Ashesi University

Ashesi University (/ɑːʃˈs/ a-shii-si') is a private college located in Ghana, West Africa. Ashesi is considered to be among the top ten best univeristies in Ghana.[3]The mission of Ashesi University is to educate ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within students, the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and the courage it will take to transform the continent.[4]

In 2017, Ashesi was awarded the World Innovation Summit in Education Prize[5], one of the world’s biggest prizes in education, for its impact on higher education in Africa. In 2018, Ashesi was also awarded a Charter by the President of Ghana, granting it full independence as a nationally recognised degree-granting institution. It was the youngest university to have been granted a Presidential Charter in Ghana’s history, a rare accomplishment.

Ashesi offers a four-year bachelors programme grounded in a multidisciplinary core curriculum, featuring majors in Business Administration, Management Information Systems, Computer Science, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. With an academic program designed in collaboration with some of the world's best universities and organisations, Ashesi continues to shape an educational experience like no other in Africa.

Ashesi University
Ashesi University Logo
President Patrick G. Awuah, Jr.
ProvostAngela Owusu Ansah
Students1005 (Spring 2019)[1]
Location, ,
05°45′35″N 00°13′11″W / 5.75972°N 0.21972°W
CampusSuburban area
MissionTo educate ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within students, the critical thinking skills, the concern for others, and the courage it will take to transform the continent.[2]
Ashesi's Archer Cornfield Courtyard


  • Association of American Colleges and Universities
  • Council of Independent Universities
  • Association of African Universities


Ashesi was founded by Patrick Awuah, a Ghanaian who spent over 15 years living and working in the United States. Awuah left Ghana in 1985 to attend Swarthmore College on a full scholarship, after which he worked for Microsoft Corporation as an engineer and a program manager for eight years. Experiencing first hand the dramatic impact that education can have on one's life, Awuah embarked on a mission in 1997 to provide greater educational opportunities in Ghana. He enrolled in business school at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, both to evaluate the feasibility of his goal and to gain managerial skills with which to found and manage a university.

  • 1997: Founder Patrick Awuah gives up his US software career to return to Africa. He decides to create a new kind of African university.[6]
  • 1998: Patrick Awuah and graduate students from UC Berkeley conduct a feasibility study for a new private university in Ghana.
  • 1999: Ashesi University Foundation was founded and is spearheaded by a Board of Trustees and management governance whose efforts are complemented by Advisory Boards located in the US and Ghana.
  • 2002: Ashesi University opens its doors in a rented house converted to classrooms, with a class of 30 students.
  • 2005: Of the pioneer class graduates, 95% chose to stay to Africa.
  • 2006: Ashesi students elect first woman university student government president in Ghana’s history.
  • 2007: A UC Berkeley study finds that local and multinational employers rate Ashesi and Ashesi Graduates number 1 in Ghana in Quality of Curriculum, Career Preparation, Communication Skills, Maturity, Professional Skills, and Ethics.
  • 2008: Students vote to adopt Examination Honour Code - Africa’s first. Financial sustainability: fees from students who can afford to pay cover annual operating expenses. Capital Campaign for new campus begins
  • 2009: Construction starts for permanent campus in Berekuso.
  • 2011: New campus completed—on schedule and on budget ($6.4M). Enrollment tops 500 as Vice-President of Ghana inaugurates campus.
  • 2012: The MasterCard Foundation partners to provide $13 million in Ashesi scholarships to students from 11 African countries.
  • 2013: Groundbreaking for construction to start on engineering building where Ashesi will educate engineers who will design infrastructure and products for Africa.
  • 2015: The first engineering class enrolls at Ashesi University on 7 September 2015.
  • 2018: Ashesi receives Presidential Charter, and becomes a fully independent private university; it will no longer have to be affiliated to University of Cape Coast, or the University of Mines and Technology.

The Meaning of Ashesi

Ashesi Todd & Ruth Warren Library
The Todd & Ruth Warren Library at Ashesi

"If there is anything you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now."

