Patrick Awuah

Patrick Awuah

A Ghanaian millionaire has ditched a highly lucrative role at Microsoft to help create the next generation of leaders in Africa, it has been reported.

Patrick Awuah is the founder of Ashesi University in Ghana which is known for its high-tech facilities and strong emphasis on business, technology and leadership.

He pumped millions of his own money into the venture and with the help of other donors he founded Ashesi University.

The name of the liberal arts college means “beginnings” in Twi, the widely spoken language of the West African country.
When the university first opened in 2001 it had 30 students – and now it has ballooned to over 500.

Inspired by his own opportunities and success, Awuah explained his passion for helping those who are in a less fortunate position.

He told CNN: “Africa needs to have a renaissance. The world needs to change in this way and I strongly believe that people like me who have had the privilege of a great education need to be part of the solution.

“I need to be really actively involved in helping to drive this change in Africa so that 30, 50 years from now, the world will be a different place for all people of African descent in the world.”

The university is about an hour’s drive from the country’s capital Accra and offers degrees in business, information systems and computer science. It also promotes economic diversity within the campus.

About a quarter of the students received scholarships to help fund their education, while a further 25 per cent are on partial scholarships.

Awuah commented that although moving to Ghana with his family was a tough decision, it was also the right one.
In his interview with CNN he added: “In this country, only five per cent of college-age kids go to college. And there’s two problems with that number: one is it’s too small, but the second is that everyone who goes to college by definition is going to be running this country one day – they’re going to be running the courts, designing roads, buildings and infrastructure, they’re going to be running the hospitals, the schools, the businesses.

“So when I look at universities I see Africa fast-forward 30 years. When this 20-year-old is now in his or her 50s, that person is going to be a leader. And so I felt that engaging how that leadership, that future leadership core, is educated could be catalytic.”

Awuah’s ventures has earned him many awards and he has met many dignitaries, including former U.S. president Jimmy Carter.

He not only oversees the running of the university, but he will also often talk with the students on a one-on-one basis.

He said his goal was to help inspire Africa’s next generation of leaders to transform the continent in an intelligent and ethical way.

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