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Effective Leaders Program

2020 Immersion Year Application Now Open

Deadline: September 30, 2020

 Thank you for your interest in CSAAE’s Effective Leaders Program

Years of ineffective leadership have led to massive poverty and underdevelopment in Africa. To facilitate development and end poverty in Africa, the continent needs a new generation of effective leaders committed to the common good of Africa. In 2013, CSAAE launched a leadership program to nurture such leaders.

Currently, the leadership program begins with a three-year emerging leaders mentoring program that leads to induction into the Centre’s lifetime network of effective African leaders (NEAL). But effective January 1, 2021, the leadership program will now begin with a one-year immersion program that will focus on immersing future leaders into the culture of CSAAE and preparing them for a life-time leadership training, support and impact at NEAL.

Immersion Year

The immersion year has two stages. The first stage is the enculturation stage while the second stage is the discernment stage.

Enculturation Stage (6 months)

This first stage of immersion is designed to help new members embrace the values, vision and mission of CSAAE while also learning about the theory, practice and key elements of effective leadership.

It begins with a two-day foundation conference at Owerri, Imo State, Nigeria where CSAAE’s head office in Africa is located. The conference holds in early January annually and brings together new and old members of CSAAE’s community of leaders to interact and share impact stories. At this event, new members are inducted into the immersion year while those that have completed the immersion program are inducted into NEAL. The Centre also brings in known effective leaders to share Africa’s leadership challenges, proffer solutions, challenge and inspire future leaders.   

For the first two months after the foundation conference, new members are drilled in the vision, mission and values of CSAAE with special focus on the nexus between the core values of CSAAE and effective leadership. 

The last three months of the enculturation stage is used to introduce trainees to the theory and practice of leadership as well as to the key elements of leadership including financial literacy, creative and ethical leadership, leadership communication, etc.

Discernment Stage (6 months)

This second stage of the immersion is designed to help new members shape their leadership big dreams, identify model leaders to follow and initiate social enterprises that solve community problems.

It begins with a two-day mid-year review to evaluate the progress of the trainees and to decide whether or not to retain a member in the program.

The first 3 months after the mid-year review is dedicated to helping new members explore leadership areas critical to development that they can venture into including political, judicial, education, religious, business and media leadership. At the end of this guided exploration, trainee should be able to present leadership big dream plan detailing how s/he plans to realize such dream.

The last three months of the discernment stage is used to help new members initiate social enterprises to tackle nagging socioeconomic problems in Africa. At the end of this guided research, trainee would be able to present a bankable social enterprise business plan.

After immersion, what next?

Upon successful completion of the immersion year, trainees are inducted into NEAL for a life-time of leadership training, support and impact. Members in good standing enjoy the following benefits.

  • Access to funds to launch or scale up enterprises through CSAAE Leaders Cooperative Society.
  • Access to life, health, car, education and property insurance through CSAAE Group Insurance.
  • Access to safe and gainful retirement plans through CSAAE Retirement Plans
  • Access to influential mentors through CSAAE Succeed With A Mentor Initiative.
  • Access to leadership and enterprise development trainings and support.
  • Access to financial and moral support from members to achieve set leadership and career goals.
  • Solidarity of members in times of sorrow and joy.
  • Priority consideration for job, internship, fellowship and IT opportunities at CSAAE.
  • Opportunity to understand in details the many problems facing Africa and proffer solutions.
  • And more.


  • Must be between the ages of 18 and 26.
  • Must be an undergraduate or a graduate.
  • Must show evidence of creative leadership experience at any level.
  • Must show evidence of a strong spirit of innovation and entrepreneurship.
  • Must show evidence of good character.
  • Must commit to CSAAE Ethics policy.


Leadership Areas

Our leadership program focuses on leadership areas critical to development including:

Political Leadership


Media Leadership

Judicial Leadership

Business Leadership

Religious Leadership

  • Political leaders include elected political officers such as presidents, governors, legislators; government appointees such as ministers and commissioners, ambassadors and DGs of parastatals as well as senior level civil servants such as permanent secretaries.
  • Media leaders include investigative mainstream and new media journalists, high profile social media influencers and media moguls.
  • Judicial leaders include judges and Legal activists.
  • Business leaders include CEOs of national and multinational companies including senior officials at the United Nations, World Bank, and IMF as well as mega entrepreneurs
  • Religious leaders include Catholic priests and bishops, pastors of mega Churches, high profile Imams and Rabbis.
  • Educational Leaders include university Vice Chancellors, principals of high schools and head masters of primary schools.

Program Activities

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