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News from 2006
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First female student government President: Yawa Osebreh
, 2006

On December 15th, 2006 Ms. Yawa Osebreh became the first female President of the Ashesi Student Council (ASC), and the first lady president of a university student government in Ghana's history. In her own words, “The role of the Ashesi Student Council is to instill the principles of scholarship, leadership and citizenship in all members of the Ashesi Community. We are a community of men and women with a passion to change Africa in our own small ways. The knowledge that we are the creator of our own worlds is our guiding principle.”

Yawa joined the Ashesi community because of its vision.  Born and raised in a foreign land, Yawa describes herself before Ashesi as a “woman who was without a country.” “I lived with a void for many years knowing I came from a place worth remembering yet had just an idea of this mystery called “Africa.”  Ashesi provided me with answers.  Ashesi has given me an education that greatly challenged the assumptions I held as an African growing up in America. Today, I know exactly what I need to do to fill that void.”

During her secondary school years Yawa was the recipient of several awards for proficiency, sportsmanship and club management. At Ashesi, she has been on the  Dean’s list and won a scholarship to study abroad in Rome. Yawa’s achievement as the first female President of a student government group affirms she is a trailblazer in student governance in Ghana.

Ashesi career fair attracts top companies in Ghana
November, 2006

Ashesi University held its first ever Career Fair on Saturday 4th November at their campus on 2nd Norla, Labone. In attendance were Ecobank, Barclays, Newmont Ghana, PriceWaterHouseCoopers, Ernst & Young, CDH Insurance, Rancard Solutions, Land Tours, Nestlé, Origin8 Saatchi & Saatchi, Explainer DC, Busy Internet, Combert Impressions, Life Link, Alisa Hotel and Business & Financial Times. The event was held courtesy of the University’s Career Services Center.

“We at Ashesi believe in giving our students ‘post university care’--it is our way of bridging the gap between the corporate world and the school environment," said the University’s Career Services Director, Ms. Lebene Ledi. “Career Services is about enabling our students to make a successful transition from school to work,” Ms. Ledi said.

The presence of these 16 companies was instrumental in assisting the university to give students concrete tools to use in the workplace by providing them with appropriate guidelines relevant to their area of study. These guidelines were carefully outlined in individual half hour Power Point presentations made by nine of the participating companies. Topics discussed included the recruitment process and manager trainee programmes. Company representatives also had the chance to interact with students and answer questions. Students were happy about openness of the representatives.

“Not only did the career fair help me to understand the business objectives and the aims of some of the biggest companies in Ghana but it also provided me with key contacts in the business world and an exciting day out,” says Kwabena Owusu-Adjei, a freshman.

Company representatives were equally happy with the interaction and turnout of the students, as the venue was buzzing with over ninety percent of the student population participating.

“The students of Ashesi have an incredible edge over their friends in other universities and this fair greatly attests to it,” Rolland Djan Jr., the HR Manager of Ecobank.

Highlights of the fair included appearances of Alumni from the previous graduating class who were happy to share their working experience with current students. Also featuring at the event was a CV Clinic run by faculty members, Dr. Suzanne Buchele and Janice Litchman. Several students took advantage of this and came away from the sessions brandishing a revised CV that better advertised their backgrounds and abilities, as well as informative brochures on how to make this process easier in the future.

By the end of the day no one left empty handed.  Students went home knowing more about the background of participating companies and how they could utilize their education to efficiently contribute to the workforce. Each company left with a CV portfolio from the graduating Class of 2006 and a better understanding of what to expect from students that complete an Ashesi education.

“This has been a mutual learning experience and a totally enlightening one. We expect a lot from our friends here at Ashesi because they understand what it takes to succeed,” said Comfort Ocran, of Combert Impressions.

Faculty Profile: Dr. Andres Gramajo
November, 2006

Dr Andres M. Gramajo is a visiting lecturer at Ashesi University who is teaching Economic Development and Macroeconomics. Andres is from Guatemala and is in Africa for his second time. He visited Botswana on a two-month research program in 2004.

Having been to Botswana he knew what to expect in Ghana, but he states that Ghana surprised him in two ways: it was hotter than expected and the friendliness of the people was a culture shock to him. “I am still recovering from this shock,” he says.

Dr. Gramajo earned his undergraduate degree in Economics at Fransisco Maroquin University in Guatemala.  After graduation, he worked as a credit analyst in a Guatemalan bank. He received his PhD in Economics at George Mason University in Virginia, USA. During his studies Dr. Gramajo conducted research on rural development in the Dominican Republic and Colombia.

Dr. Gramajo first heard about Ashesi while doing research in Colombia, where in an internet café he read a National Public Radio article about Ashesi.  He thought: “it would be nice to be part Patrick’s project.”  He sees a lot of economic and social potential in Ghana, “this is probably the country with most potential in Sub-Saharan Africa, given its geographic position and political stability,” he claims.

Dr. Gramajo’s mission at Ashesi is to motivate students and create curiosity about Africa’s problems using examples from other countries around the world. Asked what he feels he has brought to Ashesi, he replies, “knowledge of economics, education.”  He plans to share his experiences with the students at Ashesi and to show them how others [outside Africa] see the world.

His favourite past times include watching independent movies, playing chess, running, reading, and hanging out with friends.

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