Travel with a purpose

The ALU Residency Programme is designed for accomplished professionals to spend 1-2 weeks in a community of experts. Play your part in the transformation of the African continent.  


Connect with experts

Live and connect with likeminded and fascinating experts from a variety of fields.

Contribute to a mission

Contribute to ALU’s moonshot mission: to transform Africa by developing its future leaders.

Work on a project

Define a project while enjoying the attractions of Mauritius or Rwanda.  

Mentor future leaders

Mentor ALU students through structured and meaningful interactions.  

Two locations, one incredible experience. 

MAURITIUS Tropical Paradise

  • Incredible natural beauty, from stunning beaches to mountains. 
  • An easy pace, conducive to reflection. 
  • Access to outdoor activities such as watersports and hiking. 

RWANDA Land of 1,000 Hills

  • Beautiful rolling hills, right in the cleanest city in Africa. 
  • A bustling city full of life. 
  • Exciting cultural events from art to music to dance.  

What to Expect 

  • Teach 1 or 2 seminars weekly on your area of expertise.  
  • 5-7 hours weekly to mentor future leaders during office hours.  
  • Work with an ALU team on a challenge within your expertise. 
  • Enjoy dinner once a week with ALU students at the Residency.  
  • Focus on your project in an environment ideal for productivity.  

Our Experts in Residence 

Olufunso Somorin

Olufunso Somorin (PhD) is the Regional Principal Officer at the African Development Bank. He leads the Bank’s work on climate change and green growth in the 13 countries that consist the East African region. In addition, he leads policy dialogues with national/regional governments on developing policy frameworks for managing local and regional economic and social issues, resilience, peace- and state building goals, regional integration, food security, climate change and inclusive growth. Between 2013 and 2017, he coordinated the Bank’s work on addressing fragility within the Horn of Africa. During the time, he provided oversight for several development projects worth USD2.3 billion across strategic sectors in the Horn of Africa region.

He has published more than 25 peer-reviewed articles on climate policy, natural resources management and sustainable development in many leading scientific journals.

Somorin holds a PhD in International Environmental Policy from Wageningen University, the Netherlands. He has undertaken a number of executive education and advanced training in many leading institutions, including Bradford, Cambridge and Oxford Universities in the UK.

Vumile Msweli

Vumile is the Chief Executive officer for Hesed Consulting which a consulting firm specializing in commerce acceleration; career coaching; women empowerment; facilitation and training on the African continent, with presence in Nigeria and South Africa.

She has previously worked for reputable multinational institutions such as Barclays, Investec, Nedbank, First National Bank and Vodafone. Vumile is an Operations; Finance and Strategy executive with experience in both the telecommunications and finance sectors.

Charles Thiemele

Charles Thiemele is the Head of Business Development for Africa at AOT Trading, a Zug-based trading firm specialized in oil and gas.

He has built a decade long of experience in the industry from heading the Swiss office of SAHARA Energy, a leading Nigerian indigenous company, to founding & running Damalex AG, an advisory firm specialized in trading and downstream.

He started his professional career as an auditor and M&A professional with Andersen and General Electric. Charles is a citizen of Côte d’Ivoire; he graduated from Polytechnique Montreal (Canada) in Chemical Engineering and holds a Master’s degree from HEC Paris. He currently lives in Zug with his wife and two children.

Tom Siegel

Tom built Google's Trust & Safety team through all stages of growth into an industry’s leading user protection and risk management organization. Since his departure from Google in Spring of 2019 Tom has been working on a number of projects to make the internet a safer and more trusted space for users and advocates on their behalf. Particular interests of his are data privacy, fake news, controversial content and protection of vulnerable groups.

At ALU Tom taught Master Classes in Data Science, Machine Learning and Mindfulness in partnership with other leading experts.

Tom has a M.S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business from the University of Technology in Dresden, Germany and MBA from Stanford University in the United States. Prior to Google he worked in a number of different industries including management consulting with Arthur D. Little, and as a community organizer for the Hewlett Foundation.

David Cutler

David balances a varied career as a teacher, author, speaker, consultant, musician, and entrepreneur. He is currently the University of South Carolina’s Director of Music Entrepreneurship and is a member of Liberty Fellowship and the Aspen Global Leadership Network, organizations aimed at building a more just society. His current book project, Solving PROBLEM-SOLVING Problems, helps readers develop a framework for effectively and efficiently cracking complex life puzzles. David will join us in March, and through the Design your Mission course, he will help our Global Challenges students refine their mission statements (where they break their missions down from large, complex problems to smaller, more manageable elements).