These words by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe are the inspiration behind the university's name, Ashesi, which means "beginning" in Fante, a native Ghanaian language.[7]

Feasibility study

During the summer of 1998, a team of four MBA students from UC Berkeley's Haas School of Business travelled to Ghana to conduct extensive market research and evaluate the feasibility of establishing a new university. With the goal of gathering data to provide a foundation for business decisions, the team administered over 3,300 surveys to students and parents; conducted interviews and focus groups with parents, teachers and business leaders; and gathered secondary information from local and international sources. The result was a comprehensive feasibility study,[8] analysing Ghanaian tertiary education.

Ashesi campus

Set on 100 acres in Berekuso, overlooking Ghana's capital city of Accra, Ashesi’s campus unites traditional Ghanaian design, modern technology and environmental best practices. The campus has interconnected courtyards, that emphasize a sense of community. The architecture borrows from the Ghanaian vernacular, with echoes of traditional compound houses, as well as elements of traditional Northern dwellings. The natural contours of the site are used in concert with buildings to create exterior gathering spaces throughout campus, as well as ramps that provide wheel chair access to buildings. Buildings are designed to maximize natural views, light and ventilation.

Ground water is supplemented with harvested rainwater, filtered and treated to provide potable water all year round. A community-scale sewage and organic treatment plant provides environmental and economic benefits by converting waste to biogas for some of the campus’ cooking needs and recycling treated water for landscaping.

Global Recognition

On Wednesday 3 May 2018, President of the Republic of Ghana, H.E Nana Akufo-Addo awarded Ashesi University a Presidential Charter meaning the University will now award degrees to its graduated in its name.[9] Ashesi, until this year was affiliated to the University of Cape Coast(UCC), Ghana meaning its graduates were awarded a UCC degree.

In 2012, the university was ranked by PwC as the seventh most respected organisation in Ghana, becoming the first university to make the list. Ashesi's President, Dr. Patrick Awuah, was also ranked the 4th Most Respected CEO in Ghana.[10] In 2015, again named Ashesi among its list of top 10 African Universities (excluding South Africa).[11]

It has also been ranked as one of Ghana's 50 Best Places to work (2015), according to a survey by Ghanaian consulting firm Goodman AMC; it was again, the only university on the list.[12]

In 2013, CNN shared the story of Ashesi and its founder on its African Voices programme. In the interview, Ashesi's President said: "If you come back in 30 years, universities will be competing for the best and brightest students. I hope that universities will also be competing on things such as whose students are the most ethical. If that happens, it will change the continent."[13]

In 2015, Ashesi's President was ranked by Fortune (magazine) as one of the World's 50 Greatest Leaders, together with the likes of Bill & Melinda Gates, Pope Francis and founder of, Jeff Bezos. The list according to Forbes, was made up of men and women who "in an era that feels starved for leadership, will inspire you—some famous, others little known, all of them energizing their followers and making the world better." [14]

In 2017, Ashesi was awarded the World Innovation Summit in Education Prize, one of the world’s biggest prizes in education, for its impact on higher education in Africa. In 2018, Ashesi was also awarded a Charter by the President of Ghana, granting it full independence as a nationally recognised degree-granting institution. It was the youngest university to have been granted a Presidential Charter in Ghana’s history, a rare accomplishment.

Key Projects Ashesi runs

  1. Ashesi Innovation Experience(AIX): This is a two-weeks program designed by Ashesi Faculty for high school students between the ages of 15 and 19. It exposes students to Leadership, Entrepreneurship, Robotics, Creativity and Engineering basics to help prepare them for transitioning into college.[15]
  2. The Education Collaborative: This is a week long program which was first held in June 2017. It is an Ashesi initiative that brings together higher education leaders and stakeholders to collaborate in harnessing best practices in teaching, management and administration.[15]
  3. The Next Generation Cocoa Youth Program(MASO): MASO is a five year program designed to create employment for Ghana's youth in cocoa growing communities. Ashesi runs this project in collaboration with Solidaridad, Aflatoun, Fidelity Bank, Opportunity International and the Ghana Cocoa Board.[15]
  4. Ghana Climate Innovation Center(GCIC)

