Young African Leaders Visit Jefferson's Monticello

July 3, 2014

The Young African Leader Initiative continued their six week program by visiting Thomas Jefferson's Monticello.

Twenty-five leaders from 18 African countries took a tour of Jefferson’s historic home and discussed the former president's practices and ideologies.

Jean-Marc Afesi Mdafor, who is the president of the National Youth Council in Cameroon, says he is fascinated by Jefferson because there was a contradiction between what he believed - in that all men are created equal - and what he practiced in owning slaves.

Africa has been independent for 50 years and Mdafor says it's important to learn from America's growth.

“There's a lot we can learn from America, and I think for me it's an issue of America's independence and progress rubbing off on us,” Mdafor said. “So we can go back to the continent and share in best practices of how to move our continent forward.”

The young leaders will also attend the naturalization ceremony at Monticello tomorrow, where several Africans will become U.S. citizens.

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