American Adventists Invest in Ghana's Education Infrastructure

transatlantic partnership between several Seventh-day Adventist institutions in the United States has made possible a new academic building on the campus of Adventist-owned Valley View University (VVU) in the west African nation of Ghana.

The university celebrated the completion of health-themed Columbia Union Hall, named for the region of the church where the funding came from, with an inaugural ceremony on February 18.

According to Dr. Seth Laryea, VVU president, some US$200,000 of the US$425,000 needed to complete the project came from the Columbia Union Conference, the Adventist church's administrative area covering the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.

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PARTNERSHIP – Adventist Pastor Dave Weigley, president of the Columbia Union Conference, presents a check to Dr. Seth Laryea with Samuel Larmie, Ghana Union Conference president; Seth Bardu, treasurer of Columbia Union; Frank Perez, president and chief executive officer for Kettering Adventist Healthcare. [Photo: Ghana Union/ANN]

Additional funding came from the union's Kettering Medical Center Network, Adventist Health Care Incorporated and the Alleghany East Conference.

"Since the Columbia Union is the umbrella body for the donor organizations, we thought it appropriate to name the facility after the Union," Laryea said.

The new building has already eased space problems on the campus of 2,500 students, he added.

Columbia Union Hall, a three-story building, will accommodate the University's future nursing and medical equipment technology programs. It will also house a departmental library, lecture rooms, a conference hall, a science laboratory, offices and a nursing skills development center.

The partnership between the Columbia Union and the Ghana Union was formed in 2005 to "enrich and improve the church's work in Ghana," Laryea explained. He said future plans include launching a nursing and medical technology program at VVU with help from a Kettering faculty exchange program.

Ghana's Deputy Minister of Health, Dr. Gladys Ashietey, was optimistic that the new program would help prevent nurses and other health personnel from leaving Ghana to seek work elsewhere.

According to, a Netherlands-based Internet Web site, Dominic Fobih, the country's minister for education, science and sports said, "Private tertiary institutions have come in a wonderful way to complement government effort. This has greatly reduced the pressure on government in creating opportunities for the large number of qualified senior high school students who are not able to get admission into public universities."

"We are impressed at what we have seen and are grateful that the money donated was well spent," commented pastor Dave Weigley, Columbia Union Conference president.

                                                                                   -- by Solace Asafo and Taashi Rowe, Adventist News Network

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