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- ItemThe city branding of Accra(Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) Spio, Anthony EbowNo abstract. What follows is the Introduction: Accra became the administrative capital of Ghana in 1877 when the British colonial authority transferred the seat of government from Cape Coast. Accra was declared a city on 29 June 1961 by Ghana’s first President Dr Kwame Nkrumah. Accra has been one of the fastest growing cities in Africa since the pre-colonial era. Central to the development of Accra was the building of three European forts as trading posts in the 17th century. The first of these was Fort Crevecouer, built by the Dutch in 1650, which was later renamed Fort Ussher. In 1661, the Danes built the second, Christianbourg Castle. The British then followed in 1673 with Fort James. The choice of Accra as a location for castles was attributed to the presence of a rocky shoreline and natural harbor. By the 1850s, the British had taken over the interests of other European nations in Accra and defined the Gold Coast (now Ghana) as a geographical entity. In 1877 the British colonial administration was moved to Christianbourg Castle.
- ItemCountry branding: A developing economy perspective(International Journal of Business Strategy, 2011) Akotia, Mathias; Spio, Anthony Ebow; Frimpong, Kwabena; Austin, Nathan KCountry branding, has become a strategic tool for attaining country competitiveness. Emphasizing country branding as a social construction, this paper presents a conceptual branding model for Ghana, based on the identity brand management approach. Focusing on the role of the country citizenry, the first construct involves articulating country brand identity to purposefully affect country macro leadership, governance structures, country and product brand value delivery and communication. The second construct involves developing country brand mind-set and citizenship behaviours through purposeful brand knowledge and commitment. The third construct explains the country brand equity and citizens well being likely to be engendered through purposeful brand supporting behaviours, conscious creation of supporting country realities, and coordinated and harmonized nation and product communication. This approach emanates from and is supported by insights generated through exploratory interviews and group discussions involving Ghanaians as well as identity based brand management literature.
- ItemSakawa rituals and cyberfraud in Ghanaian popular video movies(Cambridge University Press, 2014) Oduro-Frimpong, JosephSakawa indexes a cyberfraud practice in Ghana allegedly linked with occult rituals. This article examines the phenomenon as an analytically relevant example of a material understanding of religion. It then offers a critical reading of a popular sakawa video series and contrasts its thematic perspectives with the reactions of some Ghanaian political leaders to the possible motivations for the practice. This critical approach is conceived as a response to the persistent myopic view of such popular genres as irrelevant to key debates around problematic Ghanaian issues and also to calls in global media studies to de-Westernize the field.
- ItemUT Financial Services: Looking for the next mountain to conquer(Ivey Publishing, 2015) Spio, Anthony Ebow; Essel-Anderson, AnthonyAn entrepreneur and co-founder of a private, non-deposit-taking, non-bank financial firm in Africa took his company public following a decade of phenomenal growth and strong performance. Established in an era when the traditional financial institutions would not grant credit to small and medium enterprises, the company successfully pioneered a wide variety of unique services in the non-bank financial services industry. Capitalizing on the failure of formal institutions to meet the needs of the informal sector, the entrepreneur had achieved organic growth by providing short-term loans and complementary services to customers in the neglected segment of the financial services market. The image of a high-performing company, coupled with the successful initial public offering surpassing all expectations, put tremendous pressure on the company to continue to grow the enterprise and deliver superior performance. To obtain substantial funds from the investing public, the onus is on the entrepreneur to select and pursue an appropriate strategy to keep the enterprise on a growth trajectory.
