Speakers and Facilitators

Patrick Awuah
Founder and President,
Ashesi University College

Patrick Awuah is the Founder and President of Ashesi University College, a private, not-for-profit institution that has quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality education in Ghana.

He has over 25 years of substantial international management experience of large teams and budgets of some $90 million in more than 15 countries in Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa. 

He has won many prestigious international awards including the MacArthur Fellowship; the McNulty Prize and Membership of the Order of the Volta -- one of Ghana’s highest awards, given to individuals who exemplify the ideal of service to the country. In 2015, Patrick was named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune, and received the Elise and Walter A. Haas International Award, given to UC Berkeley alumni with distinguished records of service to their countries.

Mr. Anthony Ebow Spio
Department head and senior lecturer, Business Administration,
Ashesi University College

Anthony Ebow Spio is Senior Lecturer and Head of Department of Business Administration of Ashesi University in Ghana. He teaches undergraduate students in Marketing, Competitive Strategy, Services Marketing, New Product Development, and Strategic Brand Management. His mission is to prepare students to transform Africa. He seeks to achieve this by researching, teaching and applying  insights from business and entrepreneurship as a vehicle for wealth and job creation. His main areas of expertise include enterprise development, business planning, marketing planning, brand and marketing communication development, management and implementation, and action learning development and delivery.

Anthony has over 24 years of progressive and responsible business management, marketing strategy development, brand management and brand communication development experience in industry. He is a Chartered Marketer and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana. He served as the General Manager of DiscoveryTel Ghana, an ICT company that provides internet and network solutions to businesses in Ghana. He also worked for Unilever, a multi-national company, for 16 years in Ghana and Nigeria. He co-founded and directed Spio & Spio Consulting, a firm that specialized in advising SMEs and Beacon Books Company between 2006 and 2010. He has performed consultancy and training assignments for the British Council, World Bank, Barclays Bank, International Trade Centre and SMEs in Ghana.

Anthony graduated from the University of Strathclyde in Scotland with MSc. in International Marketing in 1999. He is also a holder of BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Ghana, which he obtained in 1987. He also obtained a Diploma in Sustainable Local Economic Development from Erasmus University Rotterdam, Netherlands in 2011.

Anthony’s research interests include place branding, entrepreneurship and enterprise development, local economic development, and teaching and learning.

Araba Botchway
Director of Admissions and Financial Aid,
Ashesi University College

Araba worked as the Program Officer for the Ford Foundation International Fellowships Program (IFP) in West Africa for a period of 12 years. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in French with Spanish from the University of Ghana, a post graduate diploma in Marketing of Services from the Maastricht School of Management (Netherlands), an Executive MBA from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration, a certificate in Management of Higher Education Institutions from the Galilee College (Israel), and a certificate in Project Management from Syncom Business Intelligence (South Africa).

Dr. Kajsa Hallberg Adu
Lecturer, Humanities and Social Sciences,
Ashesi University College

Kajsa Hallberg Adu, PhD, is a lecturer in academic writing, leadership, and political science at Ashesi University College. Kajsa holds a PhD degree in African Studies from the University of Ghana and a Masters degree in Political Science from Uppsala University, Sweden. She is the  Chair of the Library Committee, the Secretary of the Research Committee, and the initiator of an interdisciplinary team where social media, virtual reality, and storytelling intersects. Her research interests are migration, higher education, and African politics.

Outside her academic career, Kajsa is a blogger and political commentator. Her blog is kajsaha.com and she can be found daily on Twitter and Instagram under the username @kajsaha.'

Dr. Stephen Armah
Senior Lecturer, Humanities and Social Sciences,
Ashesi University College

Dr. Stephen Armah is an econometrician by training and is currently a Senior Lecturer of Business Administration at Ashesi University College. He is the author of several published articles in development economics especially on the subject of inflation, foreign aid and the economics of the cocoa sector. Stephen also serves as an associate editor of several USA-based journals in addition to being the chief editor of Ashesi University’s Economic Lecture Series Journal. In addition to his own research, Stephen has supervised more than 40 undergraduate theses, more than 150 master theses and is currently supervising 2 PhD theses.

Dr Armah is regularly invited to speak on various topics such as foreign aid, economic justice, education, development, commodity dependence and agricultural economics and has visited more than 20 universities in Sweden, the Netherlands, United Kingdom, Canada, South Africa, Uganda, Kenya and Ghana in that regard. In his native Ghana, Stephen contributes to economic discourse through the release of Economic Policy Briefs by Strategy 3, an economic think-tank where he is also the director of economic policy analysis.

Dr. Gordon Kwesi Adomdza
Senior Assistant Professor, Humanities and Social Sciences,
Ashesi University College

Dr. Gordon Kwesi Adomdza, is a Senior Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Ashesi University, and a Visiting Professor at CEIBS Africa, Ghana. Dr. Adomdza was an Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business, at Northeastern University, Boston, MA, USA.

Dr. Adomdza graduated from University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada with a Ph.D in Management of Technology, MASc in Management Science, MA in Applied Economics. He is also a graduate of University of Ghana with a BA Hons in Economics.

At Ashesi, Dr. Adomdza teaches courses that use design-thinking in the development of innovative new idea concepts and business models across the freshman cohorts. He is also the Lead for the Ashesi Design Lab, which wants to be the thought leader for design thinking in Africa. Outside of campus, he also organizes the Design Thinking Ghana Meetup Group (about 1000 members). He developed his design-thinking curriculum in collaboration with Continuum Innovation, Newton, MA, inventors of the award-winning Swiffer, a P&G product.

He also uses design thinking to help startups apply the Lean Start-up methodology in starting their businesses. He was the faculty advisor to Northeastern University’s Entrepreneurs Club for 7 years, http://www.neu.edu/entrepreneurs/, one of the most visible entrepreneurship clubs in the USA. He is now leaning on that experience to help Ashesi students build the student-led Ashesi Venture Accelerator, which supports enterprising teams on campus through their venture creating experience. In his spare time, Dr. Adomdza runs The Startup Traction Project, which helps entrepreneurs and businesses develop experiments to help them test their ideas faster and more cheaply before they spend significant amount of money.

Dr. Adomdza's research interests are in the areas of entrepreneurial opportunity discovery and validation, as well as the ideation stage of the new product development process. He has published papers in leading journals exploring the nexus between the entrepreneur and an opportunity through lens of the discovery and exploitation process for new ideas. He also has a developing interest in sustainable and hybrid business models for social innovations.