Based in Johannesburg, South Africa, the African Leadership Academy (ALA) was founded on the belief that ethical leadership is the key to transforming the African continent by developing, connecting and supporting its future leaders. The only institution of its kind aimed at developing leaders for an entire continent, ALA has a pan-African approach that aims to have students from all 54 African Countries. It is currently home to students from 41 African nations. During the initial stage of the ALA ecosystem, the Academy cultivates outstanding young leaders at a two-year world-class program and guides them through the process of acceptance, funding and acclimation to attending top universities around the world.

In 2009, D.E.F. made its first grant to the African Leadership Academy to establish “D.E.F. Scholars” Scholarship Program for students from diamond producing nations in Africa. The first graduating class of 32 surpassed all goals with 88% of students receiving college admission and securing a collective amount of $4.2 million in college scholarship funds to schools including Harvard University, Yale University, Cornell University, Barnard College, Trinity College, Duke University, and College of Wooster.

Currently D.E.F. is contributing scholarship funds to every student attending ALA from a diamond producing country. We are looking forward to following their progress at ALA and beyond when they pursuer higher education and return to their home countries as empowered leaders. ALA continues to work with its graduates by connecting them to mentors and internship opportunities with organizations that work in Africa. For further information, visit