Ashesi University is one of Ghana and Africa’s best private institutes of higher learning. Located on the hilly outskirts of Ghana’s capital, Accra, Ashesi boasts of ultramodern educational facilities—libraries, well-furnished and spacious lecture halls, state of the art scientific research laboratories and teachers. Currently, about 800 students from more than 20 African states are obtaining higher learning in Ashesi.
The National Union of Ghana Students in tandem with the Ghana Mission in Beijing under the auspices of H. E. Edward Boateng had the honor to host the University’s founder, Mr. Patrick Awuah Jr. to the ongoing NUGS-China mentorship series on May 31of this year.
The program—dubbed Educating a New Generation of African Leaders; turning challenges to Opportunities—was attended by over 300 African students, majorly Ghanaians in the diaspora. Also, in attendance were, H.E. Edward Boateng, Ghana’s Ambassador to China, H.E. Mbelwa Brighton Kairuki, Tanzania’s Ambassador to China, H.E. Simon Pierre, Benin’s Ambassador to China, H.E. Isabel Mayza Jesus da Graca Domingos, Sao Tome and Principe’s Ambassador to China, Prof. Douglas Boateng, Prof. Nana Kwabena Kufuor, Nottingham University Ningbo Campus, and many other Diaspora heads of the Union.
Addressing the August audience, the pioneer of Microsoft Inc. began by thanking the Ambassador and the leadership of the Union for granting him the opportunity to address such a well-represented African audience. He continued by recalling his early life in Ghana, his childhood ambitions and his study life in the United States of America in the 80s. “I had always wanted to be an engineer, probably because my father was an engineer” he said. To pursue his dream to be an engineer, he had to leave the country to the United States due to political upheaval in Ghana in the 70s and 80s.
For his comfort, The CEO of Ashesi University, purposed to never return to Africa. However, the political unrest in Rwanda in the 90s, coupled with several other civil wars forced him to rescind his decision. “As an African decent, I thought of being part of the wheel to rewrite Africa’s story in the media” he thought. Charity they say, begins at home. Mr. Awuah decided to return to Ghana to help reform any sector that he would be most useful. Realizing the status of Ghana’s technical and vocational institution and how they were undermined in the country in contrast to other developed nations, he decided to facelift Ghana’s technical education through higher learning, hence the formation of Ashesi University.
Asked on the origin of the name ‘Ashesi’, he revealed that, Ashesi is the Fante name for beginning. To give Ghana’s technology and technical education a new beginning—reorienting Ghana’s future leaders through higher learning—‘Ashesi’. Advising his listeners, Mr. Awuah emphasizes on the need for each of them to diligently search for missing links and socio-economic gaps in their various countries and proceed to find solutions for them. “…that is entrepreneurship” he revealed.
Impressed with his story and his thirst to make Africa great through education, H.E. Mbelwa Brighton Kairuki, Tanzania’s Ambassador to China requested for his consent on hosting him in a similar program to address a larger audience of his countrymen. He, together with his colleague Ambassador’s promised to support this initiative with whatever means necessary to rewrite the story of Africa.
Ending the session, Prof. Kwabena Kufuor could not hide his admiration for Mr. Awuah for his great contribution on the continent. He however, admonished him to hasten processes in ensuring that Ashesi receives the necessary international accreditation. This, he advised would aid graduates of Ashesi to easily continue their studies elsewhere if they choose to.