DOHA, QATAR– Patrick Awuah, Ph.D., founder and president of Ghana’s innovative Ashesi University, delivered a rousing address yesterday as the second speaker in Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar’s Distinguished Lecture Series 2010. In a lecture titled “Leadership Matters,” Awuah described his experiences working to educate Africa’s next generation of leaders to an audience of some 80 members of the Doha community. The event was held at the Four Seasons Hotel, and is the most recent installment of the 2010 Distinguished Lecture Series, which was launched on January 26 with a lecture by Aseel Al-Awadhi, Ph.D., one of the first four women elected as a member of the Kuwait National Assembly.
Awuah spoke about his life journey and his vision for Ashesi University. “My wish is to see a more peaceful Africa. Upon returning to Ghana after my university studies I was shocked – nothing seemed to be working,” said Awuah. “I thought about what Africa would mean for my children and realized that we needed to see a turnaround in Africa. Economic development is not about financial wealth, it’s about lifting people up. Success in Africa starts here – with education – empowering the new generation.”
Ashesi University, founded in 2002, has quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality education in Ghana. The university blends a liberal arts method of education with majors in computer science, management information systems and business administration.
Carnegie Mellon Qatar’s Distinguished Lecture Series aims to bring in leaders from around the world to share their experiences and discuss their areas of expertise with university students and the community.
“The purpose of our Distinguished Lecture Series is to bring thinkers and leaders, like Awuah, who can engage and enlighten our community with their experiences and observations, and encourage critical thought and discussion. Awuah inspired the audience with his words as well as his leadership in African higher education, and his commitment to educating young people in ethical service and critical thinking,” said Gloria Khoury, assistant dean for student affairs at Carnegie Mellon Qatar.
Patrick G. Awuah Jnr., Ph.D., left his home country of Ghana as a teenager to attend Swarthmore College in the United States. After graduating and working there for nearly a decade as a Program Manager at Microsoft, Awuah returned home and cofounded Ashesi University, a private, not-for-profit institution that has quickly gained a reputation for innovation and quality education in Ghana. In recognition of his service to Ghana and his leadership in African higher education, Awuah has received a host of international and national awards, and was nominated as a Global Leader in 2007 by the World Economic Forum. Awuah holds bachelor degrees in Engineering and Economics from Swarthmore College, and an MBA from UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business.
The Distinguished Lecture Series was created in 2007 and has hosted renowned experts in their fields as Barbara F. Freed, director, producer, screenwriter and Professor of French Studies at Carnegie Mellon University; Takeo Kanade, Ph.D., renowned researcher and robotics professor; and Dr. Kentaro Toyama, Director of Microsoft Research India. Leila Ahmed, Ph.D., professor of women's studies and religion at the Harvard Divinity School will be the next speaker in the series. Her lecture will take place March 21.
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At the invitation of Qatar Foundation, Carnegie Mellon joined Education City in 2004. Here, Qatar Foundation created a unique center for scholarship and research that is the ideal complement to Carnegie Mellon’s mission and vision. Students from Qatar and 30 different countries enroll at our world-class facilities in Education City. Carnegie Mellon Qatar offers undergraduate programs in business administration, computer science and information systems. Learn more at www.qatar.cmu.edu.