October 10, 2017- The American Field Service Intercultural Programs Office in Ghana hosted a Global Citizenship Forum to address intercultural understanding as a key skill for employability. The Forum connected educators, students, intercultural learning practitioners (from both formal and non-formal education sectors) and researchers with policymakers, non-profits (including those working in study abroad), employers, businesses and others interested in advancing global citizenship education in Africa. Lecturer, Dr. Kajsa Hallberg Adu, who participated in the forum, recaps her experience.
Educators from around the globe gathered in Accra this week to discuss Global Citizenship Education under the auspices of the AFS Intercultural Programs. In a forum on October 10th, 2017 held at the British Council organized together with UNESCO, Ashesi University College and the US Embassy in Ghana among others, global citizenship skills for the 21st century workforce was discussed.
The AFS President and CEO Daniel Obst opened with the suggestion that "intercultural understanding and global competence are power skills”. Minister of Tertiary Education Kwesi Yankah then graced the occasion, spoke about Ghana's heritage of international education and welcomed the participants to Ghana.
The keynote speaker and AFS Board Chair Dr. Vishakha Desai discussed her personal journey as an AFSer or exchange student within the AFS program as a high schooler and how that experience has opened the world for her. Desai argued, “Global existence depends on these skills”.
In the ensuing panel, the Ghanaian case of global citizenship education was treated. Ashesi’s Associate Director of Diversity and International Programs Millicent Adjei explained Ashesi’s multifaceted take on diversity and active global citizenship, inclusive of pan-African admissions, diversity training, exchange programs, service learning, other international opportunities and faculty teaching from a global viewpoint in the classrooms.
Adjei stressed that "we are very intentional about letting our students encounter difference" and that diversity of cultures also exists within Ghana. In conversation with her on stage was also Daniel Dotse of Teach for Ghana and Christabel Dadzie of Ahaspora Young Professionals. Ashesi was further represented at the Global Forum by the entire Office of Diversity and International Programs team, the Career Services, the Assistant Dean of Students and lecturer Kajsa Hallberg Adu.