“Good partnerships are essential to progress in so many endeavors, including business. The new Africa Business Fellowship is an innovative approach to brokering links between emerging leaders in the US private sector and some of Africa’s most dynamic companies. It has great potential to plant the seeds of new long term personal partnerships that can bring influential individuals in the US and African business communities closer together. I endorse this important initiative.”
—Kofi Annan, Chair of the Africa Progress Panel, former Secretary General of the United Nations and Nobel Laureate
"The Africa Business Fellowship is a significant investment—led by Africa's private sector—in the next generation of leaders who will accelerate broader collaboration between the US and Africa, a relationship that has been historically important. The fellowship speaks to the continent's growth and dynamism, and its growing contribution to global business.”
— Olusegun Obasanjo, Former President of Nigeria
"President Obama recognized the value of engaging the next generation of young African leaders through professional development fellowships here in America and has spearheaded U.S. efforts to advance trade and investment with Africa. Now, the Africa Business Fellows Program has the potential to build on this legacy by reciprocating exchanges, placing talented American business leaders in Africa through a program that can help strengthen U.S.-Africa partnerships and shape a stronger, more prosperous future for the continent. Africa provides incredible opportunity for bilateral trade and investment, and the Africa Business Fellowship will be a catalytic force in growing economic partnerships between our nations.”
— Ambassador Donald Gips, former US Ambassador to South Africa and Senior Counselor with Albright Stone Group
“Building on the momentum of President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative, the Africa Business Fellowship will allow the next generation of American business leaders to engage with a dynamic, creative, rapidly growing African Business Sector. These networks of young leaders, committed to progress, transparency and connectivity, will create better futures for themselves and economic opportunities for many, many others.”
— Raj Shah, former Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)
“I highly welcome the Africa Business Fellowship Program and commend its sponsors. It is timely; coming at a moment when trade and investment between Africa and America is set to grow. This program will fill an important void, providing young American executives an opportunity to understand Africa’s fast changing business environment, as part of a two-way learning process.”
— Dr. Donald Kaberuka, President of the African Development Bank
“America’s future business leaders will benefit tremendously from the Africa Business Fellowship. The experience they will gain in understanding local business culture and operations, and the relationships they will build with their peers and senior African leaders, will be invaluable for any young executive seeking a global career."
— Tom Bernstein, President and Co-Founder, Chelsea Piers
The inspiration for the initiative grew from President Obama’s vision to forge a new business relationship with the continent, and the hosting of the historic US-Africa Leaders summit last year. The fellowship program will become the signature effort of Africa’s private sector to reciprocate in developing a new partnership with the US based on trade, entrepreneurship and investment.
— Strive Masiyiwa, Chairman and Founder of Econet
"This fellowship will play an integral role in strengthening business relations between Africa and the US. It will help achieve ALN’s mission of powering Africa’s prosperity by developing business leaders who have a deep understanding of—and affinity for—business in Africa. In the long run, it will lead to increased trade, investment, and collaboration between the two regions."
— Fred Swaniker, Co-Founder, African Leadership Network
Africa plays a critical role in the global economy today and will fuel its growth over the next decade. The Africa Business Fellowship will transform the career trajectories of highly talented Americans who aspire to be leaders on a global scale while also giving them the opportunity to have immediate impact in Africa.
— John Rice, Founder and CEO of MLT