During the first 12 months of his exposure to the United States, Peter was astounded by the differences between the U.S and Ghana, where he grew up. The basic infrastructure in the U.S alone led him to start asking, “Why”?. As he continued to ask why, three themes emerged; sacrificial leadership, investment and higher education. Peter became convinced these three themes are the foundational reasons why the West is far ahead of Ghana and the rest of Africa today. According to Peter, Western leaders have come to realise the need to sacrifice their lives and resources for the betterment of individuals and society. Peter also noted a strong “spirit of investment” where both rich and poor are willing to put their resources towards individuals’ and society’s overall advancement. Finally, he noted there were significant levels of “investment in higher education” (colleges and universities). According to him, he felt there was a need for “a school on every corner of street”.
Among the themes identified, Peter became certain that higher education was the “hope for Ghana and Africa.” He realised he could sacrifice and invest towards the creation of higher educational opportunities in Ghana to bring an enhanced future to many. As a result, Peter began exploring and comparing differences in the number of post-secondary and higher educational institutions in Ghana compared to Oregon, where he lived in the U.S. He quickly discovered Ghana and Africa had a severe lack.
Coupled with his challenges of accessing higher education in Ghana, the exceptional experience he had at Warner Pacific College and Regent University and his passion for essence in African leadership, Peter decided to pursue the dream of founding a leadership institute (Palm Institute of Strategic Leadership) with a strong focus on Ghana and Africa grounded on excellence, values and ethics-based to facilitate the process of raising a generation of corporate, religious and political leaders in Ghana and Africa who will assist in identifying short and long term business solutions to many challenges of the continent.
As part of creating leadership development opportunities for Ghanaians and other Africans, Peter founded the Naa Amerley Palm Education (NAPE) Foundation and has created a couple of scholarship funds to honor individuals who have impacted his life one way or the other while growing up in Ghana and also living in the United States. All the individuals he named the scholarship funds after have been very supportive of the work of the foundation since its inception.
The Naa Amerley Palm Education (NAPE) Foundation
The Naa Amerley Palm Education (NAPE) Foundation was founded in March of 2006, and is named after his mother (Naa Amerley Palm) who passed away a year after Peter settled in the United States. Peter and his wife Beth Okantey thought it was relevant to name the foundation and Palm Institute of Strategic Leadership after his mother because of her motivational and financial investment in his education in Ghana. NAPE Foundation has provided scholarships to current high school and university students in Ghana over the past three years. NAPE Foundation is run by a board and advisers from business and the academy in Ghana and the United States. NAPE Foundation has been awarding scholarships to Ghanaian students at the high school and university levels since 2009 up to date. Currently, scholarships are awarded through the Florence M. Hutchful & Family Scholarship Fund, the Lee Nusich & Lane Powell Scholarship Fund, the Matthew S. Essieh & Family Scholarship Fund, the Robert and Susan Smith Scholarship Fund, the Mike and Mary Delk Family Scholarship Fund, and the Nathan Howells Scholarship Fund.
Palm Institute of Strategic Leadership
We are committed to training and developing Africa’s next generation of ethical and value-based corporate leaders. We believe Africa is a strategic destination for global business. Thus, we need to be prepared for the influx by equipping locally successful and globally competent leaders who will run our industries and economies.