Edward Kipkalya, 27

Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships Officer

Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF)

Edward Kipkalya is a man of singular focus. Throughout his academic and career life, the software engineer by training has focused on pursuing excellence in whatever he does.

At the Emerging Leaders Foundation (ELF), he is focused on moulding young people into outstanding leaders in their organisations by blending political and economic training with personal development training and mentorship.

He believes that it is not enough for leaders to be professionally competent. They require a sense of civic consciousness and responsibility to make meaningful changes in the world. As such, Edward says they provide platforms, tools and linkages to guide the youth and empower them to transform their communities even as they thrive individually.

At ELF-Africa, Edward oversees and manages all governance projects and programme-related initiatives and is also responsible for overseeing the development and dissemination of technology tools, ICT policies and cybersecurity within the organisation.

"I have learned that with patience and persistence, one can achieve a lot."

Along the way, he has amassed tonnes of awards. This year alone, the National Cybersecurity Alliance recognised him as a Cybersecurity Champion. He is also the Global Digital Development Champion and Leaderboard winner, 2023 and Pan-African Youth Ambassador for Internet Governance, 2023, the latter being an initiative meant to empower young Africans to engage in Internet governance and cultivate Africa’s Internet governance ecosystem actively and meaningfully.

What does it take to achieve excellence?

“I have learned that with patience and persistence, one can achieve a lot,” he says, adding, “Whatever I do, I give it my best, and that makes me stand out.”

He holds a BSc in Software Engineering from the University of Eastern Africa, Baraton, is a member of the International Association of Corporate Directors (IACD), and is an alumnus of the ELF-Africa Leadership Fellowship.

Using his broad reach on TikTok, Edward says when not running the governance projects at ELF, he spends his time running an online platform dubbed ‘#ProgressPower Nation’ that focuses on the facilitation of young people’s efforts in exchanging ideas in preparation for the future and facilitating them get scholarships, conferences, awards and internships among others.

Sam Kiplagat