About Alie Kabba
Alie Kabba hails from the Eastern District of Kailahun in Sierra Leone. He attended the Roman Catholic (RC) primary school in Koindu, his hometown, after spending part of his childhood with his maternal grandfather in Koidu in the Eastern District of Kono. Upon graduation from RC school, Alie moved to his adopted hometown of Kenema, where he enrolled at the Kenema Government Secondary School (KSS). At KSS, he was a model student who demonstrated sound leadership abilities in championing the interests of all students. Upon graduation from KSS with a Division One result, Alie attended the Bo Government Secondary School (Bo School) in the Southern District of Bo for his sixth form. Here, too, Alie was not just the average run-off-the-mill student; he was recognized as a dynamic, vocal student leader who never hesitated to speak out against injustice and unfair treatment of students. From Bo School, he proceeded to Fourah Bay College (FBC), University of Sierra Leone, in Freetown.
As evidenced in his secondary school years at KSS and Bo School, Alie Kabba’s leadership character did not start overnight and was certainly not handed to him on a silver platter! The leadership character he had cultivated at both KSS and Bo School came full circle when he enrolled at Fourah Bay College (FBC).
At FBC, Alie Kabba was elected unopposed as President of the Students Union. His record still stands as the only student leader to be elected unopposed since the founding of the college in 1827. He was a fearless and courageous leader who spoke up and stood against the APC one-party dictatorship in Sierra Leone. This landed him in solitary confinement at the Pademba Road maximum security prison. He was basically given the option of refraining from all political activities on campus and keeping silent or spending a long time in prison, where he would have surely perished to death. Even though there were incentives such as scholarships abroad for his silence and inactivity, Alie chose to continue standing against injustice, corruption and one-party dictatorship. This choice came at a high cost; he was unjustly expelled from the University of Sierra Leone and forced into political exile at a very young age, leaving his beloved homeland and all his loved ones.
In exile, Alie attended the University of Ghana at Legon where he earned his undergraduate degree and then proceeded to the University of Nigeria at Nsuka for his graduate studies. He later arrived in the United States of America to pursue further studies in political science and public policy analysis.
Alie Kabba is currently the Executive Director of one of the largest and most successful African organizations in the United States -- the United African Organization (UAO). He has been the CEO of UAO for more than ten years. During this period, he has, almost single-handedly developed UAO from its very humble beginnings as an unknown entity to a vibrant organization that is recognized across America as a strong voice for social justice and equal opportunity for Africans and other minority groups in Chicago.
With Alie at its helm, UAO has grown to be a fiscally sound organization with a steadily increasing budget and staff as well as the power to leverage policymakers on positions and matters germane to the interests of Africans and other minority communities. UAO’s annual Chicago African Summit is the premier forum of its kind wherein key elected U.S. officials at the City, State and Federal levels participate to engage with constituents, policy advocates, scholars, community organizers and allies to discuss issues and priorities for community development and empowerment.
Alie Kabba’s stature as a leader is recognized in multiple arenas in the U.S. He had a stellar career as a Public Service Administrator with the State of Illinois, where he headed a program with more than $300 million budget before transitioning into his current role as head of UAO.
Last year, in appreciation of his dynamic leadership of UAO, he was named Leadership Fellow by a high profile foundation in the United States, which gave him the opportunity to travel around the U.S. and the world to learn, empower and motivate other leaders to organize and build their communities.
He is the recipient of several awards for his distinguished leadership roles, and he has been named among the top 100 Black leaders in the United States. He is the first African to be elected Board President of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant & Refugee Rights, which is a statewide coalition of more than 130 organizations dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social and political life in the U.S.
The coalition educates and organizes immigrant and refugee communities to assert their rights through citizenship and civic participation. It also monitors, analyzes and advocates on immigrant-related issues as well as informs the general public about the contributions of immigrants and refugees in the United States.
Alie also serves as Chairman of the Golden Door Coalition, which is committed to the resettlement of refugees with dignity and the support necessary to thrive in the U.S.
Through his work in these various organizations, Alie has devoted a good part of his life to organizing immigrant communities in the United States. He has been a leading force in several campaigns to push for major legislative victories on behalf of millions of undocumented and legal immigrants in the U.S. He has also testified in the United States Congress on issues affecting Africa, Asia, Latin America and the Caribbean immigrant communities.
In his role as Board President of Cable Access Network Television (CAN-TV), Alie Kabba’s efforts to give a voice to issues affecting diverse communities in Chicago has propelled him to the forefront of shaping important dialogues and initiatives to make CAN-TV an invaluable public television resource for all constituencies in Chicago. CAN-TV's five channels reach one million viewers in the city of Chicago.
Over the years, through the Alie Kabba Foundation, Alie has supported and made a difference in the lives of ordinary people in Sierra Leone with several development projects, including a modern library at the Government Secondary School in Kenema.
Alie Kabba is a community organizer and mobilizer in his own right. He has the fortitude to inject needed energy in the Sierra Leone People’s Party (SLPP) base and expand the electoral path to victory by building an inclusive winning coalition that will make the SLPP attractive to independents and progressives in all regions of the country.
Alie’s life history shows that he is a visionary and principled leader who is fearless, dedicated to service and the quest for solutions to human problems.
As a proud Grand Chief Patron Member of the Sierra Leone People’s Party, Alie Kabba is determined to take the SLPP back to State House with a solid majority in Parliament. Together, with him as SLPP flagbearer, victory is certain!