Johns Hopkins Gazette: October 3, 1994

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
    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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