TEDGlobal 2007: Session 12: Patrick Awuah

Patrick AwuahPatrick Awuah left Microsoft to found Asheshi University. The questions of transformation in Africa is a question of leadership. He gives a shocking example of two incidents at a hospital when they lost power. Learned about courage when stopped at age 16 and stopped by soldiers who wanted him to join some protesters. He found it’s helpful to think about girls, basically taken the anxiety of the moment away for him at the time. He won a scholarship to attend Swarthmore College. The ability to create is the most empowering thing that can help an individual. While he worked at Microsoft the revenue of the company group grew larger than the GDP of Ghana.

Three major problems were identified when he came back to Ghana and interviewed many people to find out the root causes. What was identified is corruption, weak institutions and leadership. A sense of entitlement was found in graduates. He wishes there was a liberal arts university in every African country, they would make a huge difference. A month after launching he received and email from a student, “I am thinking now.” Another student asked “Can we create a perfect society?” after they were issued a challenge to come up with their own honour codes. This has lead to a vigorous debate among the students on campus. For the first in the history of Ghana, a woman was elected to be president of student body. This is real hope.

A 100% of the student have been placed after two graduations. Excellent feedback is pouring in from corporate Ghana and corporate West Africa.

This project reminds me of the impact of the CIDA City Campus university in South Africa. I really think Teddy Blacher, founder of CIDA should have been invited to speak or at least attend TEDGlobal.

 

Author: RJ Thomas

RJ Thomas is an International Relationship Builder. He was born in South Africa, and moved to China in 2013.