Early Life Of Ghana Current President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, Vice President Dr. Mahamudu Mawumia and The Honourable Minister of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey.
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was born in Accra, Ghana, to a prominent Ghanaian royal and political family as the son of Edward and Adeline Akufo-Addo. His father Edward Akufo-Addo from Akropong-Akuapem was Ghana’s third Chief Justice from 1966 to 1970, Chairman of the 1967–68 Constitutional Commission and the non- executive President of Ghana from 1970 till 1972. Akufo-Addo’s maternal grandfather was Nana Sir Ofori Atta, King of Akyem Abuakwa, who was a member of the Executive Council of the Governor of the Gold Coast before Ghana’s independence. He is a nephew of Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta and William Ofori Atta. His granduncle was J. B. Danquah, another member of The Big Six.
He started his primary education at the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later at the Rowe Road School (now Kinbu), both in Accra Central. He went to England to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations at Lancing College. He began the Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at New College, Oxford in 1962, but left soon afterwards. He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at the Accra Academy, before going to read Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964, earning a BSc(Econ) degree in 1967. He subsequently joined Inner Temple and trained as a lawyer under the apprenticeship system known as the Inns of court. He was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971. He was called to the Ghanaian bar in July 1975. President Akufo-Addo worked with the Paris office of the U.S. law firm Coudert Brothers. In 1979, he co-founded the law firm Prempeh and Co.
Akufo-Addo’s participation in politics began in the late 1970s when he joined the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice, an organization formed to oppose the General Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council’s Union Government proposals. In May 1995, he was among a broad group of elites who formed Alliance for Change, an alliance that organized demonstrations against neo-liberal policies such as the introduction of Value Added Tax and human rights violations of the Rawlings presidency. The broad-based opposition alliance later collapsed as the elite leaders jostled for leadership positions. In the 1990s, he formed a civil rights organization called Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights.
In October 1998, Akufo-Addo competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP and lost to John Kufuor, who subsequently won the December 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana in January 2001. Akufo-Addo was the chief campaigner for Kufuor in the 2000 election. He became the first Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Kufuor era, and later moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD).
In 2007, he was the popular candidate tipped to win New Patriotic Party‘s presidential primaries. In 2008, Akufo-Addo represented NPP in a closely contested election against John Atta Mills of NDC. In the first round of voting, Akufo-Addo tallied 49.13%, leading Atta Mills with a slim margin that was below the constitutional threshold of 50% to become the outright winner.
Akufo-Addo ran again as NPP’s presidential candidate in the 2012 national elections against NDC’s John Mahama, successor to the late Atta Mills. Mahama was declared the winner of the election, an outcome that was legally challenged by Akufo-Addo. The court case generated considerable controversy, and was finally decided by the Ghana Supreme Court