Aliko Dangote, president and chief executive officer of the Dangote Group has unveiled an African fellowship programme to support future leaders from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and non-business entities to participate in the Young Global Leaders Community.
The Young Global Leaders programme is an accelerator for a dynamic community of exceptional youths with the vision, courage, and influence to drive positive change globally.
This philosophy aligned neatly with Dangote’s vision for an Africa whose people are healthier, better educated, and more empowered through enhanced opportunities for social change and strategic investments that improve health and wellbeing, promote quality education and broaden empowerment opportunities for individuals and communities.
Hence, the Aliko Dangote Foundation, (ADF) partnership with the forum to establish the Aliko Dangote African Fellowship programme to guarantee the full engagement of young African leaders from small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and non-business entities who might otherwise not be able to participate in the Forum’s Young Global Leaders Community.
The fellowship covers the cost of their participation at World Economic Forum and YGL-led events for 6 years for each Fellow.
Zouera Youssoufou, managing director/CEO of the Aliko Dangote Foundation (ADF), thanked Dangote for his continuous support of the YGLs, and assured him that his investment is not in vain, as the young global leaders are achieving exploits in their respective fields and living up to the expectations of being true African future leaders.
Dangote encouraged the YGLs to put in their best in their various fields and not be discouraged when setbacks occur, because those are to be expected.
He encouraged them to continue raising their ambition for our continent because “Nothing is Impossible”.
Fatima Aliko Dangote, ED Dangote Industries, expressed pride at the diversity and high proportion of female fellows in the 2023 Cohort, where the nine chosen YGLs represent the media/arts/entertainment, technology & innovation, health, and government sectors.
The ADF-YGL Lagos Convening which took place on September 8th, was an excellent opportunity for the participating current and alumni YGL Africa Fellows to meet and interact with their patron, Alhaji Aliko Dangote at the site of his most ambitious project to date; the multi-billion-dollars Petroleum complex at Lekki.
They were able to interact with Aliko Dangote and senior executives of Dangote Group and be inspired by his vision and engage in informal conversation about their journey as YGLs and the impact the community has had on their personal and professional development.
After a tour of the fertilizer and the refinery complex, the immensely impressed alumni were full of praise for their mentor, describing him as “the best hope for Africa”.
Victor Ochen, Aliko Dangote YGL alum and executive director of African Youth Initiative Network, said he was extremely impressed with what he saw at the refinery and that the aggressive investment in the project has shown how much faith Aliko Dangote has in the African continent.
While lauding Dangote’s investment drive, he also appreciated him for his generosity in providing financial means for him to participate in forum events he otherwise would have been unable to do.
“I am so happy with what Dangote is doing in Nigeria and Africa as a whole. This is a man that is investing in the youth through his foundation and employing tens of thousands of Africans, in his various plants.
I thank Dangote for his generosity, which has provided many young African leaders, regardless of the country, the much-needed financial means to participate in YGL events. Without the support of ADF, our active participation would not have been possible,” he said.
The WEF YGL programme, the Aliko Dangote (WEF Africa YGL) Fellows now in the 12th year of collaboration continues to represent the continent on the global stage and give back to their communities in a multiplicity of impactful ways.
The partnership has ensured richness in the diversity of the YGL community adding an important African perspective, inspiring impact, and making sure that all voices have a chance to be heard where global decisions are debated, discovered, and made.
Since the start of the WEF YGL programme 20 years ago, the World Economic Forum nominates up to two hundred exceptional young leaders under 40 for a six-year period of membership.
Following the partnership with Dangote 12 years ago, the programme has included 15-20 young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa following a rigorous selection process.
At any one time, the African YGL Community consists of around eighty active members, 75 percent of whom are eligible for the Dangote Fellowship.