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Scott Bigelow | 910.521.6351 | scott.bigelow@uncp.edu
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Wednesday, May 6, 2009

UNCP filling library shelves for University in Ghana

An unlikely conversation in Africa has resulted in a partnership between UNC Pembroke and a college in Ghana.

The conversation was between Ernest Ansah, president of Datalink University College of Tema, Ghana and Dr. Edwin Cliff Mensah, a full-time economics professor at UNC Pembroke and a visiting professor at Valley View University, Oyibi-Accra (Ghana), one of Ghana’s leading private universities.

Business professors Don Soucy, left, and Dr. Cliff Mensah with some of the textbooks headed for Ghana

Business professors Don Soucy, left, and Dr. Cliff Mensah with some of the textbooks headed for Ghana

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“I was telling Mr. Ansah that I often loaned my textbooks to students because there are not enough to go around,” Dr. Mensah said. “He said his institution is also in dire straights when it comes to books and other resources.”

“I decided right then to help him fill his library,” Dr. Mensah said.

Back in Pembroke, retiring management professor Don Soucy was contemplating a mountain of books in his office.

“I did’nt want to take all these books home, so I offered them to my colleagues,” Soucy said. “Cliff took me up on it.”

Kathy McCoin, an executive assistant in the School of Busines, agreed to participate in this project.  She appealed to all faculty across campus to consider donating any extra books new and old editions. 
“We received books from almost every academic department and the library too,” Soucy said.

“Students donated too,” Dr. Mensah said. “We have more than 500 books.”

“That’s about half a ton,” Soucy said.

In fact the response from faculty, students and staff has been overwhelming. Thanks to all who participated, the books are ready for shipping to Ghana, a West African nation, this summer.

Datalink was founded by Ansah through his non-profit corporation, Dr. Mensah said. With an enrollment of approximately 1,350+, the college focuses on certificate and degree programs in business, information systems and computer science.

“Mr. Ansah’s goal is to use his resources to aid education in Ghana, a nation of 18-20 million people,” Dr. Mensah said of his native country. “There has been a boom of private universities which offer education to people who would otherwise not be able to get an education at the tertiary level.

“What we are doing is a start,” Dr. Mensah said. “I hope this is the beginning of a long and beneficial relationship.”

Dr. Mensah will be in Ghana again this summer teaching, he said.

For information, please contact Dr. Mensah at edwin.mensah@uncp.edu.

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