Bilha Ndirangu is now the first Kenyan, first woman, and first non-founder to head the African Leadership Academy (ALA) following her appointment as the institution’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO).
Bilha, who was until her appointment the CEO of Africa’s Talking (AT), now steps into the shoes left by ALA co-founder Chris Bradford.
Bilha headed AT, a Pan-Africa mobile technology company, for 7 years during which she is credited with overseeing the company’s growth with its footprints now spread across over 20 African markets.
Prior to that, she served as the Senior Project Manager of Dalberg Global Development, and also conceptualized and saw the initial implementation of Equity Foundation’s Wings to Fly Scholarship project that has supported more than 26,000 needy and bright Kenyan children to date access secondary and university education.
“Bilha’s experience in building a pan-African company and working with senior leaders across the continent has uniquely prepared her to lead the African Leadership Academy,” said ALA Board of Trustees Chair Khumo Shongwe.
Upon her appointment, Bilha said that Africa presents a lot of opportunities and has great untapped potential encapsulated in her richest resource – her youth – adding that no nation will be able to thrive in the future without technology.
“Coming back to Africa was informed by what I saw then, that is even clearer now; the need for Africa to embrace her true identity and leverage our competitive advantage at the global stage,” said Bilha, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School graduate.
She said that ALA offers the kind of education that every African child deserves and is optimistic that the academy will expand the impact on its education model across Africa.
“We are honored to see her step into the CEO’s role at ALA and we know that she will lead the academy to new heights and strengthen our track record of pan-African impact,” said Fred Swaniker, ALA co-founder.
Bilha was appointed to the role on June 15 and officially began discharging her duties on July 1, 2021.
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