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About the ALU School of Wildlife Conservation

ALU School of Wildlife Conservation logoThe ALU School of Wildlife Conservation is the first of its kind on the continent, dedicated to teaching the next generation of world class conservation leaders in Africa. The continent needs home grown African leaders to spearhead new and innovative approaches in the business of conservation. The approach of the school is unique, teaching much needed business and leadership skills and exposing students to real-world experience, to ensure economic development and long term sustainability of our animals, our land, and our communities. The school identifies, educates and connects these leaders to existing conservationists across the continent through a Conservation specialization in our Global Challenges undergraduate degree, our graduate Conservation MBA program, and our executive education courses.

As a result of this school, 100% of the 3 million African leaders ALU will produce by 2060 will be exposed to the basics of conservation education, with the expectation that a significant subset of these leaders will focus on conservation as their life’s mission and ultimately engage in conservation efforts on the continent. This will ensure that the most talented and influential African leaders of the future will all understand the vital importance of conserving Africa’s wildlife. In addition, thousands of professionals who are currently engaged in conservation efforts will be upskilled through short courses and executive education to become more effective and ethical stewards of wildlife. Particular emphasis will be given to how conservation can economically benefit African communities, thereby providing a powerful incentive to conserve one of Africa’s most precious assets, our wildlife and their habitats.

Launched in late 2016, the first 10 conservation professionals started their MBA program through the ALU School of Wildlife Conservation in Kigali in July 2017. Since then, 300 undergraduates from across Africa have joined the ALU campus in Rwanda and are going through a basic course in conservation — 22 of these students were awarded full scholarships enabling them become the next generation of conservation leaders. Almost 40 top African conservationists have already agreed to serve as guest lecturers in the school.

In Memoriam of Jennifer Ward Oppenheimer

Life-long philanthropist and conservationist

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.

The late Jennifer Oppenheimer
The late Jennifer Oppenheimer

About ALU

ALU aims to transform Africa by developing 3million leaders for the continent over the next 5 decades. In 2016, Fast Company named ALU as the 3rd most innovative company in Africa and ​CNN has dubbed it ‘the Harvard of Africa’. ALU is pioneering a new form of university education that integrates real-world learning, highly innovative pedagogy and a strong focus on developing character, leadership and entrepreneurship in its graduates. It also encourages its students to pursue a ‘mission’ for their life instead of simply declaring an academic major. So far, two campuses are open (Rwanda and Mauritius) which collectively host almost 850 students from 40 African nations. It also has a business school offering the first pan-African MBA program.

One of the unique aspects about the African Leadership University is the ‘schools of excellence’ within the institution. Rather than following traditional paths of academia (diverging into the staid professions of law, medicine et al) , ALU has focused its schools around the ‘7 Grand Challenges’ and ‘7 Great Opportunities’ that Africa will face over the next 50 years. One of those great opportunities is the conservation of Africa’s wildlife.

In 2016, ALU’s founder, Fred Swaniker discovered a kindred spirit in Jennifer Oppenheimer, South African philanthropist and conservationist. Fred and Jennifer shared the belief that the best way to effectively address the conservation crisis on the continent was to develop African leaders with the business and leadership skills needed to harness our natural capital. Given the urgency of the crisis on the continent today and the rapid depletion of our lands, wildlife, and ecosystems, the School of Wildlife Conservation was therefore chosen as the first of ALU’s 14 anchor schools.