See also


  1. ^ "Quick Facts". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  2. ^ "Our Mission, Vision and History". Ashesi University. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  3. ^ "Top Universities in Ghana 2019 Ghanaian University Ranking". Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  4. ^ "Our Mission, Vision and History". Ashesi University. Retrieved 20 February 2019.
  5. ^ BBC. "Ashesi University founder wins $500,000 education prize". Graphic Online. Retrieved 2019-01-17.
  6. ^ Wesler, Ellen (25 October 2015). "A Winner of MacArthur Award Brought Liberal-Arts Education to Ghana". Chronicle of Higher Education. Retrieved 4 December 2015.
  7. ^ History: Meaning of Ashesi Archived 17 November 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  8. ^ Early years feasibility study Archived 6 January 2011 at the Wayback Machine.
  9. ^ Ibrahim, Abubakar (3 May 2018). "Akufo-Addo grants Ashesi University Presidential Charter". Myjoyonline. Retrieved 5 May 2018.
  10. ^ UT Bank, Rlg bosses outshine rivals –at Ghana’s Most Respected CEO awards. October 2012.
  11. ^ The Top 10 Universities in Africa (ex South Africa) – 2015 Edition. February 2015.
  12. ^ Top 50 Best Places to Work in Ghana. March 2015.
  13. ^ Millionaire who quit Microsoft to educate Africa's future leaders. May 2013.
  14. ^ The World's 50 Greatest Leaders: 2015. March 2015.
  15. ^ a b c "". Retrieved 2018-06-22.


External links

Coordinates: 05°45′35″N 00°13′11″W / 5.75972°N 0.21972°W

AMICAL Consortium

The American International Consortium of Academic Libraries (AMICAL) is an association of 29 American-style universities located in 22 countries. It was founded in 2004 by the American University of Paris, with support from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Ayorkor Korsah

G. Ayorkor Korsah (formerly G. Ayorkor Mills-Tettey) is the head of the department of Computer Science at Ashesi University in Ghana.


Berekuso is a town in the Eastern Region of Ghana, approximately an hour from Accra. The town is known for being the location of Ashesi University, the first liberal arts college in sub-Saharan Africa.Berekuso is the westernmost town traditionally inhabited by the Akuapem people.

Clarence Ellis (computer scientist)

Clarence "Skip" Ellis was an American computer scientist, and Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Cognitive Science at the University of Colorado at Boulder. While at the CU-Boulder, he was the director of the Collaboration Technology Research Group and a member of the Institute of Cognitive Science. Ellis was the first African-American to earn a Ph.D. in Computer Science (1969), and the first African-American to be elected a Fellow of the ACM (1997). Ellis was a pioneer in Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) and Groupware. He and his team at Xerox PARC created OfficeTalk, one of the first groupware systems. Ellis also pioneered Operational Transformation, which is a set of techniques that enables real-time collaborative editing of documents.

Dejoie Sylvain Ifashabayo

Dejoie Sylvain Ifashabayo (born 30 April 1994) is a Rwandan social entrepreneur and humanitarian. He founded Hope initiative in 2016. He is the director of operations at Anidaso

Eastern Region (Ghana)

The Eastern Region is located in south Ghana and is one of ten administrative regions. Eastern region is bordered to the east by the Lake Volta, to the north by Brong-Ahafo region and Ashanti region, to the west by Ashanti region, to the south by Central region and Greater Accra region. Akans are the dominant inhabitants and natives of Eastern region and Akan, Ewe and English are the main spoken languages. The Eastern region is the location of the Akosombo dam and the economy of the Eastern region is dominated by its high-capacity electricity generation. Eastern region covers an area of 19,323 square kilometres, which is about 8.1% of Ghana's total landform.

Fred McBagonluri

Fred McBagonluri (born 18 August 1970) is a Ghanaian engineer, inventor, novelist, educator and thought leader, who is currently Provost and President at Academic City College. He was previously the founding Dean at the Faculty of Engineering at Ashesi University College. He was also the founding Executive Director of the Ghana Climate Innovation Center, a new cleantech incubator backed by the World Bank. Prior to his role at Ashesi University College, Prof. McBagonluri lived and worked in the United States. He was the Vice President of the New Product Development Joerns Healthcare in Arlington, Texas. He has held various roles in engineering, strategy, marketing, and research, and has worked with numerous Institutions in the US, including Princeton University, where he was a visiting research associate, working for Prof. Wole Soboyejo (distinguished Dean of Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, MA), Siemens Healthcare, and Becton and Dickinson and Co.

