Patrick Awuah left Ghana as a teenager to attend Swarthmore College in the United States, then stayed on to build a career at Microsoft in Seattle. In returning to his home country, he has made a commitment to educating young people in critical thinking and ethical service, values he believes are crucial for the nation-building that lies ahead.
Founded in 2002, his Ashesi University is already charting a new course in African education, with its high-tech facilities, innovative academic program and emphasis on leadership. It seems more than fitting that ashesi means "beginning" in Akan, one of Ghana's native languages.
Patrikc Awuah is an alumnus of the TED Fellows program, having attended TEDGlobal 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania, and TED2009 in Long Beach, California
Judith Aidoo is a private investor (Caswell Capital Partners, LLC) and media and entertainment entrepreneur (Caswell Communications, Inc.) with holdings in radio broadcasting; television syndication; publishing; and feature film and theater production.
Judith began her career as an investment banker in 1987 with Goldman, Sachs & Co., where she specialized in structured finance. Upon leaving Goldman in 1991, she started her own firm to both advise and invest in technology; telecommunications and media; and financial services. She has co-managed a hedge fund with over $200 million in broadcast and entertainment assets.
Ms. Aidoo has been honored for her business accomplishments and philanthropy as a board member of the following institutions: co-chair of Harvard Law School’s Class of 1987 20th Reunion Committee; WNYC, the City of New York's public radio station group chaired at the time by Mrs. Billie Tisch; President Clinton's Transition Team, responsible for covering the Federal Reserve System of the US, and as a member of his U.S. Trade Advisory Committee chaired by the US Trade Representative at the time, Ms. Charlene Barshefsky; the US-South Africa Business Development Committee co-chaired by the US Secretaries of Commerce Brown and Daley; the Constituency for Africa; and the 2001 class of Henry Crown Fellows at the Aspen Institute which emphasizes values-based leadership in business. Most recently, Judith was nominated by her peers to the Governing Council of the Ghana Stock Exchange until 2004.
Ms. Aidoo is also a founding member of the African Women's Development Fund; the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences at Rutgers University's Advisory Board; and an investor and Chief Executive Officer of Capital Alliance Co., a boutique merchant bank; Caswell Communications, Inc., the operator of WPAL-FM, and one time owner and joint operator of WZJY 1480 AM, both in Charleston, SC.
Judith graduated Phi Beta Kappa and with high honors from Rutgers College in 1984 and from Harvard Law School in 1987. She has been a television contributor for MSNBC and CNN, and has been profiled and quoted in major business publications on investment matters including the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, the Financial Times and Black Enterprise.
Atukwei Okai was born and educated in Ghana before traveling to Moscow where he obtained his M.A. (Litt.) from the Gorky Literary Institute in 1967. After returning to Ghana for a year, he was awarded a post-graduate scholarship from the University of Ghana to pursue his Master of Philosophy degree at the University of London. In 1968 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (U.K.) and from 1971 to 1991 he served as President of the Ghana Association of Writers. In 1989 he was elected the first Secretary-General of the Pan-African Writers' Association (PAWA) a position which he still holds today. Okai lectured in Russian literature at the University of Ghana from 1971 to 1984 when he joined the Institute of African Studies as a Senior Research Fellow in African Literature. He is presently the Head of Language, Literature and Drama Unit of the Institute. The Entertainment Critics and Reviewers Association of Ghana acknowledged his pioneering role in PAWA by presenting him in 1991 with their highest award, the Flagstar, which marked the first time in the 15-year history of ECRAG that the Flagstar award has gone to a writer. Okai's poems have been published in numerous anthologies and international journals such as The New African Okyeame, The New American Review, The Atlantic Monthly, Black World, and Literary Cavalcade, and have been translated into several languages. He has also performed his poems for radio, television and to live audiences in Africa, Europe, Canada, Australia, Russia, Japan and Vietnam. Okai has received 13 national and international awards, among them The President of the Republic of Ghana's Special Prize in 1960, the Iqbal Centenary Commemorative Gold Medal by the Government of Pakistan in 1979, and the International Lotus Prize and Gold Medal awarded in 1980 by the National Council for Research in Italy.
