African entrepreneurs gather in Gulfport for academic, leadership training

Lessons from Mississippi’s Blue economy are being shared with young leaders from half a world away.
Published: Jul. 21, 2023 at 6:52 PM CDT
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GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - Lessons from Mississippi’s Blue Economy are being shared with young leaders from half a world away.

On Friday in downtown Gulfport, professionals with the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI) gathered at the Gulf & Ship Island Building to meet with experts from USM and Gulf Blue.

“All of them came here looking for something that they could take back and immediately impact their communities and/or businesses, and each of them have gotten what they were looking for,” said Edith Davidson, Leadership Director and Co-Academic Manager.

Davidson is referring to individuals participating in YALI, an initiative which has brought nearly 5,800 young leaders from ever country in sub-Saharan Africa to the U.S. for academic and leadership training. Friday, part of that group visited Gulfport.

“What I’ve experienced is the technology being used down here,” said Mathias Pwol. “You guys are way good in technology.”

Pwol is a farmer from Nigeria. He believes that our use of technology can not only help his farm back at home, but possibly even on a much larger scale.

“Seeing technology being used down here, and achieving a lot of success, I feel if my people can have the opportunity to put a lot of technology into agriculture, then I think we can feed the world,” Pwol added.

You can learn more about YALI at

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