He holds a Bachelor of Science degree (Summa Cum Laude) in Manufacturing Engineering from Central State University, with a minor in Applied Math, a Master of Science in Engineering Science and Mechanics from Virginia Tech and a Doctorate in Materials Engineering from the University of Dayton. He also holds a Masters of business administration degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

McBagonluri was the Black Engineer of the year's most promising scientist in 2008 and was the 2009 finalist of the NASA Astronaut Candidate Corps (ASCAN). In 2008, he won the New Jersey State Healthcare Business (NJBiz) Innovator Hero Award. He made incredible contributions to the development of Computer Aided Process Architecture and automation.

As a former director of R&D, McBagonluri made contributions in the areas of computer-aided design, artificial intelligence, 3D data processing and advanced hearing systems. McBagonluri has over forty patents and patents application in his name. He has authored nine books including three novels. He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Manufacturing Engineers, and an MIT Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.

Global Liberal Arts Alliance

The Global Liberal Arts Alliance is an association of liberal arts colleges around the world. It was established in 2009. The goal of the consortium is to provide an international framework for cooperation among institutions following the American liberal arts college model.The Alliance is administered by the Great Lakes Colleges Association, a consortium of thirteen American liberal arts colleges in the Great Lakes region.

Henry Kwasi Prempeh

Henry Kwasi Prempeh is Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law, Newark, New Jersey, where he has taught constitutional, corporate, and international business law courses since 2003. Immediately prior to joining the Seton Hall Law faculty, Professor Prempeh was the Director of Legal Policy and Governance of the Ghana Center for

Democratic Development (CDD). He continues to serve on the Board of Directors of CDD and is also a board member of Ashesi University, a private university in Ghana. In 2010, he spent his sabbatical year as a Visiting Professor at the newly established law school at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration in Accra. Professor Prempeh has written and consulted on the issues of constitutionalism, governance, legal policy, and democracy in Ghana and the rest of Africa. He was selected as a Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow by the National Endowment for Democracy in 2011. A graduate of Yale Law School, where he served as a teaching fellow and on the Yale Law Journal as an editor, Professor Prempeh also holds an MBA from Baylor University, Texas,and a B.Sc. Admin. degree from University of Ghana Business School. He previously worked in private practice as a law firm associate, first at O'Melveny & Myers LLP and, later, at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, both in Washington, D.C. Professor Prempeh is a founding patron and chairman of the board of Walk2Learn International.

Legal Practitioner, Professor Henry Kwasi Prempeh, has been appointed as the new Executive Director for the Ghana Centre for Democratic Development (CDD-Ghana).

He was appointed by CDD-Ghana’s Board of Directors.

Prof. Prempeh’s appointment, which takes effect from February 1, 2018, follows the retirement of the Centre’s founding Executive Director, Professor E. Gyimah-Boadi.

Kajsa Hallberg Adu

Kajsa Hallberg Adu (born 7 February 1981) is a Swedish academic lecturer at Ashesi University, blogger and founder of Blogging Ghana.

Kentaro Toyama

Kentaro Toyama is a computer scientist and international development researcher, who works on the relationship of technology and global development. He is W. K. Kellogg Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Information and author of Geek Heresy: Rescuing Social Change from the Cult of Technology.Toyama was founding assistant director of Microsoft Research India, a Bangalore-based computer science laboratory, where he established the Technology for Emerging Markets group which conducts interdisciplinary research in the field of "information and communication technologies for development" (ICT4D). Together with AnnaLee Saxenian and Raj Reddy, he co-founded the International Conference on Information and Communication Technologies and Development, a global platform for rigorous, academic, interdisciplinary research in ICT4D.

List of libraries in Ghana

The following is a list of libraries in Ghana.

