As Fred Swaniker took to the stage to accept a TIME100 Impact Award Friday night in Kigali, Rwanda, the Ghanaian educator and entrepreneur felt more comfortable speaking about the accomplishments of others—notably, the next generation of African leaders whom he has tirelessly helped nurture.
The founder of the African Leadership Group, Swaniker oversees two school campuses in Mauritius and Rwanda that offer degrees in software engineering and entrepreneurial leadership to nearly 2,000 students each year. Currently, he’s focused on achieving the ambitious goal of cultivating at least 3 million ethical, entrepreneurial, and empowered African leaders by 2035.
“Today, many of our young leaders are tackling some of Africa’s grand challenges, like transforming primary healthcare in remote areas,” he said in his speech at the inaugural TIME Africa Summit and Gala.
His goals may not be so out of reach when considering the story of a student named Nancy, which Swaniker shared on stage. A graduate of the African Leadership University, Nancy is now working with a team of data analysts in a Rwanda Health Intelligence Centre that’s harnessing data insights gathered from hundreds of clinics throughout the country to drive real-time decisions and identify early warning signs of chronic diseases and more.
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“Without Nancy and the thousands of talented young leaders and technology professionals we’re training across Africa, I wouldn’t have a reason to be standing here today,” Swaniker said to a round of applause.
The TIME100 Impact Awards Africa are sponsored by Visit Rwanda, Kigali International Financial Centre, and RwandAir.
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