The African Leadership Bridge is championing the next generation of African leaders through sustainable scholarships and a strong support network to provide the tools and experience needed to drive change in the African continent.
We chatted with Rudi Ngnepi, Vice President of their board to learn more about the beginning of African Leadership Bridge, their annual fundraising event: A Night in Africa, and why Gather Venues was the place they chose for their event.
Gather Venues: What is the African Leadership Bridge?
Rudi Ngnepi: The African Leadership Bridge is an organization that fundamentally focuses on the sustainable success of the African continent. We know there are strong leaders in the communities, and we want to connect those strong communities with education and leadership opportunities.
GV: Why did African Leadership Bridge choose Austin as their USA home base?
RN: Our founder, Rick Reeder, is a University of Texas graduate and through their alumni program he met someone from Kenya and they connected. That meeting resulted in the first scholarship recipient of the African Leadership Bridge.
GV: Tell us a little more about your event A Night in Africa: Bridging Cultures, Building Leaders?
RN: The evening will be filled with African music and dance, provided by the UT African Students Association, African cuisine, and drinks, along with a taste of true African culture and hospitality. The evening's program also includes a live auction and a host of amazing silent auction items.
GV: Why did you choose Gather Venues Lamar for this event?
RN: Gather Venues and its sister company Impact Hub Austin both are communities of thinkers and social entrepreneurs in Austin, just like our young leaders.
We knew that Gather would be a great fit because we want our guests to walk away from the evening and feel the warmth and acceptance of our culture. We also want to help educate the community around issues affecting Africa and how our young leaders can address the sustainable positive impact on the African continent.
GV: What does success look like for African Leadership Bridge at A Night in Africa?
RN: Well, success obviously means the amount we will be able to raise in the space. But it also means a high attendance rate and successful social media and online presence post-event.
GV: Why do you support the African Leadership Bridge?
RN: I always loved my roots from the continent, and having a good support system is what helped me become successful, and I want to help do that for young African leaders. The work can sometimes be tough, but it is always worth it for the students.