IFC Support to Ashesi will Increase Access to Higher Education in Ghana

Washington, D.C., July 7, 2009 IFC’s support to a liberal arts college in Ghana is providing an enriching educational environment to build the next generation of African leaders. Started in 2002 by Patrick Awuah, a native Ghanaian, Ashesi University College will expand its operations, thanks to an IFC loan.

Ashesi will use IFC’s $2.5 million financing to construct a permanent campus in Berekuso, a village approximately 15 miles north of Accra. The new campus will include an academic courtyard with classrooms, an auditorium, a library, a cafeteria, and a dormitory building.

The college offers courses in computer science, management information systems, and business administration. It will provide increased access to a high-quality affordable education for students in the country and the region.

“IFC’s support will enable Ashesi to provide an enriching educational environment and help build the next generation of African leaders,” said Dr. Patrick Awuah, Founder and President of Ashesi University. Awuah returned to Ghana to establish Ashesi University College after a successful career in the U.S. software industry.

Ashesi has a diverse student body and offers financial aid to about 45 percent of its students. Of the total student population, 10 percent are from low-income homes and 4 percent come from backgrounds of extreme poverty. The college, which has about 400 students, expects to double its capacity to 800.

With permanent buildings, the college may offer science and engineering degrees, expanding beyond its current focus on business, management, and computer science.

The graduating classes have so far had a 100 percent placement rate with most graduates either remaining in Africa or starting companies that are hiring Ashesi alumni.

“This project demonstrates IFC’s commitment to expanding access to higher education in Ghana and across Africa,” said Guy Ellena, IFC Director for Health and Education.

By developing social infrastructure, increasing access to high-quality tertiary education, and training future business and government leaders, Ashesi University College is positioned to have a significant impact – down the road – on Africa’s education system.

Contributed by:

Ludi Joseph
Communications Practice Group
Health and Education Department
Phone: 202-473-7700