Feb 16, 2024, Legon, Accra – Representatives of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), Ashesi University, and The Education Collaborative participated in a symposium to officially onboard UGBS to the Giving Voice to Values (GVV) Africa program.

In its second year, the GVV Africa program is a self-paced learning curriculum aimed at fostering ethical leadership across the African continent. As part of The Education Collaborative’s Ethics and Leadership focal area, the initiative provides tools and strategies for leaders and industry professionals to navigate the dynamics of values conflicts in the workplace.

Faculty and management of the University of Ghana Business School, a member of The Education Collaborative, signed up to take the GVV Africa program. Their goal is to further strengthen their knowledge and skills in ethics and to refresh their ethics-based curriculum for their students.

“Recognizing the strengths of our counterparts, and in the spirit of making strides towards building a more ethical environment, we have carefully selected representatives from the business school to champion this initiative and share these practices with other colleagues and students,” said Prof. Justice Bawole, Dean of UGBS, speaking at the inception event. “Today marks the beginning of our journey to improve our ethical training.”

He further encouraged faculty and staff to embrace the initiative wholeheartedly, noting that the potential impact could benefit not just UGBS but also Ghana as a whole.

The inception event provided an opportunity for representatives from both institutions to share learnings and best practices in implementing the program within their respective institutions.

Mercy Kusiwaa Frimpong, Assistant Director of Communications of the Education Collaborative, initiated discussions by highlighting the distinctive qualities of University of Ghana graduates compared to peers from other institutions. Participants acknowledged the strong sense of pride, rigorously trained graduates, and the vast network of alumni as key factors setting UGBS apart. However, the group also recognized opportunities to enhance graduate employability, problem-solving skills, and the continued championing of ethics.

Nina Aba Pels, Senior Assistant Director of Student Life and Engagement at Ashesi University, presented on ethics education and culture within Ashesi. She discussed the role of the Student Life and Engagement Department in promoting ethics awareness within the student body and outlined various learning outcomes. These include applying innovative strategies and developing a deeper understanding of ethics education on the Ashesi campus. Pels addressed challenges related to ethics education, including the need for more teachers, the complexity of moral and integrity issues, and the prevalence of a culture of silence surrounding unethical behavior.

“In a culture that predominantly defaults to silence, the GVV Africa program offers a timely intervention, with strategies to speak up, highlighting real-life cases involving African leaders and how they spoke up,” she shared.

She further highlighted how Ashesi University has long championed its commitment to ethics through its mission statement, branding efforts, and intense focus on the Honor Code during new student orientations. “These initiatives aim to instill scholarship, leadership, and citizenship principles in students, ultimately producing first-class leaders capable of addressing societal challenges,” she added.

Through GVV Africa, The Education Collaborative aims to leverage the expertise of the framework for speaking up in value conflict situations in ethics education, supporting fellow institutions in cultivating responsible future leaders. By bringing together diverse perspectives and resources, The Collaborative seeks to foster a stronger foundation for ethical decision-making across Africa.