Tuesday, 30 August 2011

BEREKUSO NI. ASHESI NI. GHANA NI.


Mist bathed campus
I was at Berekuso last Saturday. My mission was to attend the formal ribbon-cutting for Ashesi University’s freshly minted gleaming campus perched strategically broodingly atop one of Berekuso’s numerous hills. The atmosphere was pregnant with tones of expectations for Ghana ’s future and Africa’s tomorrow. The guests came from all over the world and included rightly the vice-president of the Republic of Ghana Mr. John Mahama(he looked dapper and natty in that suit; I wish he would appear often like that!). It seemed as if Nature itself had to also make her presence felt: the campus was bathed in floating gossamer-like mists while a lazy, light drizzle let loose now and then as the tightly cheorographed ceremony unfolded.
Guests take a tour of the Ashesi Campus
If in very recent memory in this our Republic a temple has been erected for Knowledge, Reason, Wisdom and Selfless Service this is it without dispute. Over $5million was literally given to Ghanaian architects and contractors to essentially play with and the result is this potent testament in brick, stone, steel and mortar to African genius which marries in titillating spatial artistry the traditional and modern in Ablade Gloverian finesse or better still El Anatsuian harmony. Who said Ghanaian genius has gone to sleep forever? Ashesi’s new campus is a fitting riposte to this view that even our leaders(politicos especially) have come to believe in. And if leadership -selfless, focused, strategic, futuristic, empathetic, intense, ethical, transformative and relentless - matters in unleashing the best Ghana and Africa can be Ashesi’s campus embodies this. Anguished by the threats to his country’s brain power base and with it the undermining of responsible leadership of her educated classes, Patrick Awuah(Ashesi’s founder and president) went to work with virtually nothing but his own savings and that of his wife Rebecca(an American). Enduring many travails including naysayers, doubters and mockers Patrick persevered and endured and fought on as he helmed his team(with the able support of friends and people of goodwill reflecting the best of the human spirit) to this significant juncture. But dreams must find fertile grounds; the Chief of Berekuso Odeefo Nana Oteng Korankye provided it. Nana Korankye abandoned a lucrative real estate project for the Ashesi dream. Who said chieftancy was an anachronism; a spent ancient institution content in eking out a parasitic, unproductive existence century after century and obfuscating our journey to our reasoned, chosen modernity? In Ashesi’s campus that view is concretely contested.
Patrick Awuah was thinking about tomorrow not himself. Nana ditto. So were all those who have labored and toiled and battled to raise this inspiring sign-post to Gha na’s greatness tomorrow via today. The World Bank through the International Financial Corporation chipped in some heavy resources too for this project. Our politicos are embroiled currently in a shouting match over the STX and $3billion loan from China. Rightly there must be value for money when we contract such loans and transparency in the terms of the contracts. But in the long run it is selfless leadership marinated in palpable integrity which will ensure that these loans transform our Republic. That is the greatest test. Loans must be paid back on time and used for the express purpose for which they were sought for ( in the interest of our people and our Republic). Ashesi’s new campus tells a profound story. May we all learn. Berekuso ni. Ashesi ni. Ghana ni. Africa ni.

PS: It is a cringing shame the way Prof. Frimpong Boateng has been treated. He should have left Korle-Bu on the wings of a great send off party drenched hopelessly in the choicest champagne. He embodies Ghanaian genius at its finest without a doubt.

(Lloyd G.Adu Amoah is an assistant professor at Ashesi University and the executive director at Strategy3, a strategy and public policy research and advocacy think-pad based in Accra.)

2 comments:

  1. Lovely....
    Well done to Patrick and to patriots like yourself who have believed in the dream of transforming Africa, one student at a time.

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  2. Thanks mate!!!! It is on!!!!

    ReplyDelete