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Diamond Empowerment Fund Awards $130,000 to African Leadership Academy

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The academy stresses leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies.

NEW YORK – The Diamond Empowerment Fund presented a check for $130,000 to continue the support of African Leadership Academy, bringing total support to date of just over $750,000 to help educate the next generation of leaders in Africa.

African Leadership Academy, located in Johannesburg, South Africa, cultivates outstanding young students through a two-year program to prepare them for college. It stresses leadership, entrepreneurship and African studies.

Students return to their home countries after college graduation to apply what they’ve learned to building and improving their own communities.

The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s check was presented to ALA co-founder Chris Bradford, board Chair Liz Gips and Executive Director Tim McChristian at the Yale Club in New York.

On hand for the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s donation was CNN international anchor and correspondent Robyn Curnow, who moderated a discussion on opportunities for entrepreneurship in Africa with Zimbabwean businessman and philanthropist Strive Masiyiwa, founder of international telecommunications group Econet Wireless, and several ALA graduates, including Bradley Opere from Kenya, current student body president of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

“These bright young students are a shining example of Africa’s future,” said Phyllis Bergman, who is president of the Diamond Empowerment Fund and CEO of Mercury Ring. “D.E.F is proud to support these emerging leaders who represent our ‘Diamonds Do Good’ mission of supporting transformative initiatives in global diamond communities.”

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The Diamond Empowerment Fund’s support of African Leadership Academy and other programs in diamond communities is made possible through fundraising efforts such as the annual Diamonds Do Good Awards Gala, held in June in Las Vegas in conjunction with the JCK Show.


Read more at the Sun-Times

From left: Tim McChristian, executive director of ALA; Bradley Opere, ALA graduate and current student body president of University of North Carolina; Robyn Curnow, CNN; Liz Gips, chair of ALF; Phyllis Bergman, president of D.E.F; Nicola Breytenback, D.E.F board member, Nancy Orem Lyman, executive director of D.E.F; Raven Carey-James, program and events associate for D.E.F; Chris Bradley, co-founder and CEO of ALA.

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