Patrick Gyimah Awuah

Organization: 
Ashesi University College
Country: 
Ghana
Website: 

Ashesi’s mission is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform their continent.

Focus: Education
Geographic Area of Impact: Ghana
Model: Leveraged Non-Profit
Number of Direct Beneficiaries:1,160
Annual Budget: USD $3 million (2013)
Percentage Earned Revenue: 61%

Background
Ashesi was founded to address Africa’s biggest roadblocks to progress: the need for ethical leadership and innovative thinking. Only 5% of sub-Saharan Africans attend college –this 5% will be Africa’s future leaders in the business, government, and NGO sectors. Traditional African universities, that often have huge lecture classes and emphasize narrow subject mastery and memorization, have failed to nurture the kinds of leaders who can build a brighter future. To change the Africa of tomorrow, Africa must educate this 5% differently, with a completely new curriculum that fosters ethics and innovative thinking.

Innovation and Activities
Ashesi aims to make a significant contribution towards a renaissance in Africa by educating a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders. Ashesi's innovative curriculum, unique in Africa, combines a liberal arts core, cutting-edge majors in business, computer science, and MIS, and a 4-year focus on leadership development and community service.
The core curriculum nurtures ethics, instills a can-do problem solving attitude, and cultivates critical thinking skills within students. Ashesi students learn to innovate and to persist in developing creative solutions to Africa’s most pressing needs. Women make up 50% of the student body, and 40% of students receive need-based financial aid.

Every year, over 100% of Ashesi graduates are placed in jobs or graduate programs within three months of graduation, and 95% stay to work for progress in Africa. Graduates work for efficiency, transparency, and innovation in microfinance, technology, banking, NGO’s and other areas. They improve the lives of fellow citizens and help grown Africa’s economy.

The Entrepreneur
Before founding Ashesi, Patrick worked as a Program Manager for Microsoft Corporation. He holds bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics from Swarthmore College, and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. Patrick is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative of the Aspen Global Leadership Network and a member of the USAID’s Advisory Committee on Voluntary Foreign Aid. He has received the Millennium Excellence Award for Educational Development and been named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company magazine.