On 30 June, live on its social networks, the French-African Foundation will reveal the composition of the 2021 class of its flagship Young Leaders programme. This is a high point of this new edition, which comes at the end of a selection process marked by a high number of applications and the diversity of profiles. These 100 winners, selected from among nearly 3,000 young Africans and French citizens for the quality of their projects and their commitment, are preparing to commit themselves to co-constructing the world of tomorrow.
The results of the call for applications for the French-African Foundation's Young Leaders Programme, supported by a major online and media campaign between 17 February and 5 April, exceeded the expectations raised by the increase in the scheme's capacity, which tripled in size compared to the previous edition. By way of comparison, the 2019 call for applications - the 2020 edition of the Young Leaders programme having been cancelled due to Covid - attracted 2,000 applications.
Coming from 53 different countries, the top three in number of applicants were France (13.3%), Nigeria (12.2%) and Cameroon (8.2%), followed by the Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya and Côte d'Ivoire, which provided 5.1%, 4.3% and 4% of the applicant pool respectively. While the French-speaking target group was the most responsive (61.7% of applications), English-speaking applicants still accounted for 33.6% of the total. The 31-35 age group accounted for 37.7% of the applications, with the associative, educational, government and agricultural sectors leading the way.
The profile of the class of 2021, which strictly respects parity and reflects all sectors, regions and countries in Africa, will be unveiled on 30 June during a private evening, the #100answers Reveal, which will bring together around one hundred personalities, including the members of the selection committee, political and economic personalities as well as the French-African Foundation's partners, such as the Agence Française de Développement, Meridiam and the Duval Group, to name a few. The event will also be available live from 7pm (GMT+2) on the Foundation's social networks.
The announcement, which marks the launch of the Young Leaders programme under the patronage of the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, and the President of the Republic of Senegal, Macky Sall, will pave the way for reflection sessions and workshops on the theme of resilience. The entire graduating class will participate in the 5-day seminar and the New Africa-France Summit in October in France and then
in Senegal at the end of the year. These sessions will provide the laureates with unique mentoring, training and networking opportunities with leaders from the public and private sectors.
"The number of applications received, the quality and diversity of the profiles and the number of countries represented attest to the growing awareness of our programme in France and across Africa. This reinforces our contribution to the emergence of a French and African succession that is creative, ambitious and willing to work together ",underlines Alexandre Coster, co-founder and co-president of the French-African Foundation.
"This new cohort of Franco-African talents confirms, on its own scale, the vitality that exists on these territories, in France, in Europe and in Africa. It is also the clear demonstration that the new generations want to fully grasp the challenges of our time to build a sustainable, fair and inclusive common future. We are delighted to offer these 100 promising personalities the platform for expression that is the Young Leaders programme_," says Khaled Igué, co-founder and co-president of the Foundation.