One of the world’s greatest treasures—Africa’s wildlife and its habitat—is at risk

The Need

Africa urgently needs conservation leaders who can apply best practice management techniques, develop sustainable business models, and leverage emerging technologies to improve wildlife conservation outcomes. These leaders also need the expertise to build coalitions across sectors that will give communities and entire nations a stake in protecting wildlife.

We believe that to change the trajectory of conservation in Africa, a holistic approach is needed. It starts with impactful leaders with innovative, new solutions and a powerful platform for action.

Our Mission

Developing leaders to manage, protect and promote African wildlife for an abundant and sustainable future.

We do this in three ways

Develop Current Leaders

Equipping conservation leaders of today with business, leadership, and management skills to have immediate impact in their organisations and communities.

Educate Future Leaders

Educating the next generation of leaders in conservation.

Build Bridges Across Sectors

Engaging leaders across sectors to break down silos, foster new networks, and develop unique partnerships towards sustainable conservation.

Our Programmes

MBA & Executive Education

Enhancing the management and leadership skills of today’s conservation leaders

Our short courses provide conservation leaders with skills in leadership and management. They also learn how emerging technologies, innovative business models and cross-sectoral stakeholder engagement can be leveraged to improve conservation.

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The MBA for Conservation Leaders combines world-class business education with cutting-edge training in leadership and conservation management. It prepares mid-career wildlife leaders for the next stage of their careers.

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Undergraduate Degree

Developing the next generation of conservation leaders

We attract Africa’s most talented future leaders and equip them with the tools and real-world experience to shape Africa’s wildlife destiny in the coming decades.

We offer an individually tailored undergraduate program, a BA in Global Challenges with a specialization in conservation, to empower students to drive innovative solutions to Africa’s conservation challenges.

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Breaking down the silos in conservation

We bring together a wide array of stakeholders to promote best practices, strengthen networks, and collectively tackle the challenges of conservation. This is achieved through regular stakeholder dialogues, an annual convening of leaders from conservation, private sector, and government, and best practice workshops across the continent.

See highlights from the inaugural Business of Conservation Conference

Our Impact


Awarded in scholarships for current and future leaders.


Conservation professionals fully sponsored for the ALU MBA


Scholarships for undergraduate conservation students.


Conservation professionals fully sponsored for the ALU Xcelerator program

Richard Ndiga

“I have grown over the past six weeks. The courses are very applicable to my line of work. I work in conservation and sustainability but my mind has been broadened and now have a wider view of the work that I do and greater insight to Pan African aspects in my field. It has pushed me to enhance and incorporate the business side to my work, you can say I have new eyes now. I’ve also developed a new way of looking at leadership and working with teams and within teams. It goes beyond delegating and the relating, it’s about building character, building people and being built as well! I’m happy and grateful to be on this exciting journey!”

Richard Ndiga
MBA for Conservation Leaders, Class of 2019

Debra Magwada

“We need to find the interface where conservation adds benefit to business and business adds benefits to conservation.”

Debra Magwada
MBA for Conservation Leaders, Class of 2019

Who we are

Our Advisors

A diverse group of distinguished professionals serve as our advisors.

Helen Gichohi​

Former President of African Wildlife Foundation and past board member of Kenya Wildlife Service

Peter Fearnhead

CEO of African Parks

Professor David Macdonald

Founder & Director of the Wildlife Conservation Research Unit (WildCRU) at Oxford University

Kaddu Sebunya

President of the African Wildlife Foundation (AWF)

Mark Read

Former Board Chair of WWF SA

Mark B. Childress

Former United States Ambassador to Tanzania

Richard Vigne

CEO of Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Kenya

Phillip Ihenacho

Board member of Tusk International and the Nature Conservancy (Africa council)

Jon Cummings

Board member of African Parks

Our Experts

Prominent executive level professionals, researchers, and practitioners serve as guest faculty, speakers, and subject matter experts.

