Before I attended Ashesi, Africa’s problems seemed overwhelming. But at Ashesi, my peers and I came to view Africa’s problems as opportunities which we had the unique skills and mindset to tackle.
Ashesi taught me to think broadly and gave me the specialized tools to excel in my field. I learned to develop innovative, entrepreneurial approaches to difficult problems. Ashesi also challenged me to develop a well-honed sense of integrity and concern for others, especially when confronting ethical dilemmas. Doing the right thing, even when no one is watching – how Ashesi defines integrity – helped me to stand out and to earn more trust, respect, and responsibility in the workplace.
After graduating from Ashesi, I was hired by a Ghanaian company, where I was quickly promoted and given the difficult task of leading a team to develop West Africa’s first cardless ATM service. We wanted ordinary people in our cash-based economy to be able to safely access their cash from any ATM. We faced stiff challenges and had scarce resources. My team was whittled down from seven to three people, causing uncertainty over whether this project could be accomplished. Still, as the project lead, I stood up against the sea of doubt and did not let anything deter me from what I believed was possible. In the end, we succeeded, and with the help of clients, our platform is being deployed across West Africa. I’m proud that this solution was created by Africans, and Ashesi was part of that success.
Ashesi places a huge responsibility on people like me, its alumni, to excel and make an impact in Africa. Having received an education of the finest quality, we are empowered to create lasting and paradigm-shifting progress in Africa. My goal now is to start a venture to improve Africa’s e-commerce infrastructure. To that end, I am currently pursuing an MBA at the University of Virginia. After I complete my studies, I will return to Ghana, eager to contribute my skills to create African progress.
Ashesi demonstrates that hard work, selflessness, courage, and imagination do work in Africa, and that these qualities can be taught. If Africa is to change, this change must come from within.
I am grateful to all the donors who have helped make the Ashesi education possible. As Ashesi continues to grow, the support of donors is all the more important. Donations help Ashesi increase its impact by adding engineering and other majors, growing enrollment, and providing life changing scholarships to students in need. I humbly ask you to make a gift today. Your donation will support Africa’s future entrepreneurs, problem solvers, and leaders, who will dedicate their lives towards driving a renaissance in Africa.
David Darkwa, Ashesi University ‘08