Achimota School - Accra, Ghana
Achimota School (formerly Prince of Wales College and School, Achimota, now nicknamed Motown), is an elite and highly selective co-educational secondary school located at Achimota in Accra, Ghana. It was established and commenced operations in 1924 and formally opened in 1927 by Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg -- then governor of the Gold Coast. The school was founded by Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey and Rev. Alexander (Alec) Garden Fraser.
The school has educated many African leaders, including Kwame Nkrumah, Edward Akufo-Addo, Jerry John Rawlings, all of whom are former Heads of State of Ghana. The current President of Ghana, John Evans Atta Mills, is also a product of Achimota School. Former Prime Minister Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia taught at Achimota. Also included in its list of African Heads of State are Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, and Sir Dawda Jawara, first Head of State of The Gambia. An alumnus/alumna of Achimota is known as an "AKORA".
The motto of the school is "Ut Omnes Unum Sint" meaning "That All May Be One", a reference to the abiding philosophy of the Founders that, starting in the context of school life, black and white, male and female, should integrate and combine synergistically for the good of all. This is also graphically represented by the symbolised black and white piano keys emblem of the school.
Having girls learning side-by-side with boys in the 1920s was a brazen idea. But all three idealistic founders had strong reformist tendencies, and they were determined to create a school that would be a model for all of West Africa—a school that would educate Ghanaian boys and girls so well that they would be completely at ease in both traditional culture and western settings. Their vision was to produce a class of intellectually bi-cultural leaders whose training would enable them to act as interpreters and brokers for European and African ideas, fully able to take over their country’s government when the time inevitably came for the British to leave. Ahead of its time, the idea was simultaneously idealistic and radical. It was from this vision of synthesis that the famous piano-key design of the Achimota School crest emerged. Said Aggrey at the time, “You can play a tune of sorts on the black keys only; and you can play a tune of sorts on the white keys only; but for perfect harmony, you must use both the black and the white keys.