Dr. Amos Anyimadu is a Political Scientist. He holds a Ph.D. in Political Theory and Institutions from Flinders University and B.A. (First Class) in Political Science with Sociology from the University of Ghana. He has been studying policy processes in Developing Countries and the epistemology of science for some time now. He is a Lecturer at the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana. He is also a Scientific Coordinator of the Technology Assessment Project, University of Ghana and Technical University of Denmark (http://TapLegon.cti.dtu.dk); Convenor of AfricaTalks.org (www.AfricaTalks.org); Founding and current List Editor of H-Afrpol. the H-Net (www.h-net.msu.edu) and, in an adjunct capacity, Associate Director of African Security Dialogue and Research www.AfricanSecurity.org).
Lloyd Amoah earned his PhD at the prestigious Wuhan University School of Political Science and Public Management, China. His research interests are focused on areas like China and South-East Asia Affairs, Public Policy Analysis, e-governance, Government/Corporate Strategy, Postmodern Public Administration/Policy and Public Sector Reform. Lloyd currently lectures at Ashesi University College, Accra, Ghana.
Lloyd's work has appeared in international journals like the Journal of African Affairs and the Ghana Policy Journal. He writes regularly for BBC's flagship magazine on Africa, Focus on Africa magazine and the West and Southern African editions of Patrick Smith's (Africa Confidential), the Africa Report. He has written several feature articles and columns on public policy and international affairs for leading Ghanaian and international publications and has been interviewed on the British Broadcasting Corporation(BBC) and other radio and television stations in Ghana as well . He wrote the weekly column "Asia 601" on Asia ?Africa relations (arguably the first column of such nature in Ghana's history) for the nationally circulated Graphic Business paper. He is at present working on a couple of book projects. He has presented papers at both local and international conferences.
Estelle is the Ghana Country Director of Google. She is a highly motivated individual, committed to the social and economic development of Ghana. She used to be the Managing Director of Busy Internet, Africa's hugely successful internet startup. Highlights of her leadership there include launching an ISP which went on to be awarded ISP of the year 2008, winning a World Bank Incubator SME program grant, etc.
In 2008, Estelle was awarded Top African ICT Business Woman by the Forge Ahead African ICT Achievers Award Program in South Africa. From her twelve years work experience in Ghana, Estelle has a broad understanding of local conditions, politics, social dynamics and the ICT community.
Estelle is a highly motivated individual, committed to the social and economic development of Ghana. She used to be the Managing Director of Busy Internet, Africa's hugely successful internet startup. Highlights of her leadership there include launching an ISP which went on to be awarded ISP of the year 2008, winning a World Bank Incubator SME program grant, etc. In 2008, Estelle was awarded Top African ICT Business Woman by the Forge Ahead African ICT Achievers Award Program in South Africa. From her twelve years work experience in Ghana, Estelle has a broad understanding of local conditions, politics, social dynamics and the ICT community.
Dorothy K. Gordon is the Director-General of Ghana's Advanced Information Technology Institute (AITI-KACE). She leads a team committed to using the opportunities that exist within the global innovation economy to bring about accelerated development in Africa. AITI provides globally benchmarked IT training; works to create the right environment to stimulate context-responsive ICT R&D and provides consulting services to support clients in achieving global quality standards. A strong network of global partnerships and local networks support AITI's work in diverse areas ranging from digital inclusion projects at the community level through to climate-modelling using high-performance computing resources.
Her work as a specialist in international development spans over 20 years with increasing leadership and management responsibilities. Her extensive experience within the United Nations is complemented by work in the private sector and with civil society organisations globally. She is Chair of the Commission on E-Government for the World IT Forum (WITFOR), President of the Ipv6 Forum Ghana, Africa Spokesperson for the World Summit Awards, Director,UNESCO International Institute for Capacity Building in Africa (IICBA) as well as a member of the Champions network of the UNGAID - UN Global Alliance on ICT for Development.
The present direction of her work relates to how best ICT can be owned by developing countries. Capacity- building must set a sound foundation for innovation and cutting-edge research both to improve overall competitiveness as well as identify solutions for survival. She holds degrees from the University of Ghana and the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) of the University of Sussex, UK.