UVA Darden Students Launch Inaugural Africa Week

02 March 2018

By Lauren Wallace

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business‘ first-ever Africa Week brought in a diverse group of speakers to feature opportunities and challenges in the diverse continent.

Hosted by the Darden Africa Business Organization, Africa Week featured a keynote with former HSBC Africa CEO Andrew Dell, a special First Coffee and a variety of social events.

Africa Week’s final guest speaker was Carlo Matta, managing director of Optimum Asset Management. Matta shared his entrepreneurial journey to West Africa, where he developed high-value commercial properties in Ghana and Nigeria.

“One of the main takeaways I gleaned from Carlo’s presentation is that there are usually three ‘whys’, or reasons, behind every big decision,” Raoul said. “It is important to ask yourself ‘why’ again and again to get to the bottom and uncover your true motivations in making critical decisions. This is how you can test whether you are making a good decision.”

Other Africa Week events included First Coffee featuring coffees from Rwanda, Kenya and Ethiopia; an African wine and cuisine night featuring traditional Nigerian food and South African wines; a Black Panther screening event; and an African dance workshop on Friday afternoon to conclude the week’s events.

“I think Africa Week was a great success, particularly because this was the inaugural one,” said DABO member Asong Lekeaka (Class of 2019). “Our guest speakers were amazing and painted a picture of Africa that I felt was in line with my experience when I visit Cameroon. We discussed the challenges in Africa, but also the business opportunities that are present in those challenges. The theme woven throughout the events of the week was that there are vast opportunities in Africa and it is important that Africa remains on the radar of the Darden community.”

Read the full story on Darden’s Center for Global Initiatives’ blog.

About the University of Virginia Darden School of Business

The University of Virginia Darden School of Business prepares responsible global leaders through unparalleled transformational learning experiences. Darden’s graduate degree programs (MBA, MSBA and Ph.D.) and Executive Education & Lifelong Learning programs offered by the Darden School Foundation set the stage for a lifetime of career advancement and impact. Darden’s top-ranked faculty, renowned for teaching excellence, inspires and shapes modern business leadership worldwide through research, thought leadership and business publishing. Darden has Grounds in Charlottesville, Virginia, and the Washington, D.C., area and a global community that includes 18,000 alumni in 90 countries. Darden was established in 1955 at the University of Virginia, a top public university founded by Thomas Jefferson in 1819 in Charlottesville, Virginia.


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