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 t...
Nov 28, 2016

Ashesi hosts inter-university Code Fair

This November, Ashesi hosted its annual Ashesi Code Fair on campus in which over 70 participants from seven tertiary institutions in the greater Accra region competed individually and in teams. Put on by the Ashesi Student Council and co-sponsored by Ashesi alumni-founded tech company DreamOval, the Code Fair aims to provide students with a platform to compete, network, and gain exposure to real-world programming problems all while challenging their coding skills.

The Fair is not just for Computer Science majors; all students at Ashesi take courses in basic coding, so students from all majors complete in the Code Fair and immerse themselves in technology and computer programming. For those that are in Computer Science, it is a unique opportunity to apply concepts they have learned in class and test their readiness to enter the working world in their field.

The Ashesi Code Fair is an example of the variety of programming that is held on campus for students to enrich their experience by expanding their learning, exploring real-world applications of their studies, and connecting with other students and professionals in their fields. Our donor community helps us to provide this rich launching pad from which Ashesi students go forth and transform Africa. Thank you.

Aug 31, 2016

Engineering students craft solar generator models

In the fall of 2015, Ashesi launched its Engineering program with a pioneering cohort of 55 students, 40% of whom are women. Ashesi’s Engineering Program is designed to train ethical, responsible engineers with strong problem-solving skills that can see through challenges and find solutions within a local context. Additionally, “we believe in making sure that future engineering solutions to Africa’s problems gain from the perspectives of women,” explains Ashesi President and Founder Patrick Awuah.

As a culmination of their six-week long “Introduction to Engineering” class, our first-year Engineering students were given two weeks to design and build a working prototype of a solar-powered mini-generator. Students took on the project against the backdrop of power supply challenges in Ghana’s capital city of Accra. The generator prototypes they built could charge a range of devices, from mobile phones to laptops.

The project was a chance for students to explore the different tools and equipment they will be using for their work throughout their next three years in the Engineering program. These facilities were made possible thanks to the generous support of donors from around the globe.

Jun 8, 2016

Freshman Design Thinking Course Sparks Startups

Over the past year, Ashesi’s campus has grown into a hotbed for startups. There’s a late-night food delivery service, an out-of-school education program, a social enterprise aimed at helping children with neurological disorders, and over ten other startups created by freshmen as part of their Foundations for Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE) class. The new year-long course equips students to use design thinking to solve problems, and then create businesses out of those solutions. In the first semester, students strengthen their problem solving and critical thinking skills. In the second semester, they conceptualize and launch their own startups.

“For developing new ideas, we take students through the design thinking process where we teach them to take a system’s perspective to problems (a bird’s eye view); to not resort to their biases but rather be user-centered in tackling problems so they can develop solutions from deep empathy; and to aim for creative and unique outputs” explains FDE Professor Gordon Adomdza. “For applying their ideas, we teach students to test, test, test, until they get it right. Student teams have developed a non-electric hair drying head wrap, an activated charcoal product to reduce odor in the fridge, and a social platform to engage junior high school students. Reading through their reflection papers after just one semester, it was clear that the process of slowing down and taking a system’s perspective to problems was beginning to change the perspectives of many students. Our colleagues teaching other classes have shared their observations of how refreshingly different this current class of students is. We have developed a nice invention, but we need to continue making creative adaptations, in order to sustain these efforts at innovation.”

Through the entrepreneurial journey students take, Professor Adomdza hopes that the course will inspire a lifelong passion for entrepreneurism in many students. Assistant Professor Sena Agyepong envisions that FDE will have an impact far beyond the Ashesi campus. “We expect to see more collaboration between students from different majors, launching ventures that will start some very impactful change in the country and across the continent. And we think FDE is a very useful tool to get them started.”

 
   

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