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News from 2010
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Peer educators participate in Family Health International HIV/AIDS training
March, 2010

Family Health International (FHI) is a leading global health and development organization and has received a global fund award to implement HIV prevention activities in selected tertiary institutions in Ghana. The objective of this special project is to train 350 HIV/AIDS Peer Educators nationwide.

Ashesi University is the first tertiary institution in Ghana to participate in the intensive three-day residential workshop  organized in collaboration with  the University Health Centre  at the Oak Plaza hotel between the 15th March and 17th March 2010. In all, twenty-four selected Ashesi students, including several faculty and staff members were trained. Participants were given useful information on the basic facts of HIV that they will share with the Ashesi Community during planned outreach sessions scheduled to take place post-training.

The HIV/AIDS Peer Educators benefitted immensely from the training. One of the participants, Gucci Ben Boateng, Class of 2013 said, “I personally feel it was a very intriguing experience which provided me with a very candid perspective of reality.  As, humans we are very vulnerable to chaotic situations which can ransom our lives forever.  This training taught me how we can avoid these dangerous situations.” Indeed, participants were taught to go beyond their comfort zone and to speak openly about misconceptions associated with HIV/AIDS and more importantly, the prevention of HIV infection.

Ashesi peer educators are poised to deliver HIV/AIDS information to the school community. Student peer educators have already been chosen and are excited to bring this free service to the community.

Career fair prepares students for the world of work
March, 2010

On Saturday the 13th of March 2010, the career services department of Ashesi University College organised a career fair under the theme, “Skills with Humility”. The programme lasted from 9am to 1pm and was attended by 34 companies, including CAL Bank, Meltwater Entrepreneurial School, United Bank of Africa, Serengeti Capital, MTN Ghana and Chase Petroleum. After opening remarks from Ashesi’s Assistant Director of Career Services, Mrs. Ophelia Sam, presentations were given by Mr. Elisee Sezan of General Electric Corporate (“The 21st Century Work Place: What it Takes to Succeed”), Mr. Rudolf Aryetey of Vodafone Ghana (“Making the Most of Student Life”) and Mrs. Vida Graham (“Careers in Banking”).

According to Joseph Amegatcher, a member of the graduating class, the companies that attended did a great job of interacting with the students, Rancard Solutions and Axis Human Capital in particular.

Freshman Nii Okai Nunoo appreciated the broad nature of the topics covered at the fair. “Though not much attention was given to freshmen when it came to internship positions, we were all given an equal opportunity to broaden our scope on career opportunities,” he said.

The event also included a quiz on career-related issues with prizes going to the top performing students. Attendees were tested on topics such as the critical elements of a CV, how one should structure a cover letter and more. Mame Serwah Saifah (Class of 2012) was the lucky winner of the top prize: a three month internship with TiGO, a GHC300 stipend and a TiGO phone loaded with GHC30 in credit. Consolation prizes comprised of Allure aromatherapy gift vouchers, an Allure Man smoothie package and a GHC200 cash prize from Chase Petroleum were won by 2nd and 3rd prize winners Adeyemi Temitope Adetuwo (Class of 2013) and Solomon Kwofie (Class of 2011).

Students enter competition to help build libraries
March, 2010

Four students from Ashesi’s Class of 2012 — Maame Abena Owusu-Acheaw, Diana Dayaka Osei, Isaac Bruce and Nana Yaw Nketiah — entered the Dell Social Innovation Competition with a plan to build a network of small libraries throughout Ghana.  The Dell Social Innovation Competition is a partnership between Dell and the University of Texas that gives university students all over the world the opportunity to attempt to solve a social problem of their choice. As part of the four-stage competition, the winning students will receive a cash prize of $50,000 to help them launch their idea.

Unfortunately too few children in Ghana today have the opportunity to read.  Books are not readily available in many communities and even in many schools. The Ashesi team's entry into the Dell Social Innovation Competition proposes to work with the Ghana Library Board to establish small, one-room libraries throughout the country.

