African Women: Leaders in the Economy and Society

Expanding markets. Ensuring quality control. Accessing supply and value chains. Broadening networks. Addressing management challenges. Showcasing women’s leadership. And yes, advocating for change. These are topics that a dynamic group of African women entrepreneurs are focusing on during their visit to the U.S. as part of the African Women’s Entrepreneurship Program (AWEP). AWEP was launched, in conjunction with the 2010 African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA) Forum, as part of the U.S. Department of State’s International Visitor Leadership Program (IVLP). Every year, U.S. Embassies in Sub-Saharan Africa nominate leading women entrepreneurs to participate. While in the U.S., the group...

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The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program: Cultivating Social Entrepreneurial and Civic Minded Leaders

The Pan Africa Youth Leadership Program (PAYLP) is a program designed to develop leadership skills in youth through dynamic trainings and cultural exchanges. In April 2018, Meridian hosted adult mentors and young scholars between the ages of 15 and 18 from Sub-Saharan Africa, including the nations of Botswana, Kenya, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, Sudan, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. “I have discovered a group of diverse cultures, from my fellow African participants from Sudan, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Zambia, Uganda, Kenya, Namibia, Botswana as well as Malawi.” Exchange programs like these bring leaders from around the world to the U.S. to experience and enhance...

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A Case for A Globally Engaged, Nationally Secure America

Against the backdrop of a globalization that has many feeling more skeptical than optimistic, people are questioning existing notions of sovereignty. Nationalism is now being viewed as a rallying call for protectionism, rather than patriotism. This has fueled a false dichotomy between globalism and nationalism – particularly in the United States where leaders across politics and business along with every day citizens feel they must choose one path or the other. Given this context, how does a nation advance domestic interests while remaining globally engaged – and why is it vital in 2018? On October 20, 2017, over 150...

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“My Experience in Great Ecology, My Placement Organization” by Agustina Tierno, YLAI Alumn from Uruguay

Agustina Tierno is the founder and CEO of Bio-Observatories. She was one of 248 fellows participating in the Young Leaders of the Americas Initiative (YLAI) 2016, a professional fellows program that empowers entrepreneurs and innovative civil society leaders from Latin America and the Caribbean. YLAI focuses on strengthening their capacity to launch and advance their entrepreneurial ideas and effectively contribute to social and economic development in their communities. – October 11th, 2016, the first day I arrived at Great Ecology, I was kindly received by Jessa Spainhower and we talked about our backgrounds, expectations and possibilities for collaboration. I...

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