The President of the Africa-America Institute, Mora McLean, commits to the creation of the US-Africa Financial Fellows Exchange Program. This program will be predicated on a year long exchange of promising young bankers from Africa and the United States. The African professionals will work in American banks while the Americans will work in African financial institutions. Over the next year, AAI will enlist the support of at least four financial institutions, two each in Africa and the United States, that will enable at least 20 Fellows to initiate the exchange program.
Building human capital is critical to the long-term growth and prosperity of Africa, and for over fifty years, the Africa-America Institute has been devoted to this goal. During this time, AAI has facilitated the training of over 22,000 women and men from Africa representing 52 countries. These individuals are leaders in virtually every sector of society and are playing critical roles in Africa's effort to assume its rightful place in the global economy and international community. AAI also has developed a valued reputation in the US as an honest broker among disparate interests concerned with Africa.
Drawing on this experience and embracing the desire of Africans across the continent to attract a larger portion of global capital flows, AAI's Board of Trustees has made the decision to develop a program to contribute to the achievement of this goal. The initiative is called the US-Africa Financial Fellowship Exchange Program (AFFEP).
The idea for a program of this kind was first proposed in the report, 'A Ten-Year Strategy for Increasing Capital Flows to Africa,' which was issued in June 2003 by the Commission on Capital Flows to Africa. The Commission was sponsored by the Corporate Council on Africa, the International Institute for Economics, the Council on Foreign Relations and the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Program.
To fund its initial program research, the AAI is seeking seed money valued at $250,000. Success in implementing AFFEP will require a multiplicity of partners, including commercial banks, the World Bank, the African Development Bank, African governments and central banks.