Lapid Leaders Africa was born out of a deep passion for civic engagement and leadership development, driven by my own experiences and the influences of my remarkable family. Growing up in a small village in Kenya, I witnessed the strength and determination of my late grandmother, who bravely fought for women’s rights. Her defiance planted a seed within me, igniting a desire to empower women and contribute to a society where they fearlessly drive change. The unwavering commitment of my mother, who has persistently run for political office in a male-dominated field, has been a constant source of inspiration. Her sacrifices, resourcefulness, and resilience have empowered me to fearlessly pursue a world where women are unafraid to lead and create lasting impact.As I embarked on my own professional journey in a male-dominated field, I faced numerous obstacles and challenges. But I also had the privilege of witnessing women in leadership and experiencing the power of intentional mentorship. Early in my career, I was fortunate to receive phenomenal opportunities, including a two-year secondment in the United Kingdom. These experiences broadened my horizons, exposed me to diverse perspectives, and deepened my understanding of the global landscape. They also fueled my determination to create similar opportunities for young leaders in Africa.
At the core of Lapid Leaders Africa’s approach is our commitment to mentorship, coaching, and a Pan-African ethos. Our programs are designed to instill the values of integrity, empathy, and resilience, while nurturing their innate talents and fostering a sense of community. We believe that by harnessing the inherent prowess of our young leaders, we can mold them into a community of innovative solution providers who will drive Africa forward.
I am immensely proud of the young leaders who have emerged from our programs. Their accomplishments speak volumes about their resilience and dedication to creating meaningful change. One particular example that fills my heart with pride is the graduation of one of our leaders as one of the 14 female military officers out of a class of 130. Her determination to pave the way for more young women in the military has sparked a movement to explore the historical role of women in African military forces.
Lapid Leaders Africa has achieved significant impact and success in empowering young leaders, particularly women, and bridging the gap between education and employment. Our commitment to promoting gender diversity and inclusivity is reflected in the fact that at least 60% of our participants to date have been women. Within six months of graduation, 89% of Lapid graduates are employed, with some even starting their own businesses. This showcases the program’s effectiveness in enhancing job readiness and entrepreneurial skills, enabling our alumni to make tangible contributions to their respective fields and communities. Our focus on practical skills development and leadership training has resulted in more than 50% of participants being promoted within one year of program completion. Furthermore, over 49% of participants experience a salary increase to the next band, demonstrating our contribution to their economic advancement.
Our success is further amplified through strategic partnerships with universities. We have a valuable collaboration with Mount Kenya University, providing access to underserved college and university students in Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, and rural parts of the region. This partnership allows us to conduct awareness campaigns on the role of young women in building climate solutions and create a strong talent pipeline from diverse backgrounds.The power of a pan-African network is at the core of our program. Over 100 students have participated in study trips to different countries in Africa, fostering connections and collaborations across borders. Our community includes students from Uganda, Burundi, Liberia, South Sudan, and other African nations, cultivating a sense of unity and collective growth. These students have successfully implemented solutions in Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Burundi, and beyond, positively impacting their communities. None of our achievements would have been possible without the support and funding generously provided by Mentors Foundation. Their belief in our mission and commitment to investing in Africa’s youth has been instrumental in our growth and impact. Together, we trained and developed 324 young leaders in 2021 alone, creating a ripple effect that extends far beyond our immediate reach.