African leaders to visit for national program
This summer, 25 leaders in business and entrepreneurship from sub-Saharan Africa will come to Dartmouth as part of the Washington Fellowship, a new State Department program designed to spur economic advancements and strengthen democracy the region. Dartmouth is one of 21 institutions selected as hosts for the program.

The program, part of President Barack Obama’s Young African Leaders Initiative, is divided into three areas of focus: business and entrepreneurship, civic leadership and public management. Dartmouth will focus on business and entrepreneurship. After a six-week intensive program in Hanover, the 25 leaders will join the around 500 fellows from other institutions for a multi-day summit at the White House. The participants, between ages 25 to 35, will be selected from a pool of roughly 50,000 applicants. The official selections will be made this month. Participation in the initiative marks a potential move toward a more international Dartmouth, Dickey Center director Daniel Benjamin said. “Dartmouth is interested in and continues to pursue an ever greater international footprint, international engagement,” he said. Amy Newcomb, the center’s student programs officer and the academic director of the Washington Fellowship program, said the program will build connections across sub-Saharan Africa that span many industries. Newcomb added that Dartmouth will benefit from having a multidisciplinary program. The program begins with a two-week design thinking course and workshop at the Thayer School of Engineering, followed immediately by a four-week session on entrepreneurship taught by Gregg Fairbrothers, a Tuck School of Business professor and founder of the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network. “We want them to understand that entrepreneurship is a way of thinking rather than something you do,” Fairbrothers said. Participants will attend weekly leadership seminars at the Rockefeller Center and community service projects hosted by the Tucker Foundation, Newcomb said. The fellows will also take a canoe trip sponsored by the outdoor programs office and spend a weekend at the Moosilauke Ravine Lodge, through a program similar to freshman trips, outdoor programs office deputy director Brian Kunz said. The upcoming fellowship resembles a program that the Dartmouth Entrepreneurial Network hosts in conjunction with the Balkan Institute, which brought five young entrepreneurs from Kosovo to Hanover for three months last year. The relationship between the College and the participants will be symbiotic, as Dartmouth will learn from the fellows’ perspectives and experiences, said Thomas Candon, associate managing director of the Dickey Center. A $100,000 State Department grant, which participating schools will match, will fund the program nationally. The College has committed to participate for one year, but the program may be implemented annually in the future.
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