Today we visited Ashesi University, which is a private, liberal arts school in Ghana that was founded in 2002. The beautiful beautiful beautiful facility we visited was almost brand new and built in 2009. The school has degrees in Business Administration, Computer Science and Arts and Sciences, but overall has a main focus on a better future for Africa. We got to meet staff and students, and together, we listened to a lecture by one of the economics professors there titled "Perspectives of Development". From there we broke up into groups and had a very interesting and intellectual discussion about the "bottlenecks" or barricades of Ghana's development. In my group, which was made up of two Ashesi students and four University of Washington students, we came up with: a lack of education, no market variety, no electricity, not enough clean water, hardly any job opportunities, no addresses or street names, government dominance as well as a lack of public transportation as well as sanitation and a lack of good health. We also touched on how if someone wanted to start a business but did not have enough money, they could take out a loan, however, in Ghana the loan interest is 28% or more, which is extremely high! Then in our group we had to to try and figure out which one of these things was most important and we had a good discussion with that question alone. In the end we came up with the fact that without education, we would have a much more difficult time getting a job. We also said that without electricity, it is hard to get an education. The students told us that even at their nice facility, class was repeatedly
A member of my group and I.
disrupted with power outages. And lastly we pointed out, if the children and parents aren't healthy, then they can't attend school and/or need help working. So overall many of these things have equal importance. One of the questions asked about a blockade that was self inflicted. Us UW students were not sure, but our friends said that one thing that is so is nepotism. They said that it is hard here, because so many people are under the responsibility and care of one person. So if that person has a connection with say, a University or a job opportunity for example, than that person is expected to get all able members of the family into it. The last thing we talked was recommendations for what could be done about these barricades-the number one answer was that the government just needs to step up and take care of its people! Because as of right now, they are failing to do their job.
The Beautiful Ashesi School
Overall, this experience was amazing. It was was an honor and a pleasure to be able to meet and have discussion with the Asheshi students and being able to learn from each other. We are from different country's, different continents, but we are really the same. We have worked hard to get to a higher level of education, we are bright and thoughtful, we are in school because we want to build or continue a legacy of success in our families, get good jobs, and overall, make our world a better place.