Developing leaders who will become the midwives for Africa’s rebirth

More than 200 talented young South Africans came together on 24 June to attend The Youth Leadership Summit 2023, a collaboration between Henley Africa and the Lincoln Mali Leadership Foundation. The event consisted of a series of workshops facilitated by some of the brightest minds on the local business landscape, all selected for their wisdom, wealth of experience, and a genuine desire to empower the nation’s future leaders.


Photo caption: Lincoln Mali with his organising team at YLS 2023

At a time when our country is facing an unparalleled leadership crisis the Lincoln Mali Leadership Foundation and Henley Business School Africa joined forces to host a summit to ignite the potential of the country’s future leaders. The aim of the one-day Youth Leadership Summit 2023, which was held on 24 June this year at Henley Africa’s Johannesburg campus, was to expose young professionals to the wisdom and teachings from 16 of South Africa’s finest leaders at a series of interactive masterclasses.

The Summit was the brainchild of Lincoln Mali, a Henley Africa MBA alum and founder of The Lincoln Mali Leadership Foundation, an NPO that focuses on school sports development in townships and rural areas, feeding schemes, bursaries, mentorship, leadership and youth development.

The Foundation aims to develop the next generation of young leaders to become ‘midwives for Africa's rebirth’. We embrace the spirit of Ubuntu and the spirit of collaboration and sharing, whether it be the sharing of information, wisdom or sharing materially,” explains Mali, who was inspired to hold such a summit when he reflected on all the people who had guided him to help get him to where he is today.

“I look back on my life with gratitude and humility,” says Mali, whose qualifications include a BA LLB (Rhodes University), an MBA (Henley Business School) and an AMP (Harvard Business School). He has also attended a number of executive education programmes in South Africa and abroad.

An experienced executive with 25 years’ experience in the financial services sector Mali’s core competencies lie in the fields of business performance, customer services, digital transformation, leadership, people management and sales management.

“I have benefited from so much generosity, love and selflessness from people who wanted to help me reach my full potential that I decided I wanted to plough back into my community by linking established leaders with young and aspirant leaders across the country and the continent,” says Mali.

Mali’s purpose is to have a positive impact on South Africa and the broader African continent. “I have a vision of bringing together the people who are empowered and want to empower others, with the people who need empowering, guidance and role modelling. All of us are empowered in some way, and the best way to experience our power is to give it away.”

The Summit – the culmination of Mali’s humility and gratitude – brought together 200 brilliant young minds and 16 inspirational leaders for a day of information-sharing, networking and connecting with like-minded individuals who are passionate about leadership and building a better society.

Topics under discussion including youth empowerment, sustainable business, leadership challenges facing the nation and how innovative businesses can transform industries were presented in a series of masterclasses spread across four lecture theatres at Henley Africa’s Johannesburg campus.

“There was a total of 16 masterclasses and the 200 lucky attendees – whittled down from more than 700 applicants – were able to attend the four topics that appealed to them most,” explains Mamodise Mailula, H.E.A.L marketing executive at the school, and event organiser.

The masterclasses were hosted by an array of the nation’s top business brains including Sim Tshabalala, CEO, Standard Bank; Dr Mazamo Msito, CMO, Google Africa; Itumeleng Monale, COO, JSE; Mcebisi Jonas, Chairman, MTN Group; Refilwe Maluleke, MD, Yellowwood; Dr Dulcy Rakumakoe, CEO, Quadcare; Nwabisa Makunga, Editor, Sowetan and Victor Williams, CEO NBA Africa.

There are clear synergies between Henley Africa and the Lincoln Mali Leadership Foundation, and the Summit aligned with the school’s purpose, which is to build the people who build the businesses, that build Africa.

“At Henley Africa we are deeply committed to building a sustainable and prosperous future for the country and the continent. This starts with addressing issues such as youth unemployment, and taps into the purpose of the Summit perfectly,” concludes Mailula.

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