Pan-African Global Academy

2007-10 Seed Grant

The goal of Pan-African Global Academy, spearheaded by Carolyn Rouse, was to build an environmentally, socially and financially sustainable high school in Oshiyie, Ghana.

Pan-African Global Academy (PAGA) opened in September 2010 and is the first non-technical high school along a 10 km stretch of Aplaku Road in Western Accra. The curriculum for the school is project-based and the students immediately apply the skills they learn in the classroom to local development projects.

Construction of the Pan-African Global Academy, made from locally sourced earth bricks.
Construction of the Pan-African Global Academy, made from locally sourced earth bricks.


The community will be tracked longitudinally in order to understand what role the school plays in the economic and social transformation of Oshiyie.To ensure the financial sustainability of the school over the long term, Rouse will approach foundations that encourage entrepreneurship for support in redesigning a waste-free marketplace with a water collection system and solar panels. The school would run a cold store for local residents who currently throw away a significant percentage of their catch every year. The second story museum-cafe for tourists would be curated and run by the teachers and students of PAGA.

Designing a new marketplace not only insures the sustainability of the school, but also attracts tourists to other businesses in Oshiyie. The goal is to raise the wealth of the entire community so that individuals can hold onto their family lands. With the marketplace water collection system and public faucets we also hope to increase the health and well-being of the community as well.

Educational Impacts

As a result of Grand Challenges funding, a new course, The Anthropology of Development, has been introduced.

As part of the Spring 2011 seminar, Ghanaian architect Joe Addo spent a week at Princeton lecturing and participating in Radically Sustainable; a conference organized by Rouse that brought together urban planners, architects, and a geographer to discuss how to make great development ideas work given the complexity of urban economies and spaces.

Two graduate and two undergraduate students have visited the Kokrobitey Institute/Ghana to conduct independent research around issues of value to Grand Challenges Oshiyie. The thesis of one of these students, undergraduate Ada Amobi, was given the top prize in the Department of Anthropology. Amy Moran-Thomas’ graduate paper based on her work in Ghana won a prize for the best graduate paper. Ashley Schoettle wrote her junior paper and senior thesis based in part on the work she conduced in Oshiyie. Graduate student Gwen Gordon is doing comparative land rights research in New Zealand.

This project lead to the creation of a new course:

  • The Anthropology of Development, The Post-Colonial Subject

Future Directions:

Rouse will continue to shape the vision of the school through curriculum development. She is fundraising to send more Princeton students to the school in order to teach themed workshops (e.g. solar power, water collection, computer networking and engineering design).

In the immediate future, Rouse would like to get students involved in designing and building the marketplace for the community. In terms of her own ethnographic research, Rouse will continue to study cyclical violence in Greater Accra and how land and sea resources are managed given chieftaincy disputes.

Participating Department

Related Media and Press Coverage


Professor, Anthropology


  • Winston Soboyejo, Professor, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Graduate Students

  • Celeste Alexander
  • Gwen Gordon

Undergraduate Students

  • Adaugo Amobi ’09