Africa Business Fellowship Kickoff
The Africa Business Fellowship Orientation kicked off Friday, June 2, 2016 where the inaugural class gathered at Chelsea Piers in New York City to meet each other as well as the program sponsors for the first time.
The 14 Fellows represent a variety of professional backgrounds including management consulting, financial services, marketing, operations, and entrepreneurship and possess an average of 10 years of work experience. Each of the Fellows has been paired with a top African company or startup for a three or six month placement where they will gain firsthand experience leading strategic initiatives in the business and investment landscape of host countries including Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. Recognizing the value of this prestigious global opportunity, some US employers and MLT partners have highlighted the Africa Business Fellowship to their employees, encouraged them to apply, and even facilitated their participation through company placement programs that allow Fellows to return to their job after the Fellowship.
In keeping with the MLT spirit, this event not only connected program participants, but also provided them with a roadmap for maximizing their Fellowship experience and success as high achievers. This roadmap included a window into the unique business and investment opportunities on the continent, and strategies for navigating practical considerations and cultural nuances inherent in living and working in the specific countries they would soon call home.
Peter Henry, Dean of NYU’s Stern School of Business, kicked off the reception with a special welcome followed by a video message from United States Senator Chris Coons of Delaware who congratulated the Fellows on their accomplishment and reflected on his own experiences on the continent.
The finale of the evening was a Fireside Chat with Econet Founder & Chairman Strive Masiyiwa and former Milken Institute Managing Director Mindy Silverstein, now Special Advisor to Tidjane Thiam (CEO of Credit Suisse and from Ivory Coast). The discussion was moderated by MLT Founder & CEO John Rice and included topics from Mr. Masiyiwa’s inspiration for creating the Fellowship to the current state of US investment in Africa.
Be sure to follow the fellows’ amazing journeys on this blog. And if you’d like more information about the Africa Business Fellowship, sign up here.