Over more than 10 years, the Future Africa Leaders Foundation (FALF) has played a significant role in recognizing, honoring, and empowering young talent from the African continent.

The foundation looks specifically for young visionaries with leadership qualities who have made a significant impact on their communities.

All applicants have been responsible for spearheading grassroots initiatives across the continent, under challenging circumstances, through innovative and ingenious solutions.

New Year’s Eve, the 31st of December saw the 11th edition of the highly anticipated event, hosted by the Chris Oyakhilome Foundation International (COFI).

The founder of COFI, Chris Oyakhilome, together with FALF is committed to nurturing the next generation of African leaders through cultivating and facilitating further innovation.

The annual event attracts young talent from the ages of 16 to 23 from all over Africa and empowers those who have fostered positive change and innovation in their communities through various initiatives and projects.

:2023 FALA ambassadors – the future leadership of Africa, induction ceremony with the Director, Deola Phillips.

The biggest cash grant empowerment event in Africa

To help further their service to their communities and to grow and develop their initiatives, the winner who stands out amongst the 30 nominees with skills and visionary leadership, receives $25,000. The 10 top finalists also receive a cash grant of $10,000 each for their projects and contributions.

Since its inception, 11 years ago, over $1.35 million has been awarded to 110 young trailblazers from 28 African countries out of thousands of entries reviewed annually from all 54 countries.

Chris Oyakhilome made a poignant speech at the 2022 FALA ceremony when he said: “Africa is not as it is often portrayed, but a place full of hope, strength, and courage.”

We bear witness to this statement every year when we hear the stories of commitment, ingenuity, and innovation from the numerous applicants.

Chris Oyakhilome unequivocally stated, “Our work is global, but we are aware of the peculiar situation in African countries where leadership is much needed, and this initiative is our contribution to building leaders from their youths; it’s the reason for this Award. In the past few years, we have witnessed very inspiring feats achieved by our young people; we keep looking out for more across African countries, and quite frankly, there’s so much to see. When you get to review their work, you’d be amazed that most of it is unheard.”

In his opening address at the FALA Award ceremony 2023, President and founder of the Future Africa Leaders Foundation, Chris Oyakhilome charged African nations to invest in the youth today as they are the future of tomorrow, saying:  “If you fail to invest in young people, you fail to invest in your future,” the President said as he encouraged all African nations to channel their resources to facilitate and encourage their young generation, who holds the future.

Many older leaders are inspired by the bright future

The prestigious event featured many impressive keynote speakers. One such guest speaker, who has chaired the ceremony many times before, Former Nigerian President Olusegun Obasanjo, expressed his utter confidence in the continent under the future leadership of this bold generation.

He told the audience: “All we need is the identification of those who will do the leading; encourage, empower, mentor, and monitor them so that they can take us to the promised lane.”

Other world-renowned figures at the ceremony included the first elected female head of state in Africa, Madame President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia, former President of Nigeria Goodluck Jonathan,  and Nobel Peace Laureate Leymah Roberta Gbowee, to name but a few.

Her Excellency, Dr. Joyce Hilda Banda, Former President of the Republic of Malawi had the utmost praise for the FALA initiative and expressed an interest to partner with the enterprising young Africans in creating further opportunities for all Africans across the continent and beyond.

Mariama Gendemeh from Sierra Leone emerged as the Star Prize Winner 2023 for her contribution to her community and beyond.

We will showcase all the FALA winners going forward but for now, we would like to congratulate all the FALA winners on their commitment to making a difference to the world.