Group members noted that as children each of them had benefitted tremendously from the opportunities which reading gave them to exercise their imaginations. The team feels that developing a reading culture in children gives them the opportunity to break boundaries and discover worlds beyond those they already know.

Ashesi students host Kaleidoscope, a festival of talents
March, 2010

On Friday March 26 , Ashesi students put on a talent show dubbed “Kaleidoscope” at Ashesi’s Building 3. The goal of the event was to raise GHC 5,000 for the Student Endowment Fund. The fund provides financial aid to students who are in good academic standing but lack the funds to pay full tuition. Tickets were sold at GHC 5 for students and GHC 10 for non-students.  Additional money was raised by auctioning off clothing a jewelry designed by Ashesi students.  The turnout, described as “impressive” by some attendees, was a mix of Ashesi students, alumni, staff, faculty, friends and supporters.  

Students Kwabena Owusu-Adjei '10 and Sandra Osei-Poku '11 served as the MCs for the evening and led the fundraising efforts. The climax of the evening was a collaborative red carpet showcase of outfits designed by Ashesi students, Angelina Addy, Adwoa Asiedu and Elorm Fiagbe. The designs were a colourful mix of African fabrics and contemporary Western styles. The hair, makeup and accessories were provided by Ashesi students. Alumnus, Nii Amon Dsane '05, remarked, “I’m really impressed by the organisation of the show. I don’t think I’ve seen this many people at any Ashesi student-organized event before.”

Admissions Officer, Anida Acquah '08, said her favourite “Kaleidoscope” moment was freshman Edem’s hip-hop performance, “Vim”.  Other highlights included a step performance by Justice, an exchange student and member of the Theta-Beta-Sigma fraternity in the United States; a choreographed salsa dance by five couples; the recital of a poem by Efia, a 2011 student; and the auction of an abstract painting on the show’s theme, “Kaleidoscope”.


Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim speaks about making a difference
March, 2010

During a lecture at Ashesi University College, Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim discussed the problem of under-development in Africa and challenged students to be part of the solution. He stated four steps or principles that will aid Africans in their quest to improve conditions on the continent. The first step is to know and understand the problem. He stated that the problems in Africa could not be solved without understanding what caused the problem to exist. Second, he believes that Africa needed to grow people to think outside the box. Dr. Pipim quoted a Chinese proverb that said “if you want one year of prosperity, grow grains; if you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees; and if you want 100 years of prosperity grow people”. Dr. Pipim argued that there was a need for Africa to invest in its human resource and improve education throughout the continent. Third, he said Africans should pursue excellence. He stated that the world will only listens to persons who have excelled. Africans should not settle for second best, but should always strive to be excellent. Finally, Dr. Pipim argued, “Do not underestimate the power of one, YOU.” He underlined the importance of individual people in brining about change. Concluding, he encouraged students not to underestimate their potential, saying that students could improve their societies now; there was no reason to wait until after school.

Dr. Samuel Koranteng Pipim, an African thinker, author, and speaker, was trained in engineering and systematic theology. Born and reared in Ghana, he currently resides in the USA where he directs a campus ministry, serving students, faculty, and staff at the University of Michigan. He has authored and co-authored more than fifteen books, three of which are best-sellers. His books Patience in the Midst of Trials and Afflictions, This Is Love and Not for Sale have been a blessing to thousands. His latest book is Healed Wounds, But Ugly Scars; it deals with choices and consequences.


Ashesi gets 'man to man'
March, 2010

In the month of February, the Ashesi community hosted a series of forums on relationships, communication and general self-conduct dubbed “Man to Man”. The discussions were an accompaniment to a similar session held last semester for female members of the community. The discussions were aimed at unearthing the challenges faced by males in relationships, such as dealing with verbal abuse from a partner or maintaining self-control in a heated discussion.  The discussions allowed students to discuss healthy solutions to dealing with these challenges.

