On 10 April 2018, the Deputy Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture, Mr Charles Kabajani, launched the first Afrox Leadership Academy (ALA).
Spearheaded by Afrox Namibia, this first-of-its-kind six-month leadership cultivation initiative is aimed at harnessing the talent, drive, ambition and ability of young Namibians by providing them with the necessary tools and training to accelerate their potential and achieve their dreams for the future.
The ALA rests on three pillars, namely skills development, exposure to broadened learning environments and empowerment through placing the relevant tools in the hands of our youth so that our future leaders can start making a difference in society today. The initiative follows a three-pronged approach, comprising theoretical training, practical application through community development projects and hands-on mentorship.
The Academy is geared towards helping to cultivate well-rounded, empowered and confident young Namibians who are equipped to navigate their way through the challenges of life towards their dreams.
ALA takes selected students through an advanced training programme, encompassing community development and mentorship elements, thus broadening their horizons and introducing them to new environments to equip our young Namibians with the tools and knowledge they need to prosper into well-rounded individuals that can make a difference in their societies as well as the future of Namibia.
Sixteen Grade 10 learners – five male and eleven females – have been selected to participate in the initiative (please see Selection Criteria and Application Process below for more details). The five-month Academy comprises three components, namely training, a community project and mentorship.
ALA kicks off with a one-week leadership training intervention hosted by the Africa Leadership Institute at Rock Lodge just outside Okahandja during the school holidays in May. The seven-day training is tailor-made to equip and prepare our future leaders to reach their full potential to the ultimate benefit of themselves, their families, their communities and the country as a whole.
The one-week curriculum focusses on self-awareness, personal skills and communication and covers the following units:
· Understanding Leadership
· 360 Leadership Model
· Priority and planning
· Writing an action plan for community service as well as an overarching plan for their life
· Diversity and understanding the self
· Project management
· Presentation skills
· Performance and results
· Servanthood and service delivery
· Integrity, honesty and respect
· Career guidance
Accommodation for the duration of the training will be at the Rock Training Centre to immerse participants fully in an atmosphere of growth and to allow them to concentrate on the programme without any external distractions.
2. Community Project
Following the week-long training intervention, participants will embark on a community project to address a specific social or economic issue they have identified in their community.
There will be an option to join forces with and enhance an existing project or to conceptualise, develop and implement a new one, based on a perceived unmet need or gap. Participants will be required to motivate and report on why the specific project was chosen, what tangible difference its makes, its impact in the community and its sustainability going forward.
Participants will work on the project for four months, while documenting the progress, personal insights and lessons learnt. Throughout the project execution phase, learners will meet periodically for group discussions and one-on-one sessions with their mentors for advice, council and guidance.
At the conclusion of the academy, participants will have the opportunity to do a formal presentation on the project, its outcomes, highlights and way forward during a special banquet.
Many who have attained the highest sport in their careers credit their success to mentorship. That is why the component of mentorship serves as the third prong of the ALA, aimed at guiding participants to make the most of their five-month journey through the Academy and beyond. Participant will have dedicated and qualified mentors from the African Leadership Institute to guide and assist them during two group mentorship sessions. Each student will also have a one-on-one session with a dedicated mentor to discuss individual challenges and opportunities.
Throughout the five-month academy, participants will be evaluated according to the participation, progress and outcomes of the community project. In terms of academic performance, participants will also be required to maintain or surpass their 60% grade average.
The proverbial icing on the cake will be the culmination of the six-month Academy with a formal banquet sponsored by Afrox Namibia, during which participants will present their community projects and celebrate their leadership journey. The banquet will be a lavish affair and a number of public figures, including the First Lady of Namibia, have tentatively accepted an invitation add their statute to the event. The students will also
have the opportunity to meet and showcase their accomplishments to the Honourable Minister of Education, Arts & Culture and selected Ministry representatives.
For their part, the participants will be treated and pampered for the evening with complimentary hair and make-up as well as tuxedo and evening gown rentals. The aim of this banquet goes beyond a feedback session and is geared towards treating participants to an evening of glitz and glamour and thus giving them a glimpse of life’s possibilities.
In order to select the 16 most suitable and well-balanced Grade 10 candidates for the Academy, the criteria focusses on both academic performance as well as participation in extra-curricular activities.
Selection criterial include:
· A grade average of at least 60% for the previous academic year
· Motivation from a teacher detailing why the applicant would be a suitable participant and indicating that the applicant is academically responsible, an attentive student and shows leadership potential
· Motivation from the applicant, detailing his or her academic record for the previous year, track-record of extra-curricular activities, including leadership roles, church activities and sports and cultural achievements, previous leadership positions held and a 100-word essay stating why he or she should be selected
· Proficiency in spoken and written English
Current Target Audience
The Academy aspires to include learners from throughout Namibia. However, the 2018 ALA serves as a pilot from which to develop the initiative for future sustainability and inclusivity. As such, the 2018 Academy selects participants from three public schools in the Khomas Region, namely Delta Secondary School, Eldorado Secondary School and Hage Geingob Secondary School.