The neg hype mystifies me, as it did when Madonna adopted a child f/Africa earlier. Regardless of WHY she did it, bottom line is she is likely improving the life of that child, and that's what counts.
As far as the leadership school, and why there wasn't one here, I thought it was because S. Africa really needs strong(er) leadership, especially women considering how they're treated there (compared to here), and Oprah and her folks/friends are investing in the future of S. Africa. Think about it, we ALREADY have a lot of strong leaders here in America (maybe too many scrambling, as evidenced by how many potential presidential candidates??), but I figure S. Africa does need it more. C'mon! We have Hilary Clinton as a presidential candidate! Who can name one current female African leader??
Africa is an entire continent devastated by HIV/AIDS, and women/girls definitely get the short end of the stick in an already impoverished situation. What's not frequently known is that many HIV-infected men rape young (I mean, YOUNG) girls, in the belief that taking their virginity will make their infection disappear (and of course, making the problem worse). Unbelievable ignorance, and they need leaders of both sexes to educate the population and lead them through the AIDS epidemic (including those who've grown thru the devastation, and therefore can speak to the people f/their own experiences, w/in their own cultural context).
We are a global family, and what affects one part of us, will affect each and every one of us - I'm betting that those girls in that academy will be blowing us away and benefiting all of us in a few years - imagine their drive!!