Harambee Africa

'We need to learn the paradoxical lesson that we can change the world only by changing ourselves. This is not a cute abstraction. It is an elusive key to effective performance in all aspects of life.'
Robert Quinn: Deep Change

The Harambee Programme - operating across Africa since 2003 - is about young people discovering their inner potential and mobilizing their collective energy to make a conscious and positive difference in the world. In other words, to learn about change - personal and social.

To this end, the Programme provides an opportunity for the next generation of Africa’s young leaders to begin applying a truth of leadership - that anyone can be a leader if they work to know themselves, listen with care to their fellow human beings and grasp the courage to face the demands of situations that need to change.

Background to the Harambee Programme

It was developed out of the Clean Africa Campaign, an initiative to promote clean elections, started in Kenya more than a decade ago. The rationale was the need to provide in-depth learning in change and integrity for young Africans who might become the future business, civic and political leaders of their countries.

It has been run in five countries, starting in Kenya in 2003, followed by one in South Africa in 2004, Ghana in 2005, South Africa in 2008, Ethiopia in 2009 and Nigeria in 2011.The programme has so far reached out to over 120 participants from around Africa.

Harambee’s Mission

To awaken, develop and connect a network of new African leaders who will be relentless in applying moral standards and selfless service in their personal and public lives.

Harambee’s Vision

To become the leaders Africa needs

Harambee’s Aim

To help young Africans realise their potentials and work together to make a better future for Africa’s people.

Harambee Reports
Participants for Harambee 6 - Nigeria

Click here to see the participants who took part in Harambee 6

Some Frequently Asked Questions ...

How long is the Programme?

It’s a six-week programme in two parts run every two years in different African countries. The first part is two weeks of intensive classroom input, facilitated by a diverse international faculty of academics, community leaders and business people.

This is followed by four to six weeks of fieldwork, where the delegates interact with leaders and groups across the country in which they are located for the programme.

Who runs Harambee?

It is a programme of Initiatives of Change (IofC), an international network of people committed to the transformation of wrongs in society based on change in individuals, starting with themselves. It has members and associates in over 40 countries.

Through IofC, Harambee has links with similar programmes run in other parts of the world - Action For Life (India and Asia), Gente Que Avanza (Latin America), Foundations for Freedom (Eastern Europe), to name some.

An African Coordinating Group (ACG), comprising IofC representatives from several African countries, is responsible for organising and co-ordinating the programme.

How is the Harambee Programme put together?

  • A two-week intensive and interactive experience:  Each day have about 10 hours of activities that will include the following:
    • Foundations of Living - a facilitated dialogue and reflection on the moral and spiritual basis for living and acting with integrity and unselfishness
    • A morning session, which will be interactive workshops, on aspects of leadership and leading skills
    • An afternoon session on case studies of leadership where techniques are discussed and solutions debated
    • An evening session where each participant will share his or her stories and listen to the stories of others.
  • Four weeks of field work: The main aim of fieldwork is to learn more about the country hosting the programme, and to apply and test some of the learning that has been happening during the two-week course.

What does Harambee set out to achieve?

Young people who continue to develop the ability to better know and understand the threefold nature of their world:

  • their own inner resources that can be mobilized for self-change
  • the dynamics of the environment in which they live and work, leading to knowing what needs to change and how this process can be tackled
  • the network they become part of through Harambee, who will be their allies in tackling the changes Africa needs.

What makes Harambee different?

It sets out to build a specific leadership ethos, not just a leadership skill. This ethos is an understanding of the fundamental nature of change: that the levers of real social and organizational change reach back to those individuals with the courage to start the change process with themselves.

Out of this dynamic - self-change as the starting point for tackling structural change - an individual can make an extraordinary difference to situations. This is because the moral and spiritual resources thus tapped can mobilize deep inner strength and motivation to take on the challenge of changing difficult social, political or economic situations.

On this personal foundation - expressed as a commitment to the four absolute standards of honesty, unselfishness, love and purity - Harambee seeks to develop the edifice of leadership.

How does it measure success?

Success can only be really measured by the number of individuals who, through the experiences and inputs they are exposed to, take on life and careers with a deeper sense of their own higher destiny and a commitment to use their abilities to influence situations for the better.

Who can take part in the Harambee Programme?

Young Africans from any part of the continent and in Diaspora, between the ages of 22 and 32 years and who has either started or completed some tertiary education course.

How can I apply?

There are no clear plans for when the next programme takes place but for further information about this programme, you can contact the African Coordinating Group,