“To whom much is given much is required.” It is one thing to be given the opportunities and resources for change, but it is another to use them effectively.

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Student – University of Pretoria/Leiden University; Youth Activist – South African Youth for International Diplomacy

Curtleigh Alaart, 21, is a youth advocate and student at the University of Pretoria, studying public management and international Relations.

He was awarded the LU-Africa scholarship to attend the prestigious Leiden University in the Netherlands, where he is studying international relations and diplomacy. Alaart has been selected as the South African Delegate to attend the youth-G20 Summit, formerly known as Y20, in Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh, India, in August.

Curtleigh will represent the “Shared Future: Youth in Governance and Democracy” project where he will create policy proposals with other Y20 delegates to boost the number of young people in government and policymaking positions.

Curtleigh’s involvement in youth advocacy involves being a Youth Policy Committee member at the South African Institute for International Affairs, where he coordinates events and initiatives that promote the UN’s sustainable development goals with reference to goals 8, 9 and 10. Curtleigh was selected to independently deliver a presentation at the Development Studies Association’s 2022 conference hosted by the University College of London titled “Africa’s future financial sector potential in correlation to its resources ownership”.

This presentation questioned to what extent sub-Saharan Africa’s financial framework is conducive for economic growth and in an advantageous position as a future financial sector.

  • Grey Boys’ High School – Bachelors Pass with Distinction
  • University of Pretoria – third year 
  • Leiden University – Exchange student studying International Relations and Diplomacy

After completing his high school at Grey Boys High School as an Old Grey Scholarship recipient. Curtleigh started his studies at the University of Pretoria pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Public Management and International Relations. Since then, he has been selected as Golden Key Student for being placed in the top 15% of the Economic and Management Sciences faculty and has been a member of the African Union Student Commission (which fought for the funding of postgraduate law students) whilst playing Tuks Young Guns rugby.   Additionally, last year he was selected from worldwide submissions to present a paper titled “Africa’s future financial sector potential in Correlation to its resource ownership.” in Workshop 10 at the Development Studies Association 2022 Conference. This event was hosted by the University College London. Curtleigh, at the age of 20, independently presented alongside PhD. and Post-Doctoral candidates. This workshop was convened by Ewa Karwowski (King’s College London) and Dariusz Wojcik (University of Oxford).

Following the death of my father, my mother taught extra classes to bring much-needed money into our household and I recall sitting in on these evening classes watching with admiration as to the extent to which my mother had such a positive influence on her college students, despite being evidently tired.

The most important decisions in life will never be easy and the easiest decisions will never be important. Additionally, I would tell my younger self that there will be times when it may seem as if you are alone but that if you believe in yourself then that won’t be a problem.

Simply put, a more economically equal land that has eradicated gender-based violence and created space spaces for women and children that have faced violence in the past?

View previous winners from 2018 to 2022

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