My personal emphasis in global management is on social entrepreneurship — an approach that aims to identify the fundamentally unjust equilibrium in communities that lack the financial and political means to transform.
Leo will work with AFCIG Youth In Action in Douala, Cameroon, a youth-led social enterprise focused on the attainment of economic and socio-cultural independence.
"I decided to go abroad because I wanted to pursue an education that would encompass a global perspective. I remember my last days before leaving home, contemplating both the beauty and sad reality of my community, Newtown Airport, which is one of the most disadvantaged and unsafe neighborhoods in Douala, the commercial capital of Cameroon. My main concern was how to effect change in a community that has been undergoing economic and social issues for a long time.
"I wanted to go to a university that would give me the opportunity to embrace my passions. When I learned about the incredible social projects done by Muyambi Muyambi '12 as well as those of Nadia Sasso '11 and Lebo Letsie '12, I was 100 percent convinced I wanted to come to Bucknell. Global management was also a big highlight, because it takes into account both organizational management and the understanding of the politics and economics of a particular region in the world.
"During my first semester, I took an independent study French course with Professor Angèle Kingué. Through that course, I came to understand the pre-colonial, colonial, and post-colonial period of Francophone African countries. It was fascinating. That course led the way for my concentration in Sub-Saharan Africa.
"My perspective has also opened up from courses like Introduction to Marketing and Global Flow of Capital, as well as other courses outside of management. I think a great example is African Political Economy. It has helped me to understand how complex Africa is from a social, cultural, political and economic standpoint. Modern Dance Technique, Jazz and Dance Conditioning have helped me to understand and control my inner and outer energy in order to be effective and balanced. What I have found fascinating is the ability to connect courses together in accordance with my passions.
"My personal emphasis in global management is on social entrepreneurship — an approach that aims to identify the fundamentally unjust equilibrium in communities that lack the financial and political means to transform. The goal is to create added social value, so a given community can move forward on its own terms. I believe that social entrepreneurship is about implementing ripple effect strategies in order to effect change.
"Many of the fastest growing economies in the world are in Sub-Saharan Africa. There is a big incentive to attract foreign investors and businesses, and the social and cultural dynamics are changing accordingly. Opportunities are being created, but the slow growth and level of development in rural areas is problematic. Often times it is forgotten that the economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa is stimulated by foreign direct investment, and government spending in mostly urban areas.
"My question is what can be done to understand the dynamic of rural areas? How do you inspire people from rural areas so they can decrease the level of poverty and increase the standard of living and education levels within their community? I believe that social enterprise can tremendously effect change in rural areas — the key is to understand the inhabitants' lives, effectively communicate with them, and work hand-in-hand with everyone, so they can uplift themselves."
Leo is from Douala, Cameroon
Posted on April 27, 2015