On July 10, Fitzpatrick Lentz & Bubba, P.C., shareholder, Tim Charlesworth, acted as Presenter/Facilitator to the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. The Program was held at Lehigh University under the auspices of the Iacocca Institute.
The Program consisted of 25 Fellows from various countries in Sub-Sarahan Africa. The participants exchanged information and shared their perspectives on challenges faced by businesses in their nations. They also discussed the importance of dispelling the perceptions of government corruption and inefficiency which are so frequently reported in the U.S. press. Frustration was also expressed by the apparent lack of interest by the current U.S. Administration in promoting trade relations with Africa. Other participants stressed the importance of Africa’s need to be self-reliant and grow from within, while embracing technology and other enhancements that are available.
“I do not have a lot of client experience in Sub-Saharan Africa, so I learned so much from the Mandela Fellows,” said Mr. Charlesworth. “Their points-of-view really opened my eyes and offered a fresh perspective on doing business in their countries.”
All emphasized the need to be prepared to take some risk in order to reap the benefits of trade opportunities in new markets.