By ElKhansaa KaddiouiRabat – Hailing from cities all over Morocco, the 2014 class of the African Leadership Academy (ALA) gathered in the home of the South African Chargé d’Affaires for a final send-off Reception/Dinner. A tradition that dates back to when the African Leadership Academy first started its recruiting activities in Morocco back in 2008, the send off event honored current students and new students, as well as those who have already graduated from ALA, such as Jihad Hajouji, who recently accepted her dream job as a consultant at Dahlbarg, one of the top consulting firms in the world. The program also invited those who have completed the two-year portion of the ALA program and are currently attending University, such as Ziyad El Mouniri, who is currently attending the University of Chicago, a top Ivy League school in the United States. Additionally, Mr. Belmahi Mohamed, the former Moroccan Ambassador to the U.K., and former Chairman of the OCP Foundation also attended the event. The event also brought together the mothers and fathers of past students and introduced them to the parents of new students, so that they can get a first hand account of what the African Leadership Academy is all about from a parent’s perspective. Everything about the event is designed to give all attendees an overview of what ALA is really about.ALA is not just a school. It is a lifelong program. The first part of the program starts at the African Leadership Academy bricks and mortar school in the Honey Dew suburbs of Johannesburg, South Africa. The Academy has been described as a military academy in terms of the security it offers to the students who attend it.“Security is always a top priority as taking these young leaders away from their parents for two years is a very big responsibility; it is an ‘Amana’ that I take very seriously,” said Mr. Elmahdi Oummih, Strategic Relations Director and longest serving employee at the African Leadership Academy.Mr. Oummih started work with the ALA back in July of 2007, and was one of those responsible for recruiting the first inaugural class that included ALA legends like William Kamkwamba, author of the New York Times Best seller “Moving windmills,” which has since been translated into over 40 languages.“We have a unique view on education,” said Mr. Oummih. “The goal of real education is not just to get a Phd that sits on a wall and securing yourself a high paying job. A truly educated person is someone who empowers others. At ALA, I am not looking for students who want to be engineers or doctors. I am looking for students with real ambition. I am looking for the kind of young leaders who want to build hospitals and research facilities where they employ thousands of doctors to create medicine and perfect procedures that positively affect millions. I am looking for transformative leaders who care more about the people they lead than they do about making a buck.”This year Khansaa El Kaddoui and Achraf Hamidi are two of the students who will be representing Morocco at the African Leadership Academy. El Kaddoui first found out about the ALA by attending the Global Scholar Summer Program. It was through attending this three-week summer program that she knew that she wanted to attend the two-year program and become an agent of positive change. Achraf Hamadi learned about ALA from Facebook and heard about the amazing experiences of other Moroccans who had already been through the African Leadership Academy, and is intent on attending ALA, even though he was offered admission to a top medical school program in Morocco.During this year’s send off, the future African leaders were given the opportunity to connect with current and past ALA students, and experience the African Leadership academy’s community firsthand.“This event is a great opportunityfor new students to network,” said Ambassador Mohamed Belmahi. Besides hearing from the former ambassador of Morocco in London, students also met well known established Journalists, as well as the Country Director of the Peace Corps, Ellen Paquette.
According to media reports, the court ordered President Hery Rajaonarimampianina to form a new government with a “consensus” prime minister at its helm, on 25 May. That decision triggered fierce debate between government and opposition figures over its interpretation, but led to the appointment by the President, of Christian Ntsay, a non-partisan technocrat, as Prime Minister, on 4 June.The high-level political dispute, followed protests that took place initially against new electoral laws that the opposition said were barring candidates from taking part in elections scheduled for later this year, according to news reports.The Secretary-General commended the President and Malagasy political actors for “reaching a compromise in the interest of the people of Madagascar”, said a statement issued by UN Spokesman Stéphane Dujarric.In the statement, the Secretary-General reiterated the commitment of the UN to support the holding of peaceful, credible and inclusive elections there this year and applauded the ongoing close coordination between the UN and international partners, including the African Union and the Southern African Development Community, in supporting “the Malagasy-led dialogue and reconciliation”. read more