This July, 25 social entrepreneurs from Sub-Saharan Africa visiting San Diego fostered rewarding connections through the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders whose goal is to “empower young people through academic coursework, leadership training, and networking”.
In parallel to the University of San Diego academic program, the San Diego Diplomacy Council has provided professional development and networking opportunities to the fellows. This week, we hosted a Peer Collaboration Day where program attendees had the opportunity to shadow U.S. organizations, companies and individuals in the field they are interested in. We are proud to share with you some of our participants’ feedback about the value of professional peer-to-peer exchange programs:
“It was a perfect fit for me. The Raindrop team was simply amazing. The camaraderie in the team is infectious. I absolutely felt at home. Now, I see myself as part of the Raindrop family. The opportunity to learn from each other about cross-cultural marketing and Public Relations was fantastic. Many thanks to the University of San Diego’s Institute of Peace and Justice and the San Diego Diplomacy Council for this once in a lifetime opportunity. I am eternally grateful” said Philip, Head of Public Relations for the Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) and committed to building a world-class public relations firm upon completion of this Fellowship.
“It was a fantastic and amazing experience for me and very fruitful for my project. We worked on it and come up with new ideas to scale the project and spread it in big cities in Togo, how I could partner with companies and government, and also use schools and universities to make a lot of profit. I’m making a short term business plan for her as she proposed to follow me on every step of the realization. I will surely meet her before our departure here. Thanks for putting us together! We really matched!” said Adjo who is the CEO of She Matters Initiative and Fashion Lab, and is a believer in the power of social entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment. See photo above of Adjo’s peer collaborator was Sarah Sternberg, Founder, and CEO of Songa Designs International
Nicholas of Uganda ( see photo above) is co-founder at PayNext and Yoza Tech, a financial technology marketplace for Small and Medium Enterprise in Uganda. He shares: “I had a great experience with Beth and the different startups at EvoNexus. I got pitch coaching and met a lot of interesting people. The CTO of Benrevo an insurance payments company offered to advise us on the technical part of our business and the CEO doing warm introductions to investors. Other companies are linking us to people they know in the payments space in Africa so this was a win for me. Thank you for making it happen.”
To learn more about Philip, Adjo, Nicholas, and the 2017 Mandela Washington Fellows, click here.