Service, Leadership and Africana Studies in Ghana is an immersion program that is experiential in nature. From May 24 –June 14, students will engage in water purification and solar energy harvesting projects in Tamale, in the northern region of Ghana, working with the non-profit, Saha Global. From there, the program will transition to Cape Coast for three and a half weeks (June 14 –July 7) to explore "Africana Anthropology: The politics of race and culture in the Africana world” with Dr. Kwame Harrison, Associate Professor of Sociology and Africana Studies at Virginia Tech with guest lectures by faculty at the University of the Cape Coast (UCC).

In partnership with Saha Global water entrepreneurs, Virginia Tech students will learn to train local women entrepreneurs to set up sustainable water and solar businesses, bringing clean drinking water and electricity to partner communities. Over the past few years, Saha has worked with hundreds of college students to develop their leadership skills and learn about international development, environmental sustainability and public health while building community access to basic services in rural Ghanaian villages.

Cape Coast provides a critical framework for understanding and reflecting on how the African continent came to destination for development oriented projects. Through the lenses of anthropology (which uses culture as its orienting concept) and Africa Studies (which focuses on the concept of race) students will be introduced to basic information and critical perspectives necessary to reflect on their involvement, as Americans, in a service-oriented study abroad experience in Ghana. Through lectures with UCC faculty, students will have a deeper appreciation for the forces that have shaped contemporary Ghana, and how come to a deeper understanding of the lives of people in northern Ghana.

In preparation for the program, students will enroll in one credit hour of HIST 3954 in the spring taught by Dr. Brett Shadle, Associate Professor of History.

Course number (CRN)–name
HIST 3954 (19236)–Study Abroad (Spring 2017 – Prerequisite)
AFST 1814 (00000)–Introduction to African Studies (Summer I 2017)
CSES 2034 (00000)–Agriculture, Food Security, and Health (Summer I 2017)

Travel dates
May 24, 2017 – July 07, 2017



Application deadline (Check with the program contact for possible deadline extensions)
December 09, 2017

Program fee

Payment deadline
January 10, 2017 ($500 Deposit)

Program contact
Selma Haghamed