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Meet Fred Swaniker, the Ghanaian business tycoon who has been appointed by President Kagame to chair the Rwanda Convention Bureau

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Fred Swaniker, founder of the African Leadership University (ALU) is making gains across the world.

Rwanda has been noted to be growing rapidly in popularity with event organizers worldwide thanks to the RCB that was established by the government to promote the country as a “premier destination and one-stop solution” for assistance, information and advice on organizing MICE (Meetings, Incentives, Conferencing, Exhibitions) or business events.

The aim of the unit is to take full advantage of the global tourism market, a strategy the country believes will create value in the tourism sector, the country’s largest foreign exchange earner that fetches an annual average of about $500 million and Mr Swaniker is appointed to head and manage its affairs.


Fred Swaniker

How Fred Swaniker started

Fred Swaniker was born in Ghana in 1976. His father, who was a lawyer and a magistrate, left the country with his family after a military coup when Swaniker was only about four years old.

By the age of 18, Swaniker and the family had lived in different African countries including Zambia, Botswana, Zimbabwe.

He attended Macalester College in Minnesota and after graduation, he was employed by McKinsey & Company in Johannesburg, South Africa.

These experiences on the continent influenced his thinking about the importance of leadership for Africa, he told Forbes recently.

Mr Swaniker then furthered his education to achieving an MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business in California.

He then wrote the business plan for the African Leadership Academy (ALA) which was dedicated to educating the next generation of African leaders.

Fred Swaniker’s achievements

In 2015, Swaniker opened the African Leadership University (ALU) in Mauritius, an institute of higher education designed to teach leadership skills to Africa’s brightest and to fight the brain drain.


Fred Swaniker

In 2017, Swaniker opened his second undergraduate campus of ALU, in Kigali, Rwanda. The ALU is training future African leaders by moving away from more traditional university programs, as students select missions to pursue, rather than majors, said the magazine

The university recently earned the number one spot among the 5 most innovative companies in Africa, compiled by business magazine, Fast Company.

ALU has also rolled out an innovative approach to student finance, in which students pay nothing up front for their education. Instead, they only pay a share of their income to investors once they are employed.

ALU already has campuses in Mauritius, Rwanda, and Kenya, and will use its funding to open its doors in Johannesburg, Lagos, Cape Town, and Casablanca.

Fred Swaniker has so far received a thumbs up from former US President, Barack Obama and TED for his outstanding work. World Economic Forum also named him one of its “Young Global Leaders” in 2012.

He is a motivational speaker, and he speaks on topics on leadership, education, innovation and business opportunities in Africa.