NKY Chamber pairs American business mentors, African leaders in Innovation Summit

The Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce will be part of a nationwide Innovation Summit and Mentoring Partnership that pairs African leaders with American business mentors.

An Innovation Summit started June 14 in Washington, D.C. and featured sessions with business leaders and entrepreneurs. The program is part of the Obama Administration's President's Young African Leaders Initiative, which identifies and fosters relationships with young African leaders. It's aim is to "promote business innovation, investment and social responsibility activities in Africa."

Starting this week, the African youth with fan out across the country learning about American culture and the workplace. In addition to Northern Kentucky, they'll travel to Seattle, Charlotte, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Miami, Huntsville, Denver and Chicago.

The Chamber, in conjunction with the Greater Cincinnati World Affairs Council, will sponsor 21-year-old Mwaka Mukwasa, spokeswoman for the Young African Leaders Initiative or YALI. Her organization's mission is to "engage, support and empower Zambian youth and young leaders to enhance civic engagement through promotion of education, good governance, principled leadership and business skills."

Starting June 25, Mwaka Mukwasa will be spending a few days with the Chamber and a couple of days with Junior Achievement of Cincinnati, which develops youth workplace, entrepreneurship and financial literacy skills.

"She'll be here learning about engaging young women and girls," says Amanda Dixon, manger of workforce talent solutions at the Chamber. "She wants to better connect them with career information and sources of education. She'll be looking at what we do at the Chamber, the resources we provide, and will have a set of best practices to take back home,"

By Feoshia Henderson
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