“I will be the prime minister of Ethiopia one day.” – Haymanot, 14 years old, knows exactly what to expect from her future. So do most of the other 13-17 year old students of the International Leadership Academy of Ethiopia (ILAE), which we visited today.
The ILAE is a collage preparatory school for students of grade 9–12, which opened in September 2013 and has the mission to offer an education that inspires, nurtures and develops young women and men to be leaders in their communities, in Ethiopia and beyond. While offering full coverage of the Ethiopian curriculum, the program additionally emphasizes on topics like leadership through service, integration of technology and religious tolerance.
Us being there was just as exciting for them as it was for us: the idea was to share some insights from our work at SAP, our career development and how we became part of the SAP Social Sabbatical for Ethiopia. In the Q&A session afterwards they were asking questions about our travel experiences, the cultural differences of our home countries to Ethiopia and any advices we can give to them for their future.
Spending time with these kids, answering their questions, encouraging them to believe in their dreams and making them smile with some funny stories was an amazing experience! For all of us it was so inspiring to seeing these leaders of tomorrow and getting a glimpse of the generation that will influence Ethiopia and Africa in the next 10-20 years. I’m convinced that with their curiosity about the world, their open-mindedness and their strength of purpose they will all reach their goals of becoming doctors, astronauts, engineers – or even president of Ethiopia!
On our way to ILAE
Having fun mentoring the students at ILAE