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Groundbreaking

Ashesi founder and president Patrick Awuah, with Ghanaian Minister of Education, Ashesi trustees and supporters.

Ashesi founder and president Patrick Awuah, with Ghanaian Minister of Education, Ashesi trustees and supporters.

Accra, Ghana, August 29, 2009 –  Today, hundreds of local and international supporters gathered to celebrate the ground breaking of a new campus for Ashesi University in Ghana.  On this campus, Ashesi University will expand its work of educating the ethical and entrepreneurial leaders that Africa urgently needs.  The traditional Ghanaian Durbar ceremony brought together a wide range of Africans from entrepreneurs to village elders, to celebrate a locally founded university designed to launch a new era of locally led progress.  Honorable guests included the Ghanaian Minster of Education, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, a senior investment officer from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the local village chief, and the local representative to Parliament.

 Ashesi offers a unique mix in Africa of a rigorous liberal arts core combined with cutting edge practical majors in technology and business.  The curriculum is infused with a commitment to community service, ethics, and the practical application of skills to local challenges.  Says Patrick Awuah, Ashesi’s founder, “Africa will be transformed under the leadership of bright young Africans who are educated in Africa, taught to think critically, to question, to solve problems and above all, to care.  Since 2002, Ashesi has graduated 174 students:  95% have chosen to stay in Africa helping to grow the local economy and develop innovative solutions to local challenges.  Ashesi graduates are being hired by global companies such as KPMG, Pricewaterhouse Coopers and Barclays Bank.  For more information about Ashesi University visit www.ashesi.org.

 The new campus, made possible by donations to a multi-year, global capital campaign, will allow Ashesi to grow enrollment by 50% in the next three years and will create a stable base for future growth.  Located outside of Accra, in Berekuso, the first phase of the new campus will include a complete library, three computer labs, administrative and faculty offices, two classroom buildings and dormitories. 

 School’s strong track record attracts global support.

 A global community of donors, primarily from the US and Africa, have contributed $3.3 million for the campus construction.  Ken Ofori-Atta, Executive Chairman of Databank Group in Ghana and an Ashesi donor said, “We believe [Ashesi] is an outstanding institution that is helping to educate a new generation of leaders for our country…The curriculum not only provides skills but also helps shape the character of its graduates, stressing integrity, humility, service and most significantly, citizenhood.  Ashesi students that I have hired at Databank have stood out as leaders and proven themselves to be inquiring, innovative and valuable assets in the growth of our investment company.”

 The International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank, has invested 2.5 million in the campus project.  Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said of their investment in Ashesi, “We are pleased to work with a partner who is committed to creating a center for educational excellence and is positioned to make a significant impact on Ghana’s educational system by training future business and government leaders.”

 The combined total of private donations and the IFC investment bring Ashesi to 93% of the $6.4 million cost of construction. Ashesi University Foundation, a U.S. based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting Ashesi University College, is on track to raise the remaining $428,000.  Because tuition, from those students who can afford to pay, funds operating expenses of the university, donations to Ashesi are used to fund scholarships and expansion such as the capital campaign.

Donors typically identify Ashesi as a way to jump-start locally led progress.  Paul Maritz, Chairman of the Board of the Grameen Foundation (microfinance), notes that:  “Ashesi is a uniquely African institution that empowers bright, ambitious African youths to think for themselves and prepares them to develop their own solutions to their continent’s challenges. Ashesi is thus both a strategic and highly leveraged way to provide support.”

 Honorable guests at the ceremony included:

 Ghanaian Minister of Education:  Alex Tetteh Enyo

U.S. Ambassador:  Donald Tetelbaum

Local Representative to the Ghanaian Parliament:  O.B. Omoah

CEO Databank:  Ken Ofori-Atta

Chief of Berekuso:  Nana Oteng Korankye II

Senior Investment Officer, IFC:  Kyle Kelhofer

 

 The mission of Ashesi University is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and the courage it will take to transform their continent.

 

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. Prady Misra permalink
    August 30, 2009 3:22 pm

    Congratulations Patrick on this wonderful milestone. What you are doing is so important and so meaningful. Best of luck.

  2. Michael Gyampo permalink
    September 27, 2009 12:53 am

    Patrick, it’s really exciting to watch this project grow under your leadership. Thanks for the efforts to give back to Africa, and to Ghana in particular, what it so much needs – competent, ethical, visionary leaders. I follow the institutions progress with keen interest and wish you the very best of everything.

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  1. The groundbreaking at Berkuso « Friends of Ashesi University

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