For the past week and a half, my team (Jenni Tonti, Oscar Salinas, Fabio Povoa) and I have been busy working with Ashesi University College.Our project involves several initiatives including determining how Ashesi should expand their curriculum to offer Engineering, researching sources of funding, and developing short and long-term succession plans.Our work so far has involved research, interviews, and all sorts of things using post-it notes!

We had an opportunity to interview local and global companies in various industries including oil and gas, telecommunications, manufacturing, and food processing to assess the demand for Engineering students as well as companies’ CSR initiatives.From our interviews, we learned that all Ghanaian university students dedicate a year after graduation to a “National Service”, which is a job placement program run by the government.In addition, we learned that Ashesi students are perceived by companies in Ghana to be innovative and entrepreneurial, differentiating themselves from other university graduates.

In addition to our discoveries from interviews, we’ve had opportunities to learn about local cuisines, traditions, and culture.We learned that you should eat with your right hand and if you’re shaking a group of people’s hands, shake from right to left.Also, we’re quickly becoming knowledgeable in Ghanaian dishes – some of the team’s favorite dishes include red red, palava, banku, fufu, and of course jolluf rice and grilled chicken (Addy and Luis, from the other IBD team, can tell you all about this last dish!)One of the neatest things we learned was that people are named based on the day of the week they were born!Did you know that our Kojo was born on a Monday? :)Well, so were all other Kojos…I guess?

Anyway, it has been nice introducing myself with my Ghanaian name, “Akua” – which always brought a smile to the other person’s face!With all that we’ve learned so far, the team, now referred to as Yaa (Jenni), Kwabena (Oscar), Kojo (Fabio), and Akua (Kawai) is ready for the next week and a half!!!

If you’re interested in your Ghanaian name…


Sunday – Akosua, Asi, Ese

Monday – Adwoa, Ajao

Tuesday – Abena, Araba

Wednesday – Akua

Thursday – Yaa

Friday – Afua, Afia, Efua

Saturday – Ama


Sunday – Kwasi

Monday – Kwadwo, Kojo

Tuesday – Kwabena, Kobina

Wednesday – Kwaku

Thursday, Yao, Ekow

Friday – Kofi

Saturday – Kwame, Kwamena


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