The Prince of Wales College
Formerly known as the “Prince of Wales College” or “Achimota College and School”, Achimota School is
an interdenominational, coeducational, secondary boarding school located on a 1300-acre, park-like
campus about seven miles from the center of Accra, the capital of Ghana, West Africa.
On January 28, 1927 Sir Frederick Gordon Guggisberg, Governor of the Gold Coast (now Ghana),
formally opened Achimota School. In the three years, from 1924, and leading up to the formal opening
in to 1927, Governor Guggisberg and Achimota’s two other founders—Rev. Alexander Garden Fraser,
who became its first principal, and Dr. James Emman Kwegyir Aggrey, who became Assistant to
Fraser—worked feverishly to realize Guggisberg’s dream of establishing the country’s very first
coeducational government school. View pictures
A brazen idea
Having girls learning side-by-side with boys 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
For decades, promising students from other African countries came to Ghana to attend Achimota
School—including Sir Dauda Jawara, the first president of The Gambia.
The Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology which originated from Achimota College’s
Engineering School is named for a graduate of Achimota, Ghana’s first president.
The University College of the Gold Coast now known as the University of Ghana originated from
Achimota College. The University of Ghana holds its annual Aggrey-Fraser-Guggisberg Memorial
Lecture Series to honor the founders’ contributions to Ghanaian education.
Achimota currently has about 1,600 students, almost
evenly gender-balanced, up from about 1100 in the
1970s. It has 82 academic staff members who teach
subjects ranging from Computer Science to
Agriculture. With its well laid-out grounds and about
4.4 miles of private roads, Achimota’s 1300-acre
campus, surrounded by a forest reserve, features
several architecturally interesting colonial-era buildings
from the 1920s and 1930s. There are 14 residential
houses, two dining halls, a student clinic, a post office,
two gyms, extensive playing fields, an arboretum, a
swimming pool, a cricket oval, and basketball, tennis
and squash courts.
The open architecture of the dramatically-shaped Aggrey Memorial Chapel takes advantage of natural
cross-currents, making air-conditioning unnecessary and is similar to the open Chapel at Trinity
College, Kandy, Sri Lanka, where Rev. Fraser served as Principal from 1904 to 1924.
Located within the campus are the Achimota Primary School, the Achimota Golf Course, and the 45-bed
Achimota Hospital that is now managed by the government and serves the School and the surrounding
View of Achimota School Administration
Block Picture by Suzette Ayensu.
ACHIMOTA SCHOOL CAPITAL CAMPAIGN