On Friday June 3rd, Management Leadership for Tomorrow (MLT) hosted the ABF Class of 2016 in New York City for U.S. Orientation. It was the first time Fellows met each other and other ABF stakeholders. The one day programming covered a tremendous amount of advice and information to prepare each fellow as they live and work across Africa and the Middle East. 

Catherine Carrington, MLT Chief of Staff kicked off the day's festivities with welcome remarks and Adedana Ashebir, African Leadership Network ABF Program Director, encouraged the cohort to maximize their experience during their placement.

Four panelists shared their experiences working in the continent and focused specifically on cultural competency and expectations. These panelists included Andrew Leventhal of Tau Investment Management, Cherae Robinson of Tastemakers Africa and Bokar Ture of Solektra International. The purpose of the panel was to present fellows with insight on working on the continent. Facbeook's Mitch Harris offered advice on how best to leverage networks during and after the placement. Fellows also got a chance to sample a social enterprise problem through a case study. In groups, Fellows presented ways for Tanzania's Yogurt Mamas to achieve profitability and scale. 

Senator Chris Coons of Delaware sent a message to the group via video. He emphasized the importance of U.S.-Africa relations and the unique opportunity the Africa Business Fellowship provides. Fellows were able to meet Peter Henry, Dean of NYU Stern School of Business; Strive Masiyiwa, Econet Founder & Chairman; John Rice, Founder & CEO of MLT; and Mindy Silverstein, Managing Director at Credit Suisse at an evening reception. Orientation concluded with a Fireside Chat with Strive Masiyiwa moderated by Mindy Silverstein. 

The Africa Business Fellowship is proud to support Fellows during their time in Africa and the Middle East and companies are even more eager to receive and host them. Onward!