From Vision to Legacy
Kofi Abrompa Tawiah, the founder, was born on June 14, 1946 in Abenase near Akim Oda in the eastern region of Ghana which at that time was a British Colony, called the Gold Coast. Kofi was the fourth in line of Kwame Hammah and Araba Mansa’s six children. Kofi’s father and mother were natives of Enyan Denkyira in the central region of Ghana. They moved to and lived in Abenase for several years where Kofi was born. They cultivated a cocoa farm near Abenase where the family lived in a 1-room hut on the farm.
Kofi was left with family friends in Abenase for him to attend school while his parents were on the farm and in 1956, at the age of 10-years, he was sent away to Kwesimintsim near Takoradi in the Western Region to live with his father’s younger brother, Mr. Kofi Darko. Mr. Darko was a truck driver for the Ghana Government Transport Department and ferried imported goods unloaded at the Takoradi Harbor with an 18-wheeler to the interior of the country; Ashanti and Northern regions of Ghana.
Kofi completed his primary school education at the Kwesimintsim primary school and attended Apowa Methodist Middle School from where he took the common entrance exam in his second year in middle school and gained a full scholarship to attend the Takoradi Government Secondary Technical School (GSTS) from 1960 to 1965. He earned his “O level” Certificate with a concentration in science and engineering with distinction. For his 2-year post-secondary school education, he was admitted to the EDCX (Engineering Degree Course X) at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, preparatory to entering an engineering degree course at KNUST.
In 1967, the second and final year of Kofi’s EDCX course he took the SAT test conducted and used by ASPAU (African Scholarship Program of American Universities) to select that program’s next academic year’s scholarship recipients. Kofi was 1 of the 5 Ghanaian students who received the ASPAU scholarship for the 1968/69 academic year and arrived in the USA in August 1968 to undertake his college education at the University of California, Berkeley Campus. He earned degrees in engineering as well as an MBA in Finance and International Business at Berkeley.
At a very early age, Kofi had a strong and conscious desire to contribute to the development of his newly independent country, Ghana. To achieve this, he wanted and decided to study engineering, which he viewed as a critically needed expertise in the world in general, and particularly so in his newly independent and developing country.
Kofi grew up knowing firsthand what it was like to be poor, but also instinctively, figured that it took education, hard work and discipline to escape poverty. His entrepreneurial instincts appeared early in his life. At the age of 12, Kofi spent every Saturday traveling on foot from Kwesimintsim to the Takoradi harbor with a load of neck-ties sewn by a local tailor. At the harbor, he went from office to office to sell the neck-ties on credit to the male white-collar workers. He went to collect payment for the credit sales at the end of each month when the workers received their monthly pay.
Kofi A. Tawiah – Founder
It was the commission he earned on the neck-tie sales that afforded him the fees he needed to pay to take the “common entrance exam” for admission to secondary or high school.
After his college education, Kofi stayed and developed his career in the United States. He married and had two sons; Jabari and Jason Tawiah. He founded E-3 Systems in 1989 and grew it into a successful and well established IT infrastructure cabling company in the San Francisco Bay Area. Through it all, Kofi never forgot his roots as a Ghanaian. His boyhood desire to contribute to the development of his native country never left him and served as a central driving force and motivation for his determination to achieve financial success.
Unfortunately, Kofi’s boyhood vision and dream of Ghana becoming an economic and socially advanced modern country soon after independence, where the citizenry exhibit great love, pride and an overriding common progressive national purpose for their country has not materialized 58 years after independence. He created his private foundation in 2015 as his long-term vehicle for consistent charitable activity that would continue long into the future as his legacy to engender and support an evolutionary and generational transformation of Ghanaian citizens, so the country can ultimately and permanently realize his boyhood dream and vision for Ghana.