Federal grant program to bring young African leaders to campus
February 4, 2014
A federal grant will help University of
Wisconsin-Stout develop leaders among young people from Africa.
A $100,000 Washington Fellowship grant from
President Obama's Young African Leaders Initiative will be used for academic
coursework and leadership training for 25 people. The Business and
Entrepreneurship Institute will run from June 15 to July 26 at UW-Stout, which will
provide leadership expertise, services and facilities.
Mark Fenton, associate professor of
international business and management who wrote the grant application, said the
president's initiative "is focused on creating entrepreneurial, civic leadership
and public management opportunities for the future of many African countries.
Creating jobs in existing industries or developing innovative initiatives are
critical to the long-term growth in any country, and the countries in Africa
are no different."
At UW-Stout, Fenton said, the participants
will use the UW-Stout Fab Lab, part of a global computer-aided design fabrication
network, and receive instruction in entrepreneurship, leadership, innovation
and developing concepts. They also will hear guest speakers and meet with faculty.
Topics include strategy, operations, supply
chain management, business ethics, social entrepreneurship, microfinance,
organizational development and management, marketing, innovation and technology,
emerging markets and risk analysis, strategic business planning and corporate
The six-week institute won't be all work. Participants
will spend time in Hayward and Wisconsin Dells and at the Mall of America and a
baseball game. They will have the opportunity to interact within the community
and engage in several cross-cultural events during their time in Menomonie and west-central
"Overall, this experience is designed for
the fellows to see what is possible and how it can be achieved," Fenton said.
After the institute has ended, Fenton will travel
with the group to Washington, D.C., for what is being called a "summit with
President Obama," Fenton added.
Across the country, some 500 young African
leaders will be brought to the United States for academics and leadership
"We need young Africans who are
standing up and making things happen, not only in their own countries but
around the world," President Obama said of his initiative. "Africa's future
belongs to its young people."
The institute will be in the College of
Management, led by Dean Abel Adekola. Fenton was supported in the grant
application process by Sue Foxwell, director of Research Services, and Hong
Rost, director of the Office of International Education.
More information on the program is