ALU School of Wildlife Conservation appoints first-ever Executive Director

Posted by Taylah Strauss on 21 January 2022

The African Leadership University’s (ALU) School of Wildlife Conservation (SOWC) has appointed their first-ever Executive Director of the school, Richard Anthony Vigne, effective 24 January 2022.

The school, situated in Rwanda, is the first of its kind on the continent.

Vigne is an accomplished conservationist, with more than 20 years of experience under his belt. He founded the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya and acted as the CEO for a whopping 25 years. The Conservancy became East Africa’s largest sanctuary for black rhinos, and also the home to the last two northern white rhinos in the world.

Vigne commented on the urgency of conservation: ‘Africa stands at the cusp of great opportunity from a conservation perspective, despite the naysayers. The continent is already a world leader in innovative paradigm-changing conservation practice and thinking, and in some countries conservation already offers enormous economic opportunities. Using its approach centred around ‘excellence at scale’, the School of Wildlife Conservation at the African Leadership University offers an exciting opportunity to inculcate large numbers of bright motivated young conservationists across Africa with the latest cutting-edge thinking within and around the conservation space.

This is what will be needed to create the continental impact that will be required if conservation, in all of its myriad forms, is to truly become the value proposition that it theoretically offers. I can think of no better opportunity to create a bright future for Africa’s magnificent wilderness areas and her youth in my new role as the Executive Director of the School of Wildlife Conservation, and I am enormously excited by the challenges that lie ahead.’

ALU’s Kigali campus, home to SOWC.

Seeing as the ALU SOWC’s founding goal is to promote conservation as an African growth sector, Vigne is the perfect fit.

Founder of the African Leadership Group – Fred Swaniker, commented that ‘Richard has dedicated his entire professional life to successfully preserving and developing nature in Africa. His expertise and reputation for innovation in the field are just what we need to further drive the business of conservation and develop Africa’s next generation of conservation leaders at SOWC.’


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