Drake University plays host to African leaders

Twenty-five young, emerging business and entrepreneurship leaders from Africa are at Drake University in Des Moines, IA, for a Leadership Institute sponsored by the State Department. Drake is hosting the young leaders as part of the 2019 Mandela Washington Fellowship for Young African Leaders, according to the Drake University website.

It’s the fourth straight year the university has hosted young leaders from Africa. At Drake, the group is studying leadership best practices and participating in mentoring and local community engagement—and, if we were them—totally going to the Iowa State Fair and eating the bacon ice cream and dill pickle popcorn.

To date, the State Department has brought 3,700 young leaders from 49 African countries to the US to collaborate with professionals on leadership skills and networking. In Iowa, the young leaders are meeting with business leaders, government officials, and public works officials.

They’ll also be engaging in service projects with local nonprofits, which may or may not include touching up the paint on the world’s largest concrete gnome.