List of universities in Ghana

This is a list of universities in Ghana. For the purposes of this list, colleges and universities are defined as accredited, degree-granting, polytechnics institutions. Small universities are, merged and incorporated as affiliated institutions into larger institutions, and most higher education institutions are named "university college". The country's colleges which are incorporated with universities are listed as "university college". The country's "polytechnics" are also listed.

There are other educational institutions in Ghana - some are local campuses of foreign universities, some conduct classes for students who write their exams at the distance-education centers of the larger Ghanaian universities. Universities and colleges are accredited by the National Accreditation Board - Ghana under the Ministry of Education - Ghana.

Nana Araba Apt

Nana Araba Apt (1942-2017) was an author, educator and social worker. She co-founded a charity organization, College for Ama in 2005 to help rural girls in Ghana go to school. She was the founding Dean of Academic Affairs at Ashesi University and a professor at University of Ghana before her death in 2017.

Nathan Amanquah

Nathan Amanquah (born 1973) is an engineer, a Web developer and educator who is currently the acting dean of engineering at Ashesi University. He was the acting dean of academic affairs at Ashesi University in 2010 when he filled in for Nana Araba Apt in her absence. Before he joined Ashesi University as an assistant professor in 2004, he worked as a systems analyst at The Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST) Ghana, a communications engineer at SSB Bank, Ghana, and electronics instructor at Accra Polytechnic. Amanquah has contributed massively to the design and development of the computer science and engineering programs at Ashesi University. Amanquah together with G. Ayorkor Mills-Tettey and two others in collaboration with a visiting professor from Carnegie Mellon University, Institute of Robotics, designed and taught the first introductory robotics course in Ghana at Ashesi University during summer 2006. He holds membership with Institution of Electronic & Electrical Engineers (IEEE), Ghana Institution of Engineers (GhIE) and a current Ghana board member for Worldreader Organization,. Amanquah and Selasi Agbemenu organized the first-ever African Workshop on Emerging Trends in Circuits and Systems (WETCaS) IEEE at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology , Ghana in November 2017.

National Accreditation Board (Ghana)

The National Accreditation Board (NAB) of Ghana is the Government of Ghana agency responsible for the regulation, supervision and accreditation of tertiary institutions in Ghana. It is an agency under the Ministry of Education.

Patrick Awuah Jr.

Patrick Awuah Jr. (born 1965) is a Ghanaian engineer, educator, and entrepreneur. Awuah established Ashesi University in 2002. Patrick has won many awards as an individual and as the founder of Ashesi University. Some of them include: The Order of the Volta (2007), John. P. McNulty Prize (2009), Ghana's 8th Most Respected CEO (2010), 50 Greatest Leaders in 2015 (Fortune Magazine 2015), MacArthur Fellowship (2015), Wise Prize for Education (2017).

TK Mawuli Azaglo

Azaglo Torwomenye Kwasi Mawuli (Born September 28,1987) also known as TK is a Ghanaian youth advocate and humanitarian, Founder and President of Future of Africa (FOA) and Associate Dean of Students and Community Affairs at Ashesi University. He obtained his Secondary School Education at Akosombo International School, later moved to Canada where he studied at Columbia International College and was enrolled in Wilfrid Laurier University Ontario in 2006.While a student, he began a club known as Future of Africa with the aim of addressing African development issues. It has since grown into an organization with over 115 street children as beneficiaries of his program.Upon graduation in 2011, he worked at Wilfrid Laurier University from 2012 to 2014 and moved to Ghana and started work at Ashesi University in 2015.In February 2018, he took a leave of absence from Ashesi University, to focus on building his organisation.

Yawa Hansen-Quao

Yawa Hansen-Quao (born in Accra) is a Ghanaian founder, social entrepreneur and a feminist. She sits on the board of Ashesi University College, serves on the Advisory Board, Women's Institute for Global Leadership, Benedictine University, is founder of the Leading Ladies Network (LLN), and a member of the African Leadership Network and the World Economic Forum’s Global Shapers Community. She is a force to reckon with in the education and well-being of the girl child.

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