The facilitators for the discussion included staff members Alex Inkoom and Eli Tetteh, as well as faculty members Andrew Nunekpeku and Anthony Essel-Anderson.  The students who participated expressed the general sentiment that the forum was helpful and worthwhile. One student who took part, Akwasi Amo-Addai, remarked that “It was really surprising the way [the faculty and staff] were relating to us that night. It made us able to open up and express ourselves better.”

The interactive discussions covered topics which some students were already familiar with. “I didn’t hear anything I hadn’t heard before but I was given a deeper insight on some of these things,” said Christopher Crabbe, a first year student. “I wouldn’t ever [hit a woman], but now I understand better why not.” Other students commended Ashesi’s administration for taking the initiative to organise such a program and expressed their desire that “Man to Man” would become a regular event on Ashesi’s calendar.

Campus Update: Construction begins at Berekuso
February, 2010

Construction on Ashesi's new campus in Berekuso is well underway, with construction companies working to complete excavation of the foundations for the new buildings.  Foundations are being dug several meters into the ground in order to make room for large water tanks that will be placed below many of the buildings.  The water tanks will allow Ashesi to harvest rainwater from the roof for use by our community.  When completed we will have the capacity to store over 3000 gallons of water on campus. Because of the rocky ground and depth of the foundations, heavy machinery has been brought in to help move the earth.

At a recent project team meeting, the leader of Ashesi's consulting team and lead architect, Ralph Sutherland stated, "I believe we are making good progress so far.  Construction contractors have been responsive and are on schedule to meet their deadlines."  Construction of Ashesi's academic courtyard, including administrative buildings, classrooms, computer labs and library is being undertaken by Kolatcon limited.  The new campus hostel facilities are being built by Krane construction limited.

Peter Carlos Okantey speaks about leadership
February, 2010

The President and Founder of NAPE Scholarship Scheme, Mr. Peter Carlos Okantey, devoted a few hours of his time to speak to some Ashesi students and faculty about the Importance of Followers in Leadership on Wednesday February 10th, 2010. He educated his audience on the five (5) major styles of leadership, the relationship between leaders and followers, and how to be an effective leader. His presentation was interactive and spurred lively discussions. 

Mr. Okantey used practical examples from Ashesi University and from his organization, the NAPE Foundation, to illustrate and emphasize his points on leadership. He revealed that the success of the Foundation was largely due to the support given to him by his committed team and followers. According to Mr. Okantey, in any endeavour, leaders contribute 20% while their followers, responsible for implementing the mission and vision, contribute 80%.

At the end of the event, the audience left with new knowledge of leadership and an appreciation for the significance of followers in an organization.

World Bank - IFC team visits Ashesi
February, 2010

Ashesi University students, faculty and administrators interacted with a team of World Bank and IFC officials at the university’s premises on Tuesday, February 9, 2010. The team that visited were led by Ishac Diwan, Country Director for Ghana, Guinea, Burkina Faso, Sierra Leone and Liberia; Mary-Jean Lindile Ndlovu, IFC Country Manager for sub-Saharan Africa and Kyle Kelhofer, Senior Investment Officer.

The team first met with administrators and faculty; where Ashesi’s President Awuah gave a brief overview of the university’s progress and plans for expansion. He outlined Ashesi’s focus on building an environmentally friendly campus with plans to harvest rain water, use building materials from the site, install biogas technology and the possibly of adapting solar energy technology. He said, "we are excited about Ashesi’s success so far and continue to imbibe in our students the importance of doing the right thing even when no one is watching; the basis of our examination honor code".

In early 2009, the IFC invested $2.5 million in Ashesi to enable the university begin the construction of a permanent campus in Berekuso, a village approximately 15 miles north of Accra. The first phase of construction will enable Ashesi to double its enrollment to 800 students. Ishac Diwan said, “Ashesi’s presence in Africa is a strategic one because Africa’s in dire need of leaders who are empathic, critical thinking and want to make a difference—the very core of the Ashesi mission”.

