Emerging African Leaders Program


“Nurturing leaders for positive social change”

Why ELP?

Years of military rule, corruption, bad governance and political instability have meant insufficient investment in Africa’s infrastructure and basic services. After decades of independence, and despite its human and natural resources, 67% of Africans live below poverty line.

In order for Africa to make progress and ensure that its people enjoy a better quality of life, the continent needs a new generation of leaders who can leave a better legacy. With youth under the age of 25 comprising 60 percent of the population, much of the hope for Africa’s future lies in its young people. They are the agents of change and critical actors in building a better Africa. Ensuring young people develop the capacities, competencies and character necessary to navigate the continent out of poverty and under-development is essential to reorienting the continent’s values.

The ELP Effect

In 2013, we launched the Emerging African Leaders Program (ELP) to respond to Africa’s failure of leadership. The 3-year program is designed to channel young people into activities that develop leaders of character; cultivate a spirit of entrepreneurship; promote good governance, transparency and accountability in government; and encourage mentorship among African youths. ELP focuses on emerging state and non-state actors critical to development. Upon completion of ELP, mentors evaluate progress and induct successful mentees into the Centre’s Network of Effective African Leaders (NEAL). Learn more about NEAL below. 

  • Emerging Political Leaders
  • Emerging Judicial Leaders
  • Emerging Religious Leaders
  • Emerging Business Leaders/Entrepreneurs
  • Emerging Media Leaders

How ELP Works

ELP trainings are free of charge to successful applicants


Mode of Selection: Written applications, telephone and face-to-face interviews

Age: Youths, ages 16 – 21.

  • Educational qualification: First and second year undergraduate students only
  • Selection Timeline:
    • June 30: Application opens: 
    • September 30: Applicaton closes
    • November 1: Orientation begins
  • Induction: November 30

ELP Annual Foundation Conference 

Each year, ELP kicks off with a Foundation Conference designed to address Africa’s leadership problems, challenge youth to seek solutions to community problems and orient them towards moral values that enhance the greater good for Africa. 

ELP Mid-Year Leadership
Port-Folio Summit

In June, Emerging Leaders gather to discuss the progress of their personal development goals and community development projects. Mentors provide feedback as well as offer encouragement and counseling.

ELP Community

Each emerging leader initiates a Community Development Project that solves specific community problem. Through this, they develop community spirit, problem solving and project management skills. 


In between the foundation conference and mid-year summit, emerging leaders gather weekly for  online trainings in good governance, transparency, accountability and entrepreneurship.

ELP Campus
and Events

Emerging leaders on same campus meet monthly to bond, discuss leadership challenges they are facing on campus. They also organize campus inspirational leadership, ethics and entrepreneurship events such as film viewing, seminars and workshops.


Each emerging leader has a mentor who provides direction. The mentors offer advice, guidance and become listening hearts for the many issues affecting each student. Mentors communicate with Emerging Leaders over the phone, by email, WhatsApp and other social media platforms.

ELP Leadership

During vacations, strikes and the period of time prior to national youth service, emerging leaders are placed on short-term leadership building experiences (home or abroad) to gain practical knowledge from leaders with demonstrated knowledge, experience and virtues. 


To enable them complete college, CSAAE offers need-based scholarships, computers and other learning tools to emerging leaders from financially vulnerable homes. A gift of N250,000.00 or $750.00 would pay an emerging leader’s tuition and textbooks for one academic year.  

What Happens After ELP

2017 NEAL induction ceremony held at Ikeja, Lagos

Upon completion of the 3-year ELP, mentors evaluate progress and promote successful ELP graduates to the Centre’s Network of Effective African Leaders (NEAL). Under the guidance of CSAAE, these effective leaders run for offices, serve in government, initiate enterprises and shape public policies. They bear on each other on good governance, mentor emerging leaders at CSAAE and champion social impact projects in Africa.

Join ELP

Support ELP

“I wish I have more money to give to CSAAE. I see great leaders emerging from this program. Hope for Africa.” 

Steve Kirsch, Board Member, CSAAE

Upcoming ELP Event

Webinar is free but you must register to participate. Once you register, you will receive instructions on how to join the webinar
Register now