Our Africa immersion started with a 5-week language program. It was a priceless opportunity to practice French, to experience the business environment and the cultures of Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire and Morocco. This has been achieved through various classes (French and African cinema/theatre, political economy and sociology), as well as corporate and cultural visits.
From the warm welcome received from hour hosts to the various copious local meals (e.g. Tiep Boudien, Bouy, Bissap, etc.) we tasted, we have experienced Senegal’s Teranga spirit as well as the Sunu Gaal (in Wolof: “our pirogue”, expression from which the country’s name stems from). One of our most exciting experiences was a workshop with the women association of entrepreneurs. They raised various topics they face in their businesses, from the difficulty to access to land and credit to the hurdles to export their products or the lack of skills which prevent them to develop their companies.
In Cote d’Ivoire, besides different business meetings, we have visited the Notre Dame basilica in Yamoussoukro, the country’s political capital. It is the world’s highest basilica built by the country’s first president Houphouet Boigny. The religious aspect of the culture became clear at the Hassan II mosque in Casablanca, where various signs and symbols of other religions appeared, in a call for the unity of the different spiritual currents.
By: Medora Brown, Gracian Kamgang, Killian Marie, Isidro Pascual, Matheus Proença, Sadio Wade (Wharton/Lauder ’19, Africa Program)