Lehigh University’s Iacocca Institute is hosting the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders. This is the flagship program of the U.S. Government’s Young African Leaders Initiative. Since 2014, nearly 3,700 young leaders from every country in Sub-Saharan Africa has participated in the Fellowship. The Fellows, between the ages of 25 and 35, are accomplished innovators and leaders in their communities and countries. This year, 700 Fellows will participate in the U.S. Program held at 27 Universities. Lehigh University is proud to host 25 young leaders from 20 Sub-Saharan countries this year.
FLB’s Tim Charlesworth was invited to facilitate a discussion with the Fellows concerning U.S./Africa trade relations. One focus of the discussion was the many opportunities in Africa, which may be overlooked by U.S. companies. The U.S. has lost ground to China and European nations, which are increasing their investment and trade relationships with the African Continent. While many U.S. businesses focus on more familiar markets in the Americas and Europe, they should not ignore the tremendous economic growth and markets offered in Africa. Recently, the U.S. Government has announced its Prosper Africa initiative, which should increase awareness of these opportunities.
While African markets are often seen as challenging due to perceptions of corruption, instability of political institutions, currency and infrastructure, the “truth” is often much more positive.
FLB’s International Practice looks forward to helping its clients to establish and manage relationships with overseas partners in Africa and elsewhere.