African Youth Excellence, Inc. (AYE) successfully launched its third initiative called AYE Abroad. The youth organization unveiled a special and dedicated platform for its abroad program on its mother website, www.africanye.org. The beautifully designed virtual platform introduces visitors to the concept of brain drain and how the organization intends to reverse the trend through its study abroad program.
AYE is a non-profit organization committed to honing and developing the skills and talents of young Africans in the U.S. AYE embraces the culture of excellence and professionalism in order to help young Africans develop skills that are relevant to today’s economy.
AYE’s study abroad program is designed for second year and up U.S. college students who are enrolled in a four-year accredited university. The AYE Abroad Program aims to make the African youth in the diaspora aware of and tap into the continent’s economic potentials, and ultimately, reverse brain drain. The Abroad program is uniquely designed for young Africans in the U.S. to study, intern, research and explore opportunities in Africa for a semester. It offers participants a first-hand experience of the continent, thus, better appreciate Africa’s economic terrain while exploring lucrative business opportunities which will birth expanded networks and professional growth.
AYE believes that once participants have gained the necessary academic training and field experience, they will be better equipped to apply their acquired knowledge and skills in a continued effort to enhance the development of the continent. The organization hopes that its students’ success stories will serve as a motivation for graduates in Africa to stay and explore business opportunities rather than travel.
In 2009, the organization’s Executive Director and Founder, Kofi Tonto, chose his home country, Ghana, when he had the opportunity to study abroad. Mr. Tonto studied at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, his birth place. That was his second and longest visit to Ghana after relocating to the U.S at the age of 13. During his time at KNUST, Mr. Tonto built interest in Ghana politics, identified business opportunities and established networks which he has maintained till today. Also, he learned about brain drain and the impact it has had on the continent of Africa. It was during his stay in Ghana that Kofi first explored the idea of creating a program that will encourage other young Africans in the U.S. to study in Africa towards the goal of reversing brain drain.
To achieve this goal, AYE has partnered with successful Africa-based educational and corporate institutions to create academic and career-oriented opportunities for young Africans who participate in this study abroad program. Currently AYE has partnered with the University of Ghana- Legon (UG), a world-class academic institution that has produced leaders in Business, Health Care, Agriculture and Politics including presidents of the Republic of Ghana. In addition to UG, AYE has partnered with the Ghana Consulate General in New York and other prestigious entities to ensure smooth procurement of all traveling documents for its students. Plans are far advanced to bring on board corporate organizations in diverse sectors where students will intern.
The AYE Abroad Program is neither an exchange program nor relocation initiative. However, the organization believes that studying abroad on the continent will give young Africans every reason to move back at some point in their career. As said by the Executive Director, “we believe that the continent needs more brains than aid.”
For more information on AYE and to learn more about the AYE Abroad Program, kindly visit www.africanye.org