Ashesi University Foundation

Ashesi University, is a secular, private, non-profit liberal arts college located in Ghana, West Africa. Our vision is an African Renaissance driven by a new generation of ethical entrepreneurial leaders. Ashesi's mission is to train a new generation of ethical and entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, concern for others and courage it will take to transform their continent. The Ashesi University Foundation, based in Seattle, Washington, USA, is a 501 (c)(3) organization designed to help US and international donors support the University. The foundation was instrumental in helping Patrick Awuah establish Ashesi, and continues to in...
Jul 1, 2014

Young Africans, Remaking Africa: Aba Ackun, '06

My name is Aba Ackun and I graduated from Ashesi in 2006. I am also a 2014 MBA graduate from University of Virginia’s Darden School of business. Prior to Darden, I spent 6 years after Ashesi working in leading multinational corporations that span the gold mining, financial services, and the inclusive financial services industries. I have worn safety gear and spent time with mining engineers, helping them to convert their technical plans into financial plans for capital expenditure. I have been a currency dealer, riding the highs and lows of the choppy financial markets in 2008. I have also been a part of a movement making $100 loans to micro-entrepreneurs and changing their lives through socially responsible lending. I have worked all over the West African Sub Region, Latin America, Haiti, and in the United States.

But at the core of all of this, I am simply a dressmaker‘s daughter. A person who came from a working class home where neither of my parents had gone to college. So given my station in life, when I finished high school, had Ashesi not been around, my only option would have been to attend any of the public universities whose falling standards had led many wealthy people to send their children abroad for college. Somehow my father heard about Ashesi from a friend who thought that they could offer scholarships to people like me. Thankfully, they accepted me, gave me financial aid, without which my enrollment would have been impossible, and gave me an educational experience that changed the course of my life forever.

I must admit that I found Ashesi daunting at first. For the first time in my life I was being required to think critically, and for a person who had made it up to this point mainly by memorizing and regurgitating material, it was challenging. For the first time, shy and timid little old me was required to speak up, and my opinion mattered. Where I once had no opinion, I developed them, and learned how to argue my case with facts, and critical thinking. My shyness and timidity gave way to boldness, first in my written work as I explored new ideas and then into speech as I learned to present my ideas in front of the entire class. By my final year, I had held a position in the first ever student government at Ashesi.

At Ashesi, my gender for the first time was not a hindrance to my progress as women were treated no differently than men. We were taught that discovering and solving problems was good and that challenging the status quo was acceptable. Ashesi taught me that mediocrity was not alright and my classmates and I were constantly sent out to find problems to solve. 

The quality of education that I received at Ashesi was world class and I didn’t begin to fully realize its significance and worth until I entered the working world. Ashesi’s tenets– leadership, scholarship, and citizenship were always with me. I had to distinguish myself in these ways. With the insights I gained from Ashesi and from working in microfinance, I decided to go to business school to acquire the tools that would prepare me for my next experience.

I am excited to have graduated from Darden, and am eager to get some US work experience under my belt, and then head back home to Ghana to start my own venture, a Private Equity fund that invests in and grows manufacturing businesses across Africa. I know that I would not have gotten this far, learned so much, or grown so extensively without Ashesi, and I am thankful to the people here and abroad that made that possible.

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Apr 14, 2014

Working for progress in Africa: Regina Agyare '05

Regina Agyare on CNN
Regina Agyare on CNN

Regina is a young, dynamic social entrepreneur who graduated from Ashesi in 2005 as one of the top software developers in her class. After graduation, Regina was hired by a prestigious international bank in Ghana and became the first and only female in the IT department. After six years in the banking/technology industry, Regina decided to follow her passion and founded her own social enterprise called Soronko Solutions, which provides unique technology innovations, including affordable technology for web, mobile, point of sale devices, and ATMs that create social change.

“I feel we need to push to be on par with the rest of the world,” says Regina. “People need to drive their businesses online, and automate manual tasks to work more efficiently. Innovations in social development could be powered by mobile and web solutions. I hope Soronko Solutions becomes synonymous with providing technology solutions first in Ghana, and then in other emerging markets,” said Regina.

Soronko Solutions, currently funds and manages, Tech Needs Girls, a technology and mentorship program that targets young girls and encourages them to explore careers in computer science. A recent project launched by Soronko Solutions introduced deaf girls to technology at the State Deaf School in Ghana. Soronko Solutions has developed a number of applications for deaf persons. Regina showed the girls how technology can enrich their lives and allow them to integrate fully into mainstream life.

“As a woman in I.T, I have had to learn to assert myself, communicate and be heard in an area dominated by men,” Regina said. “Now that I have a voice, I am making sure I speak for those who can’t, especially women.”

Regina shares with CNN the story of her growing business and how she is inspiring more women across Africa to build technology. Watch Regina’s interview with CNN ‘African Start-Up‘.

Tech Needs Girls
Tech Needs Girls

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Jan 14, 2014

Happy New Year from Ashesi!

Dear Ashesi Community,

Since Ashesi's founding, the encouragement and support of our friends has been key to our growth and success.

In 2002, Ashesi began instruction in crowded rental buildings. Thanks to the support of our global community, in 2011, we moved to our permanent world-class campus in the hills of Accra.

In November 2013, we broke ground on our new engineering building where Ashesi will educate engineers who can design the innovative infrastructure and products that Afica needs.

We thank our friends and supporters around the world for making all of this possible. We look forward to our shared success in 2014.

Together we are creating a better future for Africa.

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