We believe that transformational leadership is the key ingredient to Africa's long-term economic and social growth. Umsizi's purpose is to develop strong local leaders who will create African-led solutions and organizations. In turn, they will develop, employ, and inspire many more emerging leaders.



In 2005, Umsizi's trustees began working with youth organizations in South Africa. At the same time, a trustee launched a global community of McKinsey & Company alumni working on social and economic development in emerging markets. Combining these experiences with our expertise as management consultants and investment professionals, it became apparent that the critical challenge to achieving transformative change in Africa was the pronounced gap in managerial leadership.

In 2007, Umsizi’s trustees met the founders of the African Leadership Academy (ALA). Motivated by a shared commitment to resolving the managerial leadership gap in Africa, we clarified our strategy for addressing this global constraint.



Umsizi’s approach to addressing the managerial talent gap is to:

1. Collaborate with partners to identify talented African youth who are proactive and committed to catalyzing change in their communities.

2. Provide leadership development opportunities for these high-caliber young leaders. Umsizi’s funding allows selected youth leaders to gain work experience in African organizations, launch entrepreneurial ventures on the continent, participate in conferences, and pursue practical educational opportunities.

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For, indeed, that’s all who ever have.
— Margaret Mead, Cultural Anthropologist