Professor Bolkestein speak at AshesiProf. Frits Bolkestein walked into Ashesi’s fully packed Lecture Hall 4, on September 22, 2008 at exactly 4:30 pm. Students, faculty and staff as well as alumni were present to hear him address issues concerning Europe and the rest of the world. Prof. Bolkestein's presentation, which used a very interactive question and answer approach, covered topics including aid, foreign policy, world trade, the European Union and Ghana’s discovery of oil. “I hope Ghanaian leaders are able to manage the wealth that comes with the discovery of a resource like oil” he mentioned.

“It is a relief that there’s an institution like yours that focuses on creating the right leaders for our time. I’m very optimistic about your generation,” he added. He also answered questions about challenges and successes during his time in office.

According to Akuba Boakye, Class of 2010 “it was refreshing to listen to Prof. Bolkestein discuss Europe, he has such an incredible brain. He was able to engage all of us—those who had studied economics and trade dynamics and those who hadn’t.”

Prof. Bolkestein is currently the president of the Telders-foundation, the think-tank connected with the Dutch Liberal Party. He is a member of the supervisory board of the Central Bank of The Netherlands and a non-executive director of Air France-KLM. Prior to his current activities, he was European Commissioner for the internal market, taxation and the customs for five years.

He also held several positions within the Shell Group in East Africa, Central America, Indonesia, London and Paris. He has a Law degree from the University of Leiden where he is currently a visiting professor. Prof. Frits Bolkestein studied mathematics, philosophy, Greek and economics at the Universities of Oregon (USA), Amsterdam and London.