Kyle Kelhofer of the IFC, could not agree with him more, “we at the IFC chose to invest in Ashesi because of the university’s great business model, commercial viability and its developmental potential", he added.

The team later met with and a cross-section of student representatives for a question and answer session. Questions asked varied from the disbursement of Millennium Development Account funds; World Bank commitments; the structural adjustment programs of the 1980s; the situation in Haiti and the role of the International Development Association.

Mary-Jean Lindile Ndlovu reminded the students present about the quality of education Ashesi offers them and the importance of developing their critical thinking and communication skills if they are to be successful.                                    

Goldman Sachs continues to choose Ashesi students
January, 2010

This year, four of the five students selected from Ghana to participate in the Goldman Sachs, London spring internship programme are Ashesi students.  This will be the fifth year in a row that Ashesi students have won the opportunity to intern with one of the world’s largest investment banks—Goldman Sachs. The students were selected from hundreds of applicants who applied from universities across the nation.

The Ashesi students who were chosen this year are Efua Quaye, Nasiru Braimah, Nana Yaw Nketia and Derrick Crentsil, all second year students. This brings to twelve, the number of Ashesi students who have had the opportunity to intern with Goldman Sachs over the past few years.

The selected representatives from Ghana will join some of the world’s brightest students from across the globe at the Goldman Sachs offices in London. The   internship programme is designed to introduce excellent university students from around the world to the workings of a leading global investment, securities and investment management bank.

Olivia Morley, of Graduate Recruitment of Human Capital Management Division of Goldman Sachs had stated “we continue to be impressed with the calibre of students being nurtured by Ashesi University.”

Selected Ashesi student, Efua Quaye, was overjoyed to learn that she would be participating in the programme, “I believe the education I have received at Ashesi has prepared me to take advantage of a great opportunity! I am indeed excited!” 

Ashesi’s Founder and President, Patrick Awuah remarked, “It is very gratifying to see Goldman Sachs engaged in Africa and Ghana.  We are thrilled to see Ashesi students chosen to represent Ghana, and we are confident that the experience and networks that they gain at Goldman Sachs will be of enormous benefit to their career development and to Ghana’s economy.”

Ashesi students start campus recycling programme
January, 2010

On average, Ashesi uses approximately 8,750 sheets of paper per week. A survey conducted on campus indicated that almost all the paper used ends up being simply thrown away. What may not be so obvious to most students is that by wasting paper they are also wasting trees and impacting the environment. 

Some students of Ashesi University have recognised this as a major problem and have taken the initiative to start a recycling project. The scheme was launched on Monday the 30th of November and since then has been running on campus. Dubbed the Ghana Recycling Project, its aim is to develop recycling attitudes among Ghanaians, beginning with those in the Ashesi community. The project will start by recycling paper waste and, with the cooperation of Ghanaians and other sympathisers, there are plans to move on to plastic, glass and other recyclable items.

So far, it appears that others on the campus are buying into the concept of recycling. In an interview with one of the pioneers of the project, Kwabena Owusu-Adjei of Ashesi’s 2010 Class said “it broke my heart to see all that paper going to waste, knowing it could be reused”. In his opinion the effort required to sustain this project was a very small price to pay to save paper and trees in the long run. Another student, Deladem Ladson, also of 2010, felt similarly. “Seeing waste paper lying around is a sign of irresponsibility,” he said. “It makes the environment look unclean.” Expressing a sentiment which was shared by fellow project members Phillip Alimo and Derrick Darkwa, both of 2012, Deladem stated that he looked forward to an even greater response from the student body over time.

The students have enlisted the help of Super Paper Products Company Limited, a paper making firm, to assist them in the recycling exercise. The company pays 27 pesewas for each kilo of waste paper it collects. Members of the project were unanimous in their view that the exercise was not about money, however. Instead, they hope to make Ashesi University and, in the near future, Ghana as a whole, a better place by saving as many trees as possible. As more members of the Ashesi community begin making use of the new recycling bins placed around campus, this project is certain to receive the push it needs.

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