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French-African Foundation unveils committee for young leaders 2021


An exceptional committee to select the 100 new young Leaders 2021 has been inaugurated by the French-African Foundation program. This year’s edition of the French-African Foundation’s Young Leaders programme involves an ad hoc committee of public decision-makers and business leaders. The call for applications closed on April 5.

These influential representatives of the Franco-African relationship have until May 10 to contribute to identifying the one hundred laureates who will make up the class of 2021. The independent selection committee in charge of determining the composition of the next class of Young Leaders brings together decision-makers from France and both French and English-speaking Africa. These personalities hold ministerial positions and include Romuald Wadagni, Benin’s Minister of Economy and Finance and Ursula Owuzu, Ghana’s Minister of Telecommunications. They also work in development institutions such as Chinelo Anohu, Executive Director of the AfDB Group; Béatrice Lederlé, Deputy Director of the AFD’s Africa Department, Didier Acouetey, CEO of the AfricSearch Group; and Kamil Senhaji, VP Emerging Markets at Galileo Global Education.


Others include heads of holding companies such as Hassanein Hiridjee, CEO of the Malagasy group Axian and Mohammed Dewji, CEO of METL, as well as major players in the pan-African media universe such as Marwane Ben Yahmed, Director of the publication of the Jeune Afrique Group and Malick Diawara, Editorial Director of Point Afrique.

The world of culture is also represented by Jean Fall, founder and executive director of Cinewax and Aida Muluneh, founder of the first East African photography festival, Addis Foto Fest. Laureates of previous promotions of the French-African Foundation’s flagship programme are also present. They include, Aminata Kane, CEO of Orange Sierra Leone and Khady Koné-Dicoh, Partner at Amethis.

To select the most promising candidates, the panel members will be asked to conduct remote interviews together with members of the French-African Foundation. On 10 May, the enlarged committee will meet for a final vote to select the final group, with strict respect for parity, and with attention paid to representation by sector, region and state. The composition of the class of 2021 will be announced in May, paving the way for two sessions of the Young Leaders programme on the theme of Resilience, in both France and Senegal. This will allow the winners to benefit from unique mentoring, training and networking opportunities with leaders from the public and private sectors.

Co-founder and co-president of the French-African Foundation, Alexandre Costner, said, “While the 2021 edition of our programme is defined by the expansion of the programme, the diversity and quality of the composition of the selection committee, which has tripled in size, confirms the institutional recognition of the Young Leaders programme. It also highlights our desire to bring together current and future generations of decision-makers to support the emergence of this creative, ambitious and committed group who are ready to co-construct the world of tomorrow”.


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