By Iddi Yire, GNA
Accra, April 27, GNA – The United States (US) Embassy has celebrated Mrs Nancy Keteku for her contributions over the past 28 years in promoting higher education to students in Ghana and throughout Africa.
Mrs Keteku would be retiring on May 15, from her role as the US’ Regional Educational Advising Coordinator for 26 countries in West and Central Africa, a position she has held since 1996.
She is originally from Massachusetts but has made her home in Ghana for more than 40 years, working to internationalise the African Higher Education sphere by helping thousands of African students to study in the US and generating more than $100 million (dollars) in scholarships.
Mrs Keteku’s areas of focus include funding for US Education, mobility trends, accreditation and quality control, and credential evaluation.
Deservedly, Mr Robert P. Jackson, the US Ambassador to Ghana and his wife Babs; Ms Melinda Tabler-Stone, the Deputy Chief of Mission of the US Embassy, and a cross section of Ghanaians, who have been beneficiaries of EducationUSA, turned up to honour her at a reception on Thursday, in Accra.
Mr Jackson said: "America’s educational system is the best. And I say that not just out of pride, but because it makes students think. So many other systems concentrate on making learn and remember, but the American system is all about making people think."
To Mrs Keteku, Mr Jackson said: "Nancy, on behalf of our Mission, I want to say an enormous thank you."
"God will measure the impact in terms of the thousands of students that you have given advised. The thousands of young adults; and the thousands of adults, that have now come back to Ghana and other African countries and are now having impacts on the direction of those countries..... Your impact is absolutely profound."
Ms Tabler-Stone said the US continued to welcome students from Ghana and from around the world.
She declared: “We currently, have more than one million international students in the US. This is an impressive 85 per cent increase compared to 10 years ago. We hope the trend continues.”
“Studying abroad is certainly not a one-way street. It helps all students understand the perspectives of others. I’m pleased to report that Ghana is the second most popular study destination for American students, among all African countries.”
She noted that last year alone, more than 2,300 American students came to Ghana.
“So tonight, we celebrate Nancy for having touched so many lives. And we celebrate the fact that, in doing so, she has strengthened the bond between the US and Africa.”
Mr Patrick Awuah, the Founder and President of Ashesi University College, and a beneficiary of the EducationUSA, in his testimony, hailed Mrs Keteku for playing a key role culminating in his gaining of admission with full scholarship in 1985, to Swarthmore College; earning Bachelor’s Degrees in Engineering and Economics, graduating in 1989.
For her part, Mrs Jackson also lauded Mrs Keteku for making a great impact on the lives of Ghanaian and other African students.
A visibly elated Mrs Keteku expressed gratitude to the Embassy and all beneficiaries of EducationUSA for the honour done her.
“This has to be one of the most humbling moments of my life, standing before all of you who taught me everything I know,” she stated.
She noted that in her advising practice, she aimed to build students’ confidence so that they could realise their full potential in life.
“I am confident that as I step aside, EducationUSA and the next Regional Educational Advising Coordinator will make even greater progress, thanks to the support from all of you. ‘Meda moase pii’.”