LoA Institute

Leaders of Africa Institute

The Leaders of Africa Institute is a special place where connected global learning and impact education flourish. Since the founding in 2018, the center of the Institute has always been community, creativity, and impact. We bring together leaders in research and practice who desire a supportive community for collaboration that extends across and does not recognize borders. You often hear that solutions can be found in the local community while others say that you must look beyond your community for innovative solutions. The Leaders of Africa Institute believes that both are necessary to inspire impact that promotes equity and social justice. We have a community that is focused on the local and global.

The Leaders of Africa Institute also inspires creativity. Our work and that of the Scholars and Fellows asks insightful questions, including why. Why is it so that inequality is increasing? Why is it so that schools are not producing qualified students? Why are their persistent gaps in maternal care? Why is it so that a leader uses repression to maintain their rule? We use creativity to question the norms we receive and through research, engagement, and impact projects craft new norms and ways of doing things.

Finally, the Leaders of Africa Institute embraces impact, but not for impact’s sake. We receive Scholars and Fellows that seek broad-based impact. In our programs, we believe in amplifying progressive views of impact including those that require us to challenge our own behavior particularly when it does not promote equity and social justice.

– Prof. Peter Penar, Director & Prof. Jelili (Gana) Adebiyi, Associate Director

Research Methods Program 2021 Engagement

Meet the Directors

Professor Peter Penar


I am the Director of the Leaders of Africa Institute and a political scientist with a focus on African politics and Pan-African integration. My passion lies in bringing together collaborative academic research and outreach, as well as working to improve higher education access and quality.

Professor Jelili (Gana) Adebiyi

Associate Director

I am the Associate Director of the Leaders of Africa Institute and a development scholar-practitioner and system dynamicist, with a scholarly background in planning, sustainability, agri-food systems, and environmental policy-making.

Leaders of Africa

Inquiry + Creative Expression