This year, 200 Obama Leaders embarked on a year-long programme aimed to inspire and equip emerging leaders from across Africa to look at some of the most crucial challenges in their communities, countries and continent.

The fellowship was launched in Johannesburg on 14 July 2018 to upskill and assist young African leaders, by helping them establish an expansive continental network of resources.

From 25 – 28 November 2018, ten representatives from this programme (from South Africa, Botswana and Namibia) will engage in critical dialogues and visits to communities across Cape Town. 

The leaders are set to engage with the complex and often paradoxical challenges within South Africa, which will be facilitated by Community Chest of the Western Cape.

“The programme aims to train, support and connect emerging African leaders to create positive change in their communities. We are proud to host these future leaders and help facilitate this conversation,” says Lorenzo Davids, CEO of Community Chest of the Western Cape.

The theme of the three-day seminar will be: “Intelligence, Development and Impact: Rising to the Recurring Challenges of addressing Poverty and Inequality”.

Davids says this initiative ties in with Community Chest’s overall strategic focus and likewise commemorates their 90 years of service to communities in South Africa.

“We regard the upcoming initiative with these leaders as an opportunity to enrich our own strategic focus, with the input from these young minds. As a leading civil society change agent in philanthropy and development, we are frequently looking at intelligent data to continuously improve our mission in the world,” says Davids.

Siyabulela Jentile, Chief Executive of Not in My Name SA, which encourages individuals (specifically men) to condemn the abuse of women and children, is one of the 10 that will take part in this three-day journey. He is also a member of the national intersectoral committee on domestic violence and femicide.

“Jentile embodies the necessary qualities to champion change in his community and set this in motion on a global scale. This is one shining example of the high calibre of individuals representing Africa,” says Davids.

The conversation will devise strategies to eradicate poverty and the reduction of inequality, which form part of the fundamental creed of Community Chest. These values will be the premise for the discussion, guided by the South African National Development Plan (SANDP) as well as the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

“In addition, we will be inviting local young leaders to engage with the Obama Leaders and to shadow them on their visit here. This will allow these engagements to deliver more meaningful and future-focused outcomes.”

“With dignity, agency and social justice at the forefront, we are convinced that local young leaders will benefit from engaging the Obama Leaders,” concludes Davids.

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