Ashesi was established as an independent, public benefit education institution operating on a not-for-profit basis. The university obtained accreditation from the National Accreditation Board (NAB) in September 2001 to operate under the mentorship of the University of Cape Coast (UCC), with degrees conferred by UCC. Ashesi began instruction on 4th March 2002. Ashesi University received a Presidential Charter from the President of Ghana, effective January 2018, making it an independent university that confers its own degrees.. 

  • Our Mission & Vision Open or Close


    The mission of Ashesi University is to educate a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders in Africa; to cultivate within our students the critical thinking skills, the concern for others and the courage it will take to transform a continent.



    Our vision is an African renaissance driven by a new generation of ethical, entrepreneurial leaders. We aim to educate such leaders, and to drive a movement in African higher education to scale up the education of such leaders.

  • Ashesi's History Open or Close


    Ashesi was founded by Patrick Awuah, a Ghanaian who has spent over 15 years living and working in the United States. Awuah left Ghana in 1985 to attend Swarthmore College on a full scholarship, after which he worked for Microsoft Corporation as an engineer and a program manager for eight years. Experiencing firsthand the dramatic impact that education can have on one's life, Awuah embarked on a mission in 1997 to provide greater educational opportunities in Ghana. He enrolled in business school at the University of California at Berkeley's Haas School of Business, both to evaluate the feasibility of his goal and to gain a broader range of managerial skills with which to found and manage a university.


    1997: Founder Patrick Awuah gives up his successful US software career to return to Africa. To help bring ethics, innovation and entrepreneurship to Africa, he decides to create a new kind of African university.

    1998: Patrick Awuah and graduate students from UC Berkeley conduct a feasibility study for a new private university in Ghana.

    1999: Ashesi University Foundation was founded and is spearheaded by a well-qualified Board of Trustees and management governance whose efforts are complemented by Advisory Boards located in the US and Ghana.

    2002: Ashesi University opens its doors in a rented house converted to classrooms, with a pioneering class of 30 students.

    2005: Pioneer class graduates. 100% quickly find quality placement; 95% chose to stay to Africa. Future classes maintain these records.

    2006: Ashesi students elect first woman university student government president in Ghana’s history.

    2007: A UC Berkeley study finds that local and multinational employers rate Ashesi and Ashesi Graduates #1 in Ghana in Quality of Curriculum, Career Preparation, Communication Skills, Maturity, Professional Skills, and Ethics.

    2008: Students vote to adopt Examination Honour Code - Africa’s first |  Financial sustainability:  fees from students who can afford to pay cover annual operating expenses  |  Capital Campaign for new campus begins

    2009: Construction starts for permanent campus in Berekuso.

    2011: New campus completed—on schedule and on budget ($6.4M).  Enrollment tops 500 as Vice-President of Ghana inaugurates campus.

    2012: The MasterCard Foundation partners to provide $13 million in Ashesi scholarships to students from 11 African countries.

    2013:  Groundbreaking for construction to start on new engineering building where Ashesi will educate engineers who will design innovative infrastructure and products for Africa.

    2015:  Engineering programme launches with 76 pioneer students.

    2016: Ashesi is selected by World Bank to host Ghana Climate Innovation Centre; a business accelerator to help scale startups working on climate change solutions.

    2018:  Ashesi is awarded a Presidential Charter by His Excellency, Nana Akufo-Addo; this means Ashesi is now a fully independent university. Ashesi is the youngest university in Ghana's history to receive Charter.

  • Meaning of Ashesi Open or Close
    If there is anything you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it. Begin it now.

    These words inspired by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, are the inspiration behind the university's name, Ashesi, which means "beginning" in Fante (a native Ghanaian language). Ashesi's founder, Patrick Awuah, first read Goethe's words at a time when he was still questioning the wisdom of undertaking such an ambitious project. Encouraged by Goethe's words, he began by undertaking a feasibility study of his idea. Clarifying the risks and issues at hand helped Awuah shed his reservations until one day he realized that he had lost his hesitation and had become very committed to this project. He told himself, "This really is the beginning!"

    But the name Ashesi is not only about its founder's inspiration. It is also about providing a new beginning for every student who comes here. And about building an institution that reinvents itself to fit the changing needs of society; one that grows by replicating its philosophy throughout Ghana and Africa.