The United States wants more sub-Saharan African students coming to study at its universities. U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Industry & Analysis Marcus Jadotte is leading the first ever education trade mission to Africa this week.
University overcrowding, teacher strikes and a lack of access to cutting edge research opportunities can make it hard for even the most motivated of students to get ahead in Africa. But going overseas can be even harder.
Of the one million international students who studied at U.S. colleges and universities during the 2014 -2015 academic year, less than 34,000 came from Sub-Saharan Africa.
The U.S. government wants to change that.
“They [African students] should consider studying in the U.S because of the innovative approach to education that we take in the United States, because international businesses are looking for the best qualified, best prepared prospective employees and we certainly believe that it enriches education back home in U.S.," Jadotte said.
He is traveling with representatives of 25 U.S. colleges and universities to recruit students and build partnerships with African universities.
“Many of the universities who have traveled with us on this mission are including scholarships as a part of the conversation with students here as well," Jadotte explained.
His message attracted a long line of South African high school students.
Boneng Mofokeng says he is hoping to go to law school at Michigan State University.
“I want to see the world and our country’s economy is not good. Maybe I can have a better life over there," he said.
From South Africa, the delegation heads to Ivory Coast and Ghana.