Kyle Kelhofer(IFC);Patrick Awuah(Ashesi) Don Teitelbaum (US Ambassador); Yaw Asare-Aboagye (Ashesi Trustee)Hundreds of local and international supporters gathered to celebrate the ground breaking of a new campus for Ashesi University in Ghana. On this campus, Ashesi University will expand its work of educating the ethical and entrepreneurial leaders that Africa urgently needs. The traditional Ghanaian Durbar ceremony brought together a wide range of Africans from entrepreneurs to village elders, to celebrate a locally founded university designed to launch a new era of locally led progress. Guests included the Ghanaian Minster of Education, the United States Ambassador to Ghana, a senior investment officer from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the local village chief, and the local representative to Parliament.


The new campus, made possible by donations to a multi-year, global capital campaign, will allow Ashesi to grow enrollment by 50% in the next three years and will create a stable base for future growth. Located outside of Accra, in Berekuso, the first phase of the new campus will include a complete library, three computer labs, administrative and faculty offices, two classroom buildings and dormitories (Click here to view the plans for the new campus). A global community of donors, primarily from the US and Africa, have contributed $3.3 million so far for the campus construction. Ken Ofori-Atta, Executive Chairman of Databank Group in Ghana and an Ashesi donor said, “We believe [Ashesi] is an outstanding institution that is helping to educate a new generation of leaders for our country…The curriculum not only provides skills but also helps shape the character of its graduates, stressing integrity, humility, service and most significantly, citizenhood. Ashesi students that I have hired at Databank have stood out as leaders and proven themselves to be inquiring, innovative and valuable assets in the growth of our investment company.”



Groundbreaking plaqueThe International Finance Corporation (IFC), the private investment arm of the World Bank, has invested 2.5 million in the campus project. Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education, said of their investment in Ashesi, “We are pleased to work with a partner who is committed to creating a center for educational excellence and is positioned to make a significant impact on Ghana’s educational system by training future business and government leaders.”

The combined total of private donations and the IFC investment bring Ashesi to 93% of the $6.4 million cost of construction. Ashesi University Foundation, a U.S. based 501(c)3 organization dedicated to supporting Ashesi University College, is on track to raise the remaining $428,000. Because tuition, from those students who can afford to pay, funds operating expenses of the university, donations to Ashesi are used to fund scholarships and expansion such as the capital campaign.

Donors typically identify Ashesi as a way to jump-start locally led progress. Paul Maritz, Chairman of the Board of the Grameen Foundation (microfinance), notes that: “Ashesi is a uniquely African institution that empowers bright, ambitious African youths to think for themselves and prepares them to develop their own solutions to their continent’s challenges. Ashesi is thus both a strategic and highly leveraged way to provide support.”

Click here to read the full address given by Ashesi Founder and President, Patrick Awuah.

Honored guests at the ceremony included:

* Chief of Berekuso: Nana Oteng Korankye II

* Ghanaian Minister of Education: Alex Tetteh Enyo

* U.S. Ambassador to Ghana: Donald Tetelbaum

* Local Representative to the Ghanaian Parliament: O.B. Omoah

* CEO Databank: Ken Ofori-Atta

* Senior Investment Officer, IFC: Kyle Kelhofer