exams, which are also written at ALA three times each year. 

  2. University Guidance: Every student has access to in-house university guidance and support in submitting applications to universities across the world. 

  3. Guest Speaker Program: The Academy offers a robust guest speaker program, creating platforms for students to learn from leading experts in Academy-wide Distinguished Guest Speaker series and thematic Executive Seminars. 

  4. External Opportunities: Students are afforded the opportunity to participate at a range of conferences, symposiums and competitions  in several countries across the world each year.


  1. Entrepreneurial Leadership 

  2. African Studies 

  3. Writing & Rhetoric 

  4. Mathematics 

  5. Interdisciplinary Humanities

  6. Wellness 

  7. Science: Physics, Chemistry, Biology 

  8. Economics 

  9. Elective Courses: Geography, History, French, Creative Arts, Business, English Literature, Further Mathematics, Computer Science, Scientific Research, Humanities & Social Science Research, International Relations, Creativity, Research 

In addition to the options listed, students may undertake independent study in a specific course or register for a course through the Global Online Academy in the second year. 

Alumni from ALA's first three classes have mostly completed undergraduate studies. While some are continuing to pursue PhDs at prestigious institutions like Stanford University, Cornell University, Harvard University, and Cambridge University, or MBAs at Stanford, Harvard, and INSEAD, or MAs at Oxford, Yale, University of Copenhagen etc, many are transitioning into the world of work and starting to have impact in critical sectors such as consulting, finance, investment, education, IT, healthcare and banking.


ALA is a fully-residential academy, and our students live in ultra-modern dormitories on the campus. There are six (6) male dormitories and six (6) female dormitories, each managed by a hall master/mistress, with the support of a student Residential Assistant. Each student will typically share a room with another student of the same gender, but of differing nationality. 

Sports are a fundamental part of student life at ALA, and every student is expected to participate in either competitive or recreational sports during their time at the Academy. The available sporting options include Soccer, Volleyball, Basketball, Netball, Tennis, Athletics, Frisbee, Dodgeball, Table Tennis and Touch Rugby. ALA students routinely participate in sporting competitions with other schools in Johannesburg, and an annual tri-school tournament with Maru-a-Pula College (Botswana) and Lebone II College (South Africa).

During their time at ALA, students are supported to explore various passions and areas of interest through the various clubs and societies that exist on campus. Examples include: 

  • Robotics club 

  • ALApella (school choir) 

  • African Dance 

  • International Relations Council 

  • Interact (Rotaract) club 

  • Ubuntu (Drama) troupe 

  • Science club 

  • Chess club


ALA has a need-blind admission policy, which means eligible candidates who apply are admitted regardless of their financial background, and are eligible to receive significant financial assistance in the form of scholarships and loans to study towards ALA and membership to a lifelong network. The value of financial aid is determined after admission decision is made, and will be based on the family’s demonstrated financial needs. However, every family is expected to stretch themselves in financing an ALA education. Every ALA student signs a contract committing them to contribute to peace and prosperity on the African continent for at least 10 years in return for the financial assistance they receive.


Each year, more than 2,000 young leaders from across Africa apply to study at African Leadership Academy. Through a rigorous selection process, we are able to admit up to 130 students into each class. Here are a few things that our admissions department might look out for in a prospective candidate: 

  1. Leadership potential 

  2. Entrepreneurial spirit 

  3. Academic achievement 

  4. Commitment to service 

  5. Passion for Africa

To apply, visit To learn more about the application criteria in detail, download a copy of the Academy's prospectus and application guide, learn about the application deadlines, find out about fees and financial assistance, and watch a video featuring our Dean. 

Applications may be submitted in a variety of ways; either through our online application portal, or by email to,  by express post (DHL) or by hand delivery. 

Applicants to the Academy must be between the ages of 15-18, and must have completed a minimum of Grade 10 or its equivalent in their home country. Should you have any questions about the application process, you may contact us through the details below: 


Tel: +27 11 699 3000 

Whatsapp: +27 78 422 9509 



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