Andre Aquino

Senior Natural Resources Management Specialist, Environment and Natural Resources Global Practice, World Bank

Antony Frost

CEO of Sirocco Strategy Management

Camille Rebelo

Co-Founder & COO of EcoPlanet Bamboo

Dawn Zimmerman

Regional Veterinary Manager at Gorilla Doctors

Derek de la Harpe

Executive Director of Wilderness Holdings Limited

Diane Skinner

Environmental and Wildlife Consultant at Independent Lowveld Rhino Trust

Dr Francis Vorhies

Founder and Executive Director of Earthmind

Dr. Éliane Ubalijoro

Professor of Practice For Public-Private Sector Partnerships Institute for the Study of International Development McGill

Dr. Janaki Alavalapati

Dean of Auburn's School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences

Dr. Leela Hazzah

Co-founder and Executive Director -Lion Guardians

The Team

Laura Primard

Director of Operations

Francis Vorhies

Head of Academics

Elizabeth Tolu Ojo

Project Manager

Aaron Appleton

Learning Experience Designer

Edwin Sabuhoro

Core Faculty member

African Leadership University

ALUSB StudentsALU is reimagining university education at a scale and quality that has never been done before. By leveraging unconventional learning methods, technology, and a nurturing a bias towards problem-solving among its students, ALU is developing purpose-driven leaders who will utilize their talents, networks, and skills to address some of Africa’s—and indeed the world’s—toughest challenges.

The Founder

Fred Swaniker

Fred Swaniker

A citizen of Ghana, Fred Swaniker grew up in Botswana and Zimbabwe, both countries blessed with wildlife. However, like the majority of his peers, his family could never afford to visit the high-end game reserves in these countries. He vividly remembers during his college years in the United States that his peers would ask him if he had seen a lion or an elephant. He would uncomfortably respond that he had indeed seen such animals–but in a zoo! It was only when Fred returned to Africa–this time to South Africa–that he had the opportunity to visit the Kruger National Park. He was immediately awestruck by the wildlife and breathtaking landscapes he experienced in the bush, and vowed that he would find a way to ensure that future generations of Africans would also be able enjoy such incredible experiences. He also realized that unless Africa’s wildlife became an ‘African asset’–something that all Africans–not only wealthy foreign tourists could see the benefits of–African communities would have no incentives to conserve habitat and wildlife. Years later, when Fred founded African Leadership University, he saw it as a vehicle to address the ‘Grand Challenges’ and ‘Great Opportunities’ that Africa would encounter over the next 50 years. The conservation of Africa’s wildlife was high on his list of African opportunities and Fred envisioned a school within the university that would develop leaders for conservation. But his wish would remain a dream until he reconnected with his longtime friend, financial backer, and philanthropist Jennifer Oppenheimer in mid-2016. As it turned out, Jennifer had been thinking along the same lines as Fred…

Seed Donor

The late Jennifer Oppenheimer

Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer

A seed funder for African Leadership University, the late Jennifer (Fern) W. Oppenheimer was instrumental in the establishment of the pan-African university in 2013. Three years later–in mid 2016–Jennifer approached the University’s founder, Fred Swaniker, with an idea to create a new generation of African leaders who would lead efforts to safeguard Africa’s natural resources and wildlife. Her vision, shared by ALU, was to ensure that Africa’s wildlife becomes a truly valuable ‘asset’ that is enjoyed by Africans and the world, and that contributes to the sustainable development of Africa. Jennifer subsequently provided seed funding to enable the establishment of the ALU School of Wildlife Conservation.

Our Partners

Thank you to our generous partners for supporting our mission and providing invaluable resources for our students such as:
Internships, which give our students a chance to learn first-hand about conservation
Subject matter experts and guest faculty who share their best practices and real-world experience with our students
Projects for our students to apply some of their skills to
Training material and case studies to support our cutting edge curriculum

Follow our journey

Up ahead: Short courses for senior and mid-level conservation managers and a cross sectoral conference. Stay in the loop and get involved!

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