Who We Are

“What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead”.

Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela

Who We are

Inspired by the vision of Africa’s leading icon and statesman, Nelson Mandela, Leadership and Human Rights Academy, in collaboration with BusinessWorld Africa, has two main functions:

⦁ It provides for talented and aspiring young African leaders, stateswomen and men between the ages of 18-30 years with training opportunities in leadership, ethics, and good governance. Based on Mandela’s ideals of sharing, tolerance, democracy and good governance, AU Watch aims to empower young Africans, wherever they are, to make positive contributions to their communities and the world at large.

⦁ To promote practical approaches to human rights and humanitarian law as well as to strengthen links between human rights organizations, practitioners, and educators worldwide. We hope to enhance the culture and prominence of human rights and humanitarian law around the world. Additionally, we wish to offer relevant, empowering training for scholars, practitioners, and students interested in the international human rights system and laws. The Academy accomplishes these tasks through its programs, partnerships, and scholarly endeavours.


Through leadership training and coaching, the Nelson Mandela Leadership & Human Rights Academy seeks to be in the vanguard of assisting the AU and AUMS to realize the vision of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in the international arena.” It envisions an “Africa whose development is people-driven, and where everyone is educated, informed and empowered to promote and protect human rights.


To assist the AU and AUMS to achieve the Africa of 2063 – that is an integrated continent of consistent wealth creation, inclusivity and a pole of tolerance and leading to a pole of global growth and transformation by developing a network of leaders and human rights conscious citizens in every African country who will work together for the realization of Agenda 2063.

Our Culture & Values

Having the right values at the heart of human rights is essential to our success. Our culture and values help us fulfil our purpose.

Our purpose – to empower society and solve important problems – reflects ‘why’ we do what we do. Our strategy provides us with ‘what’ we do. But ‘how’ we deliver our purpose and strategy is what differentiates us and sets us apart and that is driven by our culture, values and behaviours. Our values are part of our human rights DNA. They guide the way we work within our communities and with each other.


Individually, our values may seem obvious. But put them together and our unique culture in our unit is born. Our values are part of who we are, what we stand for and how we act.

We are one team

Our great colleagues make the difference. It’s when we share our skills, knowledge and experience we become one team. Diversity makes us strong. We encourage and help each other to achieve our goals, while always having our publics and company’s best interest in mind. We win as a team, we lose as a team. We have fun as a team. We’re on this great shared adventure together.

We believe in People

With belief and trust in the people around you, anything is possible. That’s why we build our workplace on trust, respect, inclusiveness and integrity. We challenge you with great responsibility from the start, because when you develop, the organisation develops too. Every one of us can make a difference. So have fun, be yourself and respect others for who they are. Together we can do great things for Africa.

Straightforward and open-minded

We value diversity in people and ideas. Having an open mind about people and the world around you brings positive energy, and creates an inclusive and welcoming workplace. Conversations lead to great things. Every conversation is a two-way conversation. So be open and honest, yet humble and respectful.
Dare to stand up for your ideas and inspire others to do the same.


We believe in the power of people. Grand accomplishments are never achieved alone. We have learned that cooperation helps you to achieve your goals. We care deeply about our impact. We want to make a difference and an impact to society and those we touch. We have a sense of responsibility which goes beyond our job