Led by Ghana’s Vice President, Ashesi launches new Engineering program

Ashesi_Engineering_InaugurationOctober 5, 2015
On Saturday, October 3rd, Ashesi celebrated the launch of its new Engineering program and inaugurated its new Engineering building. The ceremony marked a significant milestone for Ashesi, with Engineering being the biggest addition to our academic programmes since 2005. Guests of Honour included the Vice-President of Ghana, His Excellency Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, former U.S NASA Astronaut Dr. Robert Satcher, the Vice Chancellor of University of Mines & Technology, Professor Jerry Kuma and Nananom of the Akuapim Traditional Area. Over five hundred guests were present at the launch, including staff, faculty, students, alumni, parents and donors to the Engineering programme.

Ashesi’s new engineering majors – Computer Engineering, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering – will place emphasis on hands-on learning, entrepreneurship, design and problem solving, and will equip students with skills to create long-term solutions to Africa’s engineering challenges and deploy better-designed infrastructure for local needs.

“Our progress has been steady, and our determination unwavering,” said Ashesi President Dr. Patrick Awuah. “Choosing to start an Engineering programme, was the next best step we believed we could take, because we could see in a strong way, how engineers influence the world we live in. […] At its best, engineering encompasses the application of mathematics, science, design, psychology and economics. It touches all facets of modern human life. Agriculture, healthcare and education. The products that engineers make are all around us, in our homes and in the places we work.

If we really want to transform agriculture in Africa, then we must care about engineering. If we really want to improve healthcare we must care about engineering. If we want to enable private sector growth by building the enabling infrastructure, then we must care about engineering. If we want to drive economic growth through industrialization, we must care about engineering.”

Started in 2013, Ashesi’s Engineering project was funded by $6.2 million in philanthropy from donors worldwide, and will see Ashesi’s enrollment increase to some 1,000 students over the next four years. The new engineering building houses classrooms and labs designed for in-depth, hands-on learning. Uniting traditional design by local architects, world-class technology, and environmental best practices, this new building complements the existing architecture of Ashesi’s campus.

Reading his address, the Vice President of Ghana, H.E Kwesi Amissah-Arthur, explained that, “This remarkable engineering facility we see here today marks the beginning of a new chapter in the life of this institution whose history of academic excellence and of producing great thinkers is well-documented. […] Everywhere I go, I hear stories of Ashesi graduates who are making a real difference in our country. I am thankful that these trademark Ashesi qualities will now be imbued in engineering graduates as well.”

Commenting on the timing of Ashesi’s Engineering programme launch, Guest Speaker and former U.S Astronaut, Dr. Robert Satcher, added that “the vision of this young but promising university: namely producing engineering graduates that will help create a new era of progress in African industry and infrastructure, is timely and admirable. […] Indeed, the future is bright, because you are providing a solution to an age-old problem—namely, providing an opportunity where it is most needed and has historically been unavailable; because In the 21st century, capable, reliable, and transparent institutions are the key to success. History is on the side of those who are brave and just. Africa doesn’t need more dictators and strongmen, it needs strong institutions, like Ashesi University, to be successful in the 21st century.”

Developed over two-and-a-half years, Ashesi’s Engineering curriculum is the result of a collaborative process between Ashesi and several top Engineering schools and stakeholders across the world. The programme, authorized by the National Accreditation Board in July of 2015, will be led by experienced Ghanaian Engineer Dr. Fred McBagonluri and affiliated with the University of Mines and Technology in Tarkwa, Ghana.

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