Faculty Scholarly Publications

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    Assessing the Effect of Inequality on Sectoral Economic Growth in Sub-Saharan Africa
    (2022-05) Agyabu, Aluwua Amihere
    Inequality has received much attention over the recent years due to its numerous effects on growth in an economy. Existing studies on the effects on inequality have been widely documented especially on economic growth. However, most of these studies have focused on inequality and economic growth at the aggregate level, while little consideration is given to sectoral growth. Therefore, this paper examines the relationship between inequality and growth in the agriculture, manufacturing, and service sectors for the sub-Saharan Africa region. The study employed the Ordinary Least Squares regression model on pooled crosssectional data from 30 SSA countries with their most recent available data. The results revealed that a significant negative relationship exists between inequality and growth in the manufacturing sector. On the other hand, a negative non-significant relationship was found between inequality and agricultural growth and a positive insignificant relationship for the service sector. Ultimately, the significant negative relationship found implies that in the presence of high inequality, growth in the manufacturing sector is reduced. Hence, in the fight against inequality, policy makers and government bodies must gear their redistributive and welfare efforts more towards the manufacturing sector.
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    China as a Means to an End: Analysing China's Infrastructure Investment in Africa: A Case Study of Kenya
    (2022-05) Amoafo, Kofi Emmanuel Thayu
    The reality of China’s global economic power and influence is that the Asian nation’s actions often have resulting effects on other nations around the world. Expansive initiatives such as the “Belt and Road Initiative” (BRI) and the “21st Maritime Silk Road” valued at trillions of dollars embody the superpower’s ambition and equal capacity to boost its economic growth. With trade as a channel of priority in achieving that economic expansion, the implications of China’s global expansion initiatives are applicable not only to African nations but to future dealings involving Africa-China collaboration. Evidence from study findings details complementary and competitive impacts with direct or indirect effects. As such, Africa has every incentive to gain an understanding of the effects China’s infrastructure investment can have on Africa’s development, and the livelihoods of the citizens of partner nations to the BRI. This study explores the impacts of China’s infrastructure on countries in Sub-Saharan Africa. Considering 42 Sub-Saharan African nations have assented to collaboration between them and China, understanding the implications of this cooperation can enable African nations to navigate the growing Africa-China relationship. By making an in-depth country-level analysis of the impacts China’s infrastructure investment has, measured through a case study of Kenya’s Standard Gauge Railway, this case realized a holistic picture of how beneficial Africa’s cooperation with China truly is, given the nature of these impacts on livelihood and development. Polarised views on the topic of China’s SSA influence provide further significance for the study’s findings. The findings hold relevance in relation to the creation of Africa-centered policy for future international interactions.
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    FDE Casebook volume 1
    (Ashesi University, 2020) Adomdza, Gordon
    The 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]
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    Effect of hands-on science activities on Ghanaian student learning, attitudes, and career interest: A preliminary control study
    (Global Journal of Transformative Education, 2020-12) Beem, Heather
    A quasi-experimental study was carried out with 309 Form 3 students across 9 public Junior High Schools in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana. The effect of Practical Education Network (PEN)’s approach of training STEM teachers to employ hands-on activities using low-cost, locally-available resources was studied in terms of student learning outcomes, attitudes towards learning science, and interest in STEM majors/ careers. Over a 2.5-month period, the science teacher at each experimental school received a weekly training on a hands-on activity and lesson observation by the respective PEN Trainer. A survey on attitudes towards science and a previous edition of the national exam (BECE) were administered to all students before and after the intervention. The mean pre-post differences were compared between the experimental and control schools. The intervention caused an average of 10.9% increase in exam scores (difference-in-differences), but the results were mixed at the school-level. Unpaired t-tests and Hedge’s g tests were used to determine statistical significance between the two groups. Student engagement increased significantly (p = 3 x 10 -7 , g = 0.85), and student enjoyment of science increased 22% more, on average. The intervention disproportionately affected the females positively, enabling greater learning gains (14.5% vs. 5.3% for the males), greater increase in engagement, and a significant shift in interest towards STEM majors and careers, which their male counterparts did not experience. Results from this study should inform the design of future studies with longer duration and which account for factors such as school infrastructure quality.
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    Ashesi’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 Ohene
    Following 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.