Patrick Awuah: African Millionaire on an African Mission

Posted on March 8, 2014 by

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As an 18-year-old student at Morehouse, Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote an essay — The Purpose of Education. In that essay he was critical of fellow students who were using college, in his view, primarily to acquire knowledge and skills by which they could go out and exploit their people rather than develop the character and critical thinking capacities by which to take our African American quest for freedom, justice and prosperity to higher heights and deeper depths. “The function of education,” he wrote, “is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically . . . intelligence plus character – that is the goal of education.”

Patrick Awuah, a Ghanaian of great intelligence and character, is clearly a personification of the dream being reflected in young Martin King’s mind; a man whose intelligence allowed him to move in corporate circles of the world where he was earning millions of dollars but whose character would not allow him to become blinded to the larger issue of the creative, ethical and prosperous development of his home country and its continent.

The combination of intelligence and character in Awuah led him, at the age of 37 in 2002, to leave the “comforts” of a high paying Microsoft position to grapple with the issues embodied in these words that flowed from his own consciousness: “The question of transformation in Africa really is a question of leadership. Africa can only be transformed by enlightened leaders. And it is my contention that the manner in which we educate our leaders is fundamental to progress on this continent.”

Ashesi University, the institution Awuah started in Ghana in 2002 with 30 students, now has an enrollment of over 500 students. The following two videos gives heart-warming glimpses into the man, his mission and its successes. Let them inspire your heart and lift your soul!

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