African Leadership Academy appoints first female CEO

AFRICA – The African Leadership Academy (ALA) has appointed Bilha Ndirangu as its Chief Executive Officer, the first woman to hold the post to succeeding the institution’s co-founder Chris Bradford.

Ms. Ndirangu becomes the institution’s 3rd CEO and is the first Kenyan and first woman to head the academy.

Prior to the appointment, Bilha was the CEO of Africa’s Talking (AT), a Pan-Africa mobile technology company that supports software developers.

During her 7 years tenure at AT, Bilha oversaw the company’s incredible growth from a workforce of about 8 to over 100 employees growing its presence in over 20 African markets.

She has also served as the Senior Project Manager of Dalberg Global Development and is credited with conceptualizing the initial implementation of Equity Foundation’s Wings to Fly Scholarship project that has supported more than 26,000 needy and bright Kenyan children to access secondary and university education.

The ALA Board of Trustees Chairman, Khumo Shongwe, said: “Bilha’s experience in building a pan-African company and working with senior leaders across the continent has uniquely prepared her to lead the African Leadership Academy.”

Bilha welcomed the appointment saying Africa has a lot of opportunities and great untapped potential encapsulated in her richest resource, her youth.

The new CEO said technology is the key driver of growth in Africa saying the time is ripe to raise the right leaders and global shapers who will secure Africa’s place at the table.

“Coming back to Africa was informed by what I saw then. The need for Africa to embrace her true identity and leverage our competitive advantage at the global stage,” Bilha said.

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School’ graduate, expressed her trust in young minds and their role in transforming and building Africa.

She said that ALA offers the kind of education that every African child deserves and is optimistic that the academy will expand the impact on its education model across Africa

“We are honored to see her step into the CEO’s role at ALA and we know that she will lead the academy to new heights and strengthen our track record of pan-African impact,” ALA Co-founder Fred Swaniker said.

“This was one of the most rigorous recruitment processes I have ever seen in my career. She exemplifies all the attributes that the ALA CEO in this day and age requires; youthfulness, business acumen, laser vision and pan-African corporate leadership experience,” Brian Waweru, an Alumni representative in the academy’s Board of Trustees who sat in the interview panel said.

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