Twenty-Five Young African Leaders To Study Business, Entrepreneurship At OSU During Six-Week Mandela Washington Fellowship

By David Bitton
Stillwater NewsPress, Okla.

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) The Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which began in 2014, is designed to empower young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities.

Stillwater NewsPress, Okla.

Twenty-five young business professionals and leaders from 18 African countries kicked off their six-week Mandela Washington Fellowship Monday at Oklahoma State University.

Fellows will focus on learning about business and entrepreneurship while working with the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources and the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship in the Spears School of Business.

The fellows are among more than 1,000 African participants being hosted at 38 U.S. universities.

“As a flagship program of the Young African Leaders Initiative, the Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, which began in 2014, is designed to empower young leaders from sub-Saharan Africa through academic coursework, leadership training and networking opportunities,” an OSU press release said.

The fellows are staying on the OSU campus.

Craig Watters, executive director of the Riata Center for Entrepreneurship, said he looks forward to learning about the fellows’ businesses.

“You all have a business or business dream,” Watters said. “We will help you develop your business.”
That was good news to Regis Ezin, 31, of Benin, who wants to expand his snack food business to a larger audience.

Ezin said his business takes traditional recipes and modernizes them, creating African snacks all can enjoy.
He said his business is the first in West Africa to incorporate resealable zipper packaging.

Dorcas Maliro, 27, of Malawi, and Sandiso Mkwananzi, of Zimbabwe, got to know each other while talking about their businesses.

Maliro grows mushrooms and works with rural women and youth, discussing agriculture production.

Mkwananzi coaches local startups for people ages 12-30 and helps to develop their ideas and make them better entrepreneurs.

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