Emerging (African) Leaders Program

“Nurturing leaders for positive social change”


Despite the hard work of millions of Africans and aids by the international community, the African continent remains one of the poorest continents in the world. Millions of Africans live in extreme poverty lacking enough food and water as well as adequate shelter, healthcare and education. There are several causes of poverty in Africa, but the chief cause is failure of leadership.Here is how award-winning novelist Chinue Achebe explains failure of leadership in Nigeria and this is true of other African countries: “The problem with Nigeria is simply and squarely a failure of leadership. There is nothing basically wrong with the Nigerian land or climate or water or air or anything else. The Nigerian problem is the unwillingness or inability of its leaders to rise to the responsibility and to the challenge of personal example which are the hallmarks of true leadership.” In addition to lack of moral courage, many African Leaders also lack the skill-set necessary to navigate the continent out of poverty and underdevelopment.

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 62 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.

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. Graduates of ELP are promoted to the Centre’s Network of Effective African Leaders (NEAL). NEAL members run for offices, serve in government and shape public policies. They bear on each other on good governance, mentor emerging leaders and champion social impact projects in Africa. ELP focuses on emerging state and non-state actors generally considered key to development and these include:

  1. Emerging Political Leaders
  2. Emerging Judicial Leaders
  3. Emerging Religious Leaders
  4. Emerging Business Leaders/Entrepreneurs
  5. Emerging Media Leaders

How ELP Works



Selection Criteria

  • Age: Youths, ages 16 – 21.
  • Education: First and second year undergraduate students
  • Selection Process: Written applications and oral interviews
  • Applications open in June  and close on September 30 annually
  • Orientation of selected applicants begins on November 1
  • Induction: November 24
  • ELP programs are free of charge to successful applicants.

Annual Foundation Conference


Each year, ELP kicks off with a Foundation Conference. The conference is designed to broaden the horizons of the emerging leaders, help them set personal and community development goals, as well as dream big. Conference is free for Emerging Leaders including transport, accommodation, meals and conference materials.

News Event

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.

Innovative Community Development Projects


As part of the three-year ELP, each emerging leader is required to initiate a Community Development Project. The aim is to immerse these future political leaders into the various problems our communities are facing early in life, help them find solutions to specific community problems, develop cutting edge problem solving and project management skills through these projects, imbibe enduring community spirit and cherish hard work as the only true path to success in a hopelessly corrupt country. From novel farming ideas to recycling ventures. From encouraging dropouts to remain in school to promoting ethics in schools.  


Weekly Webinar



In between conferences and summits, Emerging Leaders read recommended inspirational books. The aim is to enhance Emerging Leaders ethics, excellence in leadership and innovative spirit. Mentors recommend books and read along with Emerging Leaders. Some of the books read include: Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Steven Covey), You Don’t Need a Title to be A Leader (Mark Sanborn), History of Nigeria (Richard Bourne), etc. Books are provided free of charge to Emerging Leaders.

Group Film Viewing


CSAAEINC recognizes the need for visual learning among young adults. The film viewing provides inspirational films which help to reinforce mentees’ social and moral sense, team work capabilities and innovative spirit. Some of the films include The History of Nigeria, The Men Who Built America, etc. Movies are provided free of charge to Emerging Leaders.


One-on-one mentoring



Each emerging leader has a U.S.-based 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



To enable Emerging Leaders complete college, CSAAEINC offers scholarships, computers and other learning tools to eligible Emerging Leaders. Scholarship can be for four years, one year or one semester. To receive scholarship or any learning tool, emerging leader must be in good standing with CSAAEINC. This including passing exams, behaving well on campus and complying with all ELP trainings. With With N100,000.00 annually, one can establish a Scholarship foundation in his or her name or in the name of his or her loved one. One of the scholarship recipient, Francisca Ekwuonu is a Medical Laboratory Major at the University of Jos. She was awarded the Four year Nwanyioma-Di-Na-Mba Scholarship.


Leadership Building Experience



During vacations, strikes and the period of time prior to youth service, Emerging Leaders are placed on internships (home or abroad) to gain practical knowledge from leaders with demonstrated knowledge, experience and virtues. Some Emerging Leaders that have benefitted from this include, Nancy Uzor, Charles Chibuike, Pantaleon Uwaleme, Michelle Nwagha, etc.