Is this the answer for developing economies?

May 10, 2009 at 11:31 am 6 comments

Dr. Arshad Ali, DG of SEECS (School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science), NUST showed me part of this video during my visit to the NUST Islamabad H-12 campus yesterday. Much of what Patrick Awuah talks about in this video rings true for Pakistan and other countries in this region, and that is why I thought it was worth sharing it. Do watch it through. It is well worth it.

Patrick Awuah left Ghana as a teenager to attend college in the United States; and then went on to build a career at Microsoft in Seattle which lasted a decade. When he became a parent, his roots began to matter and he returned to Ghana where he founded Ashesi (a word meaning “beginning”) University, a liberal University, in 2002. He has made a commitment to educating young people in critical thinking and ethical service, values that he believes are crucial for the nation-building that lies ahead.

He holds the lack of leadership responsible for the state of the economy and the country. Education is the answer, he says – but not the kind of education which is based on “Learning by rote, very little emphasis on ethics, development of a sense of entitlement instead of a sense of responsibility.” He goes on to say that “We must believe that these kids are smart, we must believe that if we engage them and give them the tools and skills they need to create change, then magic will happen.” His first batch of graduates in 2006 are already beginning to enact change.

Entry filed under: Posts.

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Salman  |  May 10, 2009 at 11:49 am

    it helps to think about girls 😛

  • 2. Obaid Ahmed  |  May 10, 2009 at 12:11 pm

    He hits the problem bulls eye.

    I think if we replace Ghana with Pakistan in his presentation we are facing the similar issues.

    Then the next question that comes in my mind is that are we doing something similar to solve the problem in Pakistan?

    Ironically, I was having a very similar debate with my friends this afternoon regarding this same issue.

  • […] This cup of tea was served by: In the Line of Wire […]

  • Is this the answer for developing economies?…

    Dr. Arshad Ali, DG of SEECS (School of Electrical Engineering …

  • 5. Syed Talha Izhar  |  May 10, 2009 at 2:09 pm

    In Pakistan we definitely need universities working on the same lines as Ashesi University..

    I remember reading a post on this blog about Ken Morse of MIT and Hussain Dawood working on the idea of a university. If there is something happening at that end. Someone must tell them about this initiative too. This is what is lacking in our local universities offering Business and Technology Programs.

  • 6. iFaqeer  |  May 15, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    I couldn’t agree more.


    However, we have had several people–world class intellectuals–in Pakistan who have tried to get things like this off the ground; we only need to pay attention to them–even when they don’t have millions of dollars and names like Microsoft behind them.

    Names, you ask?

    Eqbal Ahmed and his idea of Khaldunia (the plans he had in place are still available with people both you and I know personally, Jehan)

    Samir Hoodbhoy


    … should I go on?


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