LoA Institute

The Leaders of Africa Institute Advantage

There are many universities and learning platforms out there. The Leaders of Africa Institute is different. Let’s explore how and why in seven important areas.

#1 Personalized Support & Mentorship

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute programs involve a personal relationship with professors and the Scholars & Fellows. We have platforms for networking and in-depth feedback, including one-on-one meetings and collaboration.

Why?

We believe that in-depth learning and collaboration requires a personalized approach. We also believe that everyone’s research, impact project, and ideas merit specific feedback and support that requires going beyond a “one-size fits all.”

Traditional Approach

There are two common traditional approaches: the self-directed and the large-class approach. Self-directed approaches mean that learning takes place in isolation with minimal to no personalized feedback. Think about Udemy or Edex or Upskill – these are largely self-paced options. Whereas large-class approaches have a personal element without in-depth and sustained personalized support.

Why?

Many learning platforms and programs want to maximize the number of learners since, in theory, it maximizes impact. In some cases, the maximization of class sizes is a way of driving profit without regard to the necessary support for impact education.

#2 Access to the Capacity & Tools To Amplify Impact

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute provides all Scholars and Fellows access to the resources of the Research & Innovation Lab, Media Lab, and Tech Lab. You can think of it like a team that provides you with the resources and expertise to make your ideas come to life.

Why?

Important research and impact ideas require sustained support and technical expertise. The LoAI finds that most success comes when the capacity to carry out an idea comes together in a wholistic way. For this reason, we collaborate to incubate ideas with full-service in-house support.

Traditional Approach

The best traditional programs are focused on learning the skills. It makes sense because most learning platforms and universities target the delivery of the information during the program with less consideration of what happens after the program. Sometimes there are promises of support, but it does not always arrive.

Why?

Most learning platforms seek to specialize in the delivery of the content in the program. There is a narrower focus on quality content, but this does not often provide the learner with capacity to build on the skills and ideas gained through the learning experience.

#3 Building a Portfolio and Exposure

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute provides all Scholars and Fellows the platform to build a visible and audible portfolio. Using the media and digital capacity of the LoAI and Leaders of Africa, Scholars and Fellows have a place to display and share their portfolio, as well as be connected with opportunities to share the portfolio, including at live events. This goes beyond the Certificate and Transcript that details the precise skills you learned for successfully completing a program at the LoAI.

Why?

A visible and audible portfolio allows for all Scholars and Fellows to amplify their impact and build their personal brand in the international development field. It is not to say that degrees are not important but tangible projects and impact speak louder.

Traditional Approach

Most traditional programs provide certificates and diplomas. These documents signal that a learner has completed the course and in theory have mastered all or some of the key competencies.

Why?

It is easy to print and distribute certificates and diplomas. We have all seen the degrees and certificates shared on LinkedIn and other places. However, it is sometimes hard to know whether the learner mastered the skills or produced tangible items.

#4 Rigorous and Advanced Methods

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute teaches and employs the latest in methodological and conceptual innovations. We push research and programmatic boundaries.

Why?

The methodological tools and software that supports research and impact projects are always changing. We believe that all Scholars and Fellows must learn the foundations and crucially be current in their skills and approaches.

Traditional Approach

Many of the traditional programs focus on the general foundations so that the learner may build upon these at a later time. When a program is rolled out, these generally do not significantly change over time.

Why?

Most of the platforms and universities are attempting to appeal to the needs of most learners. This is a good approach but does not recognize that certain ideas require specialized methodological and conceptual support.

#5 Creativity & Professional Programing

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute does not play it safe. We value experimentation and creative new solutions. It is common for us to ask what distinguishes a Scholar’s or Fellow’s idea from the norm of doing things. We push boundaries while at the same time maintaining the highest of moral and ethical standards. LoAI also provides events that allow for networking and sharing ideas.

Why?

The Leaders of Africa Institute has a progressive vision that challenges norms and standard ways of doing things. We find that understanding and impact requires creativity and experimentation, even if it does not yield results in all cases.

Traditional Approach

Universities are the best at offering professional programming for their learners while most learning platforms do not. In particular, universities rely on exams and standard papers for assessment. In some cases, memorization and standard approaches are enough for success at universities and learning platforms.

Why?

Particularly when there are big class sizes exams makes sense. It is easier to standardize assignments and secure the integrity of the assessment. The problem is that these approaches do not promote creative and innovative thinking.

#6 Career Opportunities

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute helps Scholars and Fellows obtain employment (or better employment) and opportunities (e.g., funding). In select cases, LoAI even hires previous participants for international projects.

Why?

We think that connecting the skills and portfolio built at the LoAI to opportunities is critical to sustaining career development.

Traditional Approach

Universities are beginning to do better with career counseling and connect learners to opportunities. However, sometimes the “case load” can be quite large. Most learning platforms do not actively connect learners to opportunities.

Why?

It is not always viewed as the purpose of the institution to actively support career development and create opportunities for learners. This varies significantly across institutions and platforms.

#7 Mission-Driven and Moral

LoAI Approach

The Leaders of Africa Institute cultivates a safe space for well-intentioned people who embody The Pledge and the Honor Code. We do not engage or tolerate behavior and actions that run contrary to our values during or after programs. Our overarching aim is to put in place progressive and moral leaders that maintain their commitment at and beyond the LoAI.

Why?

Knowledge is power and it can often be used to create the worst outcomes. Some of the most educated people are the most amoral and unethical. We demand that our faculty, Scholars, and Fellows adhere to the highest standards no matter their career or what they are doing.

Traditional Approach

Most universities and learning platforms have general rules and principles that, in some cases, learners must be adhere to. Some of these guidelines are general or do not require significant sacrifice of the pledge takers.

Why?

There is sometimes a fear of being bold about one’s moral principles in service of being inclusive. An unintended consequence is that some institutions and organizations get hijacked by self-interested individuals who sometimes misuse knowledge.

Leaders of Africa
Institute

Inquiry + Creative Expression