Kurumbuka Leadership Solutions & TWU partner to train African leaders

TWU and Kurumbuka signed a new partnership agreement last fall. From left: Phocas Ngendahyao, Kurumbuka’s Executive Director, Richard Taylor, an alumnus of TWU’s graduate program in leadership, Dr. Phil Laird, Vice Provost of TWU GLOBAL, and Dr. Imbenzi George, TWU’s Director of International Engagement (Africa).

The Kurumbuka Leadership Hub in Kigali, Rwanda, buzzed with energetic enthusiasm as 33 executive leaders from nine African countries assembled to embrace the academic challenge of prepping for acceptance into the Masters of Leadership degree with Trinity Western University.

They gathered under the umbrella of the Abundant Leadership Institute (ALI), where they will have the opportunity to prove their competency through 15 credits before entering as official TWU students. Another 14 students met together in Uganda.

As a facilitator and the academic stream coordinator, recently returned from teaching at the centre, I was amazed to watch leaders from Burundi, Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda celebrating in joint worship of the Jesus who is transforming their continent. The joy runs deep and the freedom to grow and learn is apparent.

Organizations like USAIDYouth for ChristYWAMCompassion InternationalCornerstone Development AfricaAfrica Restoring Bridges Initiative, Bethesda Hospital, Hope for KorahB2 The WorldKuwasha, Acts4Water, Turame Community Finance, Irembo Peace Plan and numerous schools, universities and churches have sent their leaders.

Kurumbuka Leadership Solutions, which runs ALI for executive leaders and Trek for emerging leaders, is the brainchild of former TWU Vice President of Student Life, Richard Taylor.

Doreen Bakyenga, a leader in ALI Cohort 11 is a doctor serving in Uganda as Director of Clinical Services at Cambridge Health in Uganda. She and her team support two schools and communities dealing with poverty by providing training, healthcare resources and bursaries for children.

Taylor said:

I love TWU and I have a passion to invest in marginalized communities by empowering local African leaders through our Abundant Leadership Institute. The partnership creates a unique opportunity for some of the most inspiring Christian leaders on the African continent to multiply their impact.

Dr. Don Page, the founder of TWU’s Masters In Leadership Program is also on Kurumbuka’s board and oversees curriculum development for ALI.

He said:

Because every organization rises and falls based on the quality of its leaders, this partnership is an exciting opportunity for emerging and executive leaders to get trained in proven ways for successfully taking their organizations forward.

“I’m so glad to be part of the ALI academic stream,” Emmanuel Mulinzi of Youth for Christ in Rwanda said. “I hope to learn more to shape my leadership career.”

Erica Asiimwe, Kurumbuka’s Executive Leaders Program Director, stated:

We are excited about the synergy between Kurumbuka and TWU. This partnership offers significant value to our students and provides them an opportunity to become better equipped as global leaders.

The agreement between TWU and Kurumbuka was signed October 22, 2023 in Kigali, with 35 ALI students witnessing the event. Dr. Phil Laird, Vice Provost of TWU Global and Dr. Imbenzi George, Director of International Engagement (Africa) were present to join with Richard Taylor and Kurumbuka co-founder Phocas Ngendahyao, in making it all official. The signing was followed by dancing, celebration and a traditional East African meal. 

Kurumbuka is hosting a team of students from Surrey’s Pacific Academy in Rwanda this month. Richard Taylor’s son is part of that team, and the whole family is with them.

Laird reflected on the importance of leadership in Africa, saying:

The future of our societies rests on leadership. From the boardroom to the classroom, investing in the next generation of leaders is perhaps the greatest investment we can make.

TWU is proud of our partnership with Kurumbuka Leadership Solutions to equip the next generation of leaders in Africa for lives of meaning and impact. Together we can truly change the world – one leader at a time.

Kurumbuka’s mission of developing and empowering 10,000 African leaders to transform their communities by 2030 is a lofty goal. It requires training 1,000 leaders through ALI to reach an additional 10,000 leaders.

The ALI model uniquely combines servant leadership principles with an asset-based approach to move leaders serving the marginalized from scarcity to abundance, dependency to agency, and isolation to community. Its 260 alumni are already bringing hope in nine nations as their initiatives fan hope into flame.

The Christ-centred approach of ALI and TWU (Canada’s largest Christian University) helps forge a natural bond in this partnership. Since 1962, TWU has been moving steadily into becoming a global Christian liberal arts community and this visionary partnership adds to its ongoing credibility.

At the close of the class sessions, the leaders celebrated Ethiopian student Sosena Shiferaw who is pregnant. “We are celebrating the birth of the next generation of African leaders,” someone shouted out. “Amen!” was the echo, and the dance goes on.

Jack Taylor

Jack Taylor is founder of 1HeartCoaching and was pastor of Faith Baptist Church in Vancouver for nearly 25 years. His award-winning writings can be found at jackataylor.com and his coaching at 1HeartCoaching.com.

Richard Taylor (who is Jack’s son) started both Wellspring Academy and Kurumbuka. He had the vision of training African leaders while he was acting as country director for Wellspring. 

This article was first posted on the Light Magazine site and is re-posted here by permission.

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