David studied music at the University of Miami (Bachelors), Hochschule für Musik in Vienna, Austria, Eastman School of Music (Masters), and Indiana University (P.h.D).

Susan Gibson

Susan has worked as a training consultant and on micro-finance programs for international NGOs, UN agencies and donor governments to provide access to credit for poor women.Currently, she supports and organizes events for a range of NGOs that primarily focus on human rights addressing the needs of women and girls. Susan has worked in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, South America, and the Middle East. During her stay, Susan will be a guest speaker in our Business Management class focusing on social business and will also host masterclasses on team building and NGO skills.

Susan has a bachelors from the University of Western Ontario and an MA in International Administration from The School for International Training.

Guido Schnarwiler

Guido is the Founder and Managing Director of X-peria. His passion is to support organizations and people in their development. He has 17+ years of experience in internal & external consulting and leadership development in Africa, The Americas, APAC,  and Europe. Guido is married and has three kids. He loves golf, photography and his family. They all teach him to live the moment. During his stay, Guido and his colleague Matthias took our students and staff through VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) Leadership Simulation Training for the Future.

He holds a Masters Degree in Education & Didactics from University of Berne.

Matthias Klein

Matthias has got a strong business background, holding various corporate positions for many years. He applies his expertise to leadership development and operational excellence, which includes the fostering of a results-driven culture, change management, sales leadership and customer orientation, marketing and business development. Matthias loves designing Action Learning Programs and working together with other facilitators. Matthias is the founder of the first Children’s University for Sustainability in Memmingen. During his stay, Matthias worked with Guido to take our students and staff through VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous) Leadership Simulation Training for the Future. 

He holds degrees from the University of Hagen and the University of Wales in Behavioral Science (M.A.) and Business Administration (MBA) as well as different certifications as a coach and psychotherapist. 

Julie Kohn

Julie is currently a Fulbright US Scholar where she is completing clinical research in northern Tanzania, analyzing the cardiovascular health of Tanzanian women. She has spent time mentoring bachelors and masters student teams to design medical devices that impact the developing world. Julie hosted statistics sessions and guided our Engineering and Computer Science students through practical learning of data analysis and visualisation.

Julie has a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from Bucknell and a Ph.D. in Biomedical/Medical Engineering from Cornell University.

Janice Golding

Janice is currently the Head of Energy and Environment at the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in South Africa. Starting off as a botanical scientist, Janice has in her 20-year career, Janice worked at the science-policy-governance interface in 35 countries around the world. During her stay, she hosted masterclasses on the role of governments, civil society and the private sector in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

Janice has a bachelors and masters (botany) from the University of Capetown and a P.h.D in Geography from the University of Oxford.

Peter Burdin

Peter has 35 years of experience as a senior leader of the BBC’s International News team and has won several Tony Awards for his news and documentary programmes, including
coverage of South Africa’s first democratic elections and the funeral of Nelson Mandela. He
has covered numerous major international news stories from Tiananmen Square and the Gulf
War to the Rwandan genocide and conflicts in northern Nigeria, Bosnia, Somalia, and The Middle East. During his stay, Peter ran a series of lectures covering topics such as the art of storytelling and how to find meaningful work and a fulfilling mission in life.

Peter studied Politics at the University of Leeds and is a Journalism Fellow of the University of Michigan.

Mareli Kruger

Mareli is an expert in facilitation, coaching and training emerging, middle and senior managers and executive office bearers in people matters in Africa, Europe, and the USA. Mareli worked with our Student Life, Career Development and People teams to offer coaching and leadership development for students and staff. 

Mareli has an Honours degree and an MA in Public Administration from the University of Pretoria.

Gregory Marks

Gregory comes with a wealth of experience in operations and customer experience within the financial services and telecom industry. He worked at Standard Bank for over 25 years with his last role being the Executive Head of Operations: Shared Services. Gregory retired last year to focus on his new chapter in life that is making a true difference in the communities he serves. He worked with our faculty teams to facilitate sessions on financial modelling, operations management, and innovation. Gregory also shared his experience with students in building a career in banking and finance.

Gregory has an International Diploma in Project Management from Cambridge and an MBA from Milpark Business School. He has also done the Senior Leadership Programme at Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Christopher O.H. Williams

Christopher or OCW as he is fondly known is a strategy expert with over 20 years of experience advising businesses and leading change at some of the world’s known lifestyle and apparel companies including Gap and Adidas. He has worked extensively around the world and lived in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the United States. For the next 6 months, OCW will host a series of masterclasses on demystifying leadership and how to create a world-class company. He is working closely with our Student Ventures Program to coach student entrepreneurs in how to launch ventures and Career Development in mentoring our students and preparing them for life after graduation.

OCW holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelors in Economics from Morehouse College.

Jim Seymour

Jim has over 43 years of investment experience in international and emerging markets having lived and worked in Africa, Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. Organizations he worked for include Common Fund Capital, EMP Global, and Pontefract Global Strategies LLP. He has also served on 18 international emerging markets, private equity fund advisory boards. During his stay, Jim hosted a business masterclass and held one on ones with students interested in learning more about finance and private equity.

Jim has a BA in International Relations from Yale University and an MBA in International Finance from Harvard Business School. He served four years in the U.S. Navy submarine force.

Sara Lem

Sara is a senior financial investment professional focused on private capital in EM & Africa. She has built a career working for companies such as The Abraaj Group, Standard Bank Group, PwC and BMCE Bank International Plc (London). Sara coached our consulting students through a financial institution restructuring business case and hosted masterclasses on networking, corporate finance, and private capital investing. In addition, Sara also hosted a career series on how to build a career in finance and shared her perspective on how to manage work-life balance.

Sara has a Masters degree in Finance from ESCP Europe (Paris) and speaks fluent French, classical Arabic and English.

Gary Stephens

Gary Stephens is an international artist specializing in large-scale charcoal and spray drawings. For the past thirty years, he has worked as an artist and travelled extensively in Latin America, Asia, Europe, and now Africa for inspiration. During his time at ALU, Gary worked with our Arts@ALU club to mentor and teach our students on the stenciling technique and harness their art skills. Gary also left us with some of his beautiful artwork which we now hang on our walls in the cafeteria.

Gary studied painting and drawing at the University of Arizona and the San Francisco Art Institute. His work is in public and private collections in the US, Europe, and the Middle East.

Daniele Scenarelli

Daniele defines himself as a travel nomad dedicated to the search of the perfect beach and lifestyle around the globe. He left corporate life in January 2018 after 27 years of work of which 23 years of his service were with GE. Daniele’s expertise is in developing sales strategies for diversified country markets. During the residency, Daniele led masterclasses on business transformation and innovation and GE’s Hiring Process and localization in Africa. An added bonus for the students was the Italian dinner they got to enjoy which Daniele cooked from scratch!

Daniele has a degree from Università degli Studi di Firenze and also graduated from GE’s Financial Management Program.

Mzamo Masito

Mzamo Masito is a seasoned marketing executive and currently serves as the Chief Marketing Officer of Google Africa. He has a long track record in marketing and has done great work in building powerful brands such as Unilever, Nike, and Vodafone. Mzamo hosted masterclasses for our International Trade and Business students on how to build powerful brands in Africa. In addition, he hosted a careers seminar and had one on ones with students.

Mzamo has a Bachelor's Degree in Marketing from the University of Cape Town. He also holds has a Postgraduate Diploma and an MBA from Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS).

Carrie Waterman

Carrie is an Interdisciplinary research scientist at the intersection of nutrition, agriculture, health, and development. She has extensive experience in data-driven research, strategy development, project management, communication, grant acquisition, and capacity building. She currently works as a Professional Researcher at UC Davis. Carrie spent a week on our Kigali campus where she introduced students in Global Challenges to issues in the agriculture sector and challenged them to come up with creative solutions. She held office hours with students whose missions aligned with her area of expertise and also did a master class on "Plants of Purpose" in Africa.

A Fullbright Scholar, Carrie has a Bachelors Degree in Biology from Humboldt State University and a Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy from University of the Sciences.

What is ALU? The African Leadership University

ALU is a network of tertiary institutions that is catalysing the transformation of Africa by training the next generation of bold, innovative and ethical leaders.

"One of the eight places in the world that history is being made"

"The Harvard of Africa"

"The Number 1 most innovative company in Africa"