- ItemAfrican video movies and global desires: A Ghanaian history by Carmela Garritano (review)(Society for Cinema and Media Studies: Project MUSE, 2015) Oduro-Frimpong, JosephOne of the key defining features of most Ghanaian video movies is that they are embedded—either explicitly or implicitly—in Pentecostal Christian aesthetics. Fittingly, a major research perspective, situated at the juncture of religion and film (and pioneered by Birgit Meyer), elucidates how the movies draw on shared Pentecostal beliefs and practices to mediate themes on occult practices. In African Video Movies and Global Desires: A Ghanaian History, Garritano, motivated by her apt identification of the video movies’ “unrestrained and unruly heterogeneity” and their concomitant multiple narrative forms, examines a subject with which scholars have so far not explicitly engaged.2 This characteristic of the video movies as a “shifting and historically contingent discursive field marked by myriad ideologies, anxieties, discourses, and desires” enables the author to explore a historical narration of the Ghanaian movie industry through analyses of selected video movies.3 This [End Page 151] approach allows the author to show the connection between the economic circumstances that gave rise to the industry and the manifestation of these same conditions within the movies’ themes—centered on poverty, work, and gender—that the first generation of producers explored. Here, the author teases out the ways in which the movies normalize and refashion “dominant discourses of globalization, gender and sexuality, neoliberalism, and consumerism.”4 In the same breath, she also emphasizes the manner in which the innumerable number of movies made since the inception of the industry in the 1980s generates a certain ambivalence toward these same themes. The approach also enables the author to explore and elaborate on multiple visual texts and their “variations in aesthetics, narrative form, modes of spectator engagement [as well as] [their] anxieties, desires, subjectivities, and styles.”5 This discussion is in the introduction to the book. In this same section, Garritano presents the book’s thematic focus, offers a short historical overview of the initial negative critiques of video movies by African film and literature scholars, and addresses the global aspirations of the industry’s players when she adopts the term Ghallywood. Additionally, the introduction includes a succinct summary of the five chapters that make up the book. The introduction together with the conclusion provide the theoretical lens of contextual criticism that underpins this work and the historical approach that the author adopts to investigate the huge changes that have occurred in the Ghanaian video-movie industry.
- ItemDeveloping an innovative course in design and entrepreneurship for an African university(INCEDI, 2016) Agyepong, Sena Agbodjah; Spio, Anthony Ebow; Dzanie, Theresa Dei; Salihu, OpheleyDeveloping the next generation of ethical entrepreneurial leaders, without exposing all students to formal training in entrepreneurship, was a shortfall at Ashesi University. With an existing capstone entrepreneurship option which ensures active, experiential and experimental pedagogical approach, Ashesi still saw it expedient to extend this opportunity to students of all majors. In 2013, the journey to start a course, that helped the University better achieve its mission, commenced at an Executive Committee meeting. Within a curriculum that was full, and overflowing with core and elective courses waiting to be deployed, a unified community of administrators, Heads of Departments and faculty, brainstormed how this can become a reality. This paper discuses the journey Ashesi took to arrive at what is currently running as Foundations of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE), a maiden creative problem solving and basics of business course, heavily drawing on design thinking, design and entrepreneurship. The course was started in September 2015, after two years of planning and development. FDE seeks to inspire and equip all freshmen regardless of their majors, with foundational skills in entrepreneurship. Lessons this paper seeks to share include how a purposed institution can be innovative, the processes necessary for developing new programmes, and failure points to be mindful. This will inform peers and institutions who want to innovate entrepreneurial education in the country, by developing innovative courses to shape graduates ready to transform the continent, and represent Africa on the world platform.
- ItemWells Fargo: Lessons for African companies on loyalty marketing as a growth strategy(Circumspecte (blog), 2016-10-12) Alidu, Abdul-NasserWells Fargo is in the news, but for the wrong reasons. The company has been fined US$185 million and more than 5,000 employees have been fired for secretly creating more than 2 million customer accounts without the customers knowing it. Indications are that the woes of the bank are only just beginning. The scandal brewing is a result of the “Gr-eight” Initiative, a cross-sell initiative by the bank which takes advantage of customer loyalty to increase the average number of products held by customers from three to eight. Many of us marketers have caught this loyalty bug at some point in time. As branding and marketing become the order of the day in African businesses and markets, many are buying into the myth of loyalty marketing as a growth strategy. But that’s all it is: a myth with no backbone; growth cannot be achieved through increasing customer loyalty.
- ItemAn adaptive household sampling method for rural African communities(African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2017-03) Awuah, R; Douglass, R; Agyepong, S; Kuwornu, EInvestigators working in rural communities and small towns in Africa face many obstacles to obtaining a random and representative sample of households for their research. The civic infrastructure used as the building blocks of survey sampling in developed countries are mostly absent in rural Africa. The purpose of the study described in this paper was to pilot an innovative and cost-effective approach to household sampling designed to generate probability samples representative of the socio-economic diversity of the small town of Berekuso, in the Eastern Region of Ghana, without relying on existing census data, household registers, or a regular layout of roads and dwellings. Utilizing Google Earth images and a Graphical Information System (GIS) map of Berekuso, sampling units were defined as 15-degree wedge-shaped sectors radiating from the center of the original township. All households within randomly selected sectors were surveyed, and based on a household classification scheme, each household type was identified. Additional sectors were randomly selected and surveyed in sequence until no new household types were identified – a notion recognized by laboratory scientists as an‘end point’. The adaptive sampling strategy was cost and time effective: freely available versions of Google Earth and QGIS software were employed along with inexpensive handheld Global Positioning System (GPS) devices; a total of 57 households were surveyed by teams of two enumerators over three consecutive Sundays. The survey method yielded a probability sample that is representative of the socioeconomic diversity of Berekuso, and produced generalizable results for median household size, median age of residents, sources of potable water and toilet types, among others. For example, based on the results of the survey, a 95% confidence interval estimate of the proportion of residents of Berekuso under the age of 20 years is between 0.49 and 0.58. These figures are consistent with results of Ghana’s 2010 census which pegged the proportion of the population of the Eastern Region under the age of the 20 years at 0.49. The authors believe that the methodology described in this paper may be applicable to household research in many rural African villages and small towns where little civic infrastructure exists to create more traditional sampling frames.
- ItemCommentary: An adaptive household sampling method for rural African communities(African Journal of Food, Agriculture, Nutrition and Development, 2017-03) Douglass, RichardThis issue of AJFAND is special in a new way. The need for improved and appropriate research methods throughout Africa has been recognized for some time and in this issue AJFAND declares that it is time to address the issue.
- ItemThe global and the local: Programs that predict critical thinking and cultural appreciation development in students(International Association for Research on Service-Learning and Community Engagement, 2018) Johnstone, Christopher; Soria, Krista; Bittencourt, Tiago; Adjei, MillicentIncreasingly, colleges and u niversities across the U nited States are encouraging students to study abroad , citing enhanced cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as intended outcomes. However, on every campus , there are students who cannot participate in learning -abroad opportunities because of visa, financial, familial, or other personal reasons. At the same time, some students are more drawn to opportunities for engagement in their own communities than outside the United States. This article discusses a study that focused on student outcomes for alumni of domestic and international programs designed to be cross -cultural and experiential in nature. The findings suggest that U .S.-based service - learning opportunities that are inten tionally experiential and contain cross -cultural elements may be just as effective in developing students ’ cultural appreciation and critical thinking skills as international experiences . Results also indicate that programmatic elements may be as strong of a predictor of student outcomes as location.
- ItemFDE Casebook volume 1(Ashesi University, 2020) Adomdza, GordonThe experiential nature of the course, Foundations of Design and Entrepreneurship (FDE), provided the opportunity for students to explore real-world problems of interest, run a business simulation on the solutions concepts while going through the motions that start-up goes through in setting up. Despite being first-year students, the structure of the course made them encounter actual challenges around team formation, supply chain management, production, marketing, finance etc., where they had to make decisions considering a variety of factors. To capture some of these decision scenarios for teaching purposes, the following teaching case studies were written. Specific areas of business were identified for each case and to draw out the illustrations needed to meet the teaching objectives, some of the challenges were embellished and some of the storylines adapted for illustrative effect. The names of the characters in the cases have been altered to protect the identity of the students. The cases can be used at the undergraduate level and below. Some specific cases may be used at the graduate level if the context is of importance to the instructor. However, since the operations of the student teams were business simulations, they do not have very informative appendixes or exhibits to support a graduate school level course. In the following, we provide a navigational overview of the different business areas of interest represented in the cases. The first area of focus is team formation. This was one of the contentious areas of engagement for team members as, for many of these students, this is the first time they were participating in a project team with real outcomes. A business is only as good as the people working for it, and without a cordial and harmonious relationship, a chaotic outcome will ensue. To explore issues of teamwork, which determines whether an investor will be interested in funding, the case of Teamware outlines steps the team went through to bond and deliver value to make their business concept investible. Another case study on team formation focused on the motivation to perform. As the saying goes, a product is only as good as the attitude of the people that make them, and in the case of Ripple, the importance of human resource management became evident. The 6 CEO of Ripple had to ensure that team members felt motivated since they developed an apathetic and lackadaisical attitude towards work. The team members needed work rules and regulations. They needed to have a sense of direction and purpose. The message here was that products are not the only driving force of a business, people are as well. Thus, businesses need to invest in people, and TIPS was another case study exhibits this notion. In the case of Mollia Dormir, the team had a pending conflict which threatened the success of their business simulation. All parties involved believed they were on the right, which led to no progress. A conflict resolution process had to be implemented to curb the situation from escalating and to ensure progress and performance. Moving on from team formation to the venture development process, the case of Instalight Enterprise illustrates the 6 chronological stages of new product and business development. The team had an initial concept in mind, however, after the prototype production, they had to reevaluate certain activities they had undertaken as they spent more time and money than expected. The case modelled how to iterate and make changes as and when they are needed during the development process. When a solution concept has been developed and tested, there is the need to explore avenues for resources needed to exploit that business opportunity. The CompressiBowl case is an illustration of one of the FDE readings titled “Raising Money For New And Emerging Companies”. This reading focuses on how the life cycle of a business determines the funding source to target. It further focuses on the factors to understand when raising money for a business, specifically for an emerging business such as CompressiBowl. The case, therefore, provides a good overview of how funding works. Despite the funding available for a business, there is also the case of viability which is one of the three parts of determining a potentially successful business: desirability, feasibility and viability - as the students are taught. A business might be desirable and feasible, however, without viability, the business might not succeed in the long term. This was evidenced in the case of Easy B. This case illustrates a business concept that was constantly in search of resources as they were caught in a spending spiral with no incoming funds. The case considers whether the business was viable in the first place. 7 There are a few other cases that we have not commented on here but hold promise for teaching on various topics in an undergraduate class as noted earlier. We hope that through these scenarios, you will be able to teach your students and your teams some valuable skills about how to tackle everyday business challenges and how to succeed in the process. [NB: Taken from introduction]
- ItemAsset-based approaches to supporting the education abroad experiences of first-generation low-income students in an African university(Diversity Abroad, 2020) Amoako, Vanessa; Adjei, Millicent; Buckman, Rosemary KoteiEducation abroad (EA) experiences offer tremendous long-term gains for college students by influencing their personal growth, career paths, and overall worldview (Dwyer & Peters, 2004). According to Dwyer and Peters (2004), college students report increased maturity and self-confidence, stronger awareness and understanding of their personal biases, an interest in exploring other cultures, and improved intercultural skills upon engaging in EA programs. Thus, educators, colleges, parents, and employers should, as a priority, support young people to gain access to and participate in EA programs.
- ItemAshesi’s 360 approach to the COVID-19 pandemic(Commonwealth Council for Educational Administration and Management (CCEAM), 2021) Agyepong, Sena Agbodjah; Owusu-Ansah, Angela; Annoh, William OheneFollowing the government directive to close schools in March 2020, a meeting of the academic leadership of Ashesi University devised a 360-degree response to the COVID-19 pandemic with decision making underpinned by simplicity and flexibility. The Admissions Department, supported by Student Life, led the evacuation and safe return home of all students, with students with challenging situations placed in homes the week of the announcement. Concurrently, the Academic Affairs team suspended all regular activities for two weeks, and with the assistance of the Operations and IT teams, developed the operational response plan, piloted the following week. Faculty and Academic Affairs stressed best practices, and in response to Student Life, emphasised the quality of instruction over quantity; rigour and higher-order thinking over the amount of learning. Pursuance of quality assurance was through weekly and clear master plans on teaching. Student Life, Admissions, and Academic Affairs used a devised student activity sheet to provide support to students to mitigate attrition, which was less than 0.2 per cent at the end of the semester. They regularly engaged students in virtual town hall meetings. Parents were included in students’ study needs and invited to visit classes. Vendors for the grounds, cafeteria, security and cleaning services have been supported during this period. Most faculty and students have begun to enjoy the online teaching and learning experience with no request for a tuition refund, but rather, high student demand for summer school.