The founding father of a college faculty in Ghana and campaigner to lift the standard of upper schooling in Africa has received a significant international schooling award.
Patrick Awuah left Ghana within the 1980s with “$50 in his pocket” to take up a scholarship within the US.
However after a profession with Microsoft, he returned to discovered Ashesi College Faculty, and has now received the Clever Prize, value $500,000 (£380,000).
Mr Awuah mentioned there was an “pressing want” to enhance schooling in Africa.
The prize, awarded on the World Innovation Summit for Schooling within the Gulf state of Qatar, was in recognition of Mr Awuah’s work as founding father of Ashesi College Faculty.
The non-public, not-for-profit faculty was supposed to assist develop a brand new technology of leaders for Ghana and different African international locations.
After working and learning within the US, Mr Awuah had determined to create a college in his personal nation to fill what he noticed as a spot in establishments which had an “moral mindset”.
Ashesi opened with 30 college students in 2002 and is now educating about 800 college students on a campus outdoors Accra.
Mr Awuah mentioned that the college offered a “broader perspective” than merely learning for a qualification for a job.
“We began with the concept of moral leaders and entrepreneurial leaders.”
College students had been inspired “to ponder the large questions on what sort of nation we would like”.
About half of the college’s consumption of scholars are on scholarships, half are ladies and so they come from 18 African international locations. All college students have to check ethics and entrepreneurship and should carry out some group service.
Mr Awuah informed the BBC he needed to see extra collaboration to lift requirements in African universities.
“What we’re attempting to realize is a community of high-quality establishments in Africa – and to be extra intentional about educating future leaders.
“Not simply political leaders, however judges, medical doctors and lecturers – the individuals who will affect different folks.”
There was additionally a necessity for extra funding in greater schooling, he mentioned.
“If we’re to carry the continent up, we have to educate nice scientists and engineers.
“We have to hyperlink with different universities around the globe.”
Worldwide schooling targets, corresponding to within the millennium improvement targets, tended to give attention to tackling the gaps in main and secondary schooling in sub-Saharan Africa, reasonably than college degree.
And there have been warnings of a scarcity of funding within the college sector in Africa.
In the latest QS World College Rankings, there have been solely 5 universities from Africa within the prime 500, with three in South Africa and two in Egypt.
“This can be a essential second for Africa. At the moment, one out of six folks on Earth lives in Africa, and that is set to rise to 1 in 4 by 2050. We urgently want to spice up the schooling system in Africa,” mentioned Mr Awuah.
The prize was introduced on the Clever schooling summit in Doha by Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, chairwoman of the Qatar Basis.
Earlier winners have included Sakena Yacoobi, for her work defending schooling in battle zones in Afghanistan; Ann Cotton for supporting schooling for women in Africa and Vicky Colbert, for offering schooling for deprived communities in Colombia.
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