First Lady of Ghana to Study Nonprofit Management at IPS By Ghita Levine In an unusual visit for a foreign dignitary, the wife of the president of Ghana will study at Hopkins. Her Excellency Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings will be in the United States from Oct. 9 until Nov. 26. During her stay, her calendar will be crammed with ceremonial and private visits from New York to Florida, including planned visits with Hillary Clinton and Coretta Scott King. It is Rawlings' first trip to the United States and marks one of the longest visits ever of a foreign first lady to this country. Rawlings, the charismatic wife of Ghana's president, Jerry John Rawlings, will arrive in Baltimore on Oct. 9 to participate in an international training program for managers of nonprofit organizations, sponsored by the Johns Hopkins Institute for Policy Studies. Rawlings is president of the 31st December Women's Movement, a non-governmental organization involved in promoting the rights of women and children. While at Hopkins, Rawlings will attend lectures and seminars at the university and visit local community agencies with other program participants. She will also meet local and national dignitaries, take short trips to other cities, spend time with prominent African Americans and Ghanaians living in the United States, and find some quiet study time to meet her course obligations. Her trip to Atlanta Oct. 28 to 30 will include planned visits to King, former president Jimmy Carter, Hank Aaron, Jane Fonda and Ted Turner, and dinner at the home of poet Maya Angelou. During her final week in Baltimore, she will make a public presentation in Shriver Hall, scheduled for Oct. 31. Following her departure from Hopkins, she will interact with government officials, the business community and friends under arrangements made for her final two weeks by the African-American Institute. An influential and powerful woman, Rawlings has pioneered the cause of Ghanaian women as head of DWM, which she founded in 1982 and which, today, has nearly 2 million members. In that capacity, she attended the Institute for Policy Studies' International Philanthropy Fellows Conference in Ghana in 1993 and returned to the 1994 conference held in Amsterdam. Lester Salamon, director of the institute, invited her to Hopkins to attend the 7-year-old philanthropy course as a special fellow. "We're witnessing a massive upsurge of nonprofit activity around the world," Dr. Salamon said. "Rawlings' participation in the philanthropy fellows program indicates the importance of these organizations and their need for professional management." Rawlings, 46, was born in Ghana, obtained a degree from Ghana's University of Science and Technology in Accra, and subsequently married schoolmate Jerry John Rawlings, who spearheaded two successful revolutions, in 1979 and 1981. Now, as leader of the Fourth Republic of Ghana, President Rawlings heads one of the most stable nations in Africa. Ghana, perched on the Atlantic in West Africa, is almost the size of Oregon, with a rapidly growing population of some 16 million and an economy dominated by agriculture. Ghana exports mainly cocoa and gold. The Rawlings, who live in the capital, Accra, have three daughters and a son. Rawlings is also an active advocate for children's rights. Her women's group has established 870 preschool facilities around the country, and child immunization and family planning programs are other causes she promotes. Through her efforts, Ghana was the first country to ratify the United Nations Convention on the Right of the Child in April 1991. Rawlings' U.S. visit and her participation in the Hopkins program are supported by the U.S. Agency for International Development and the U.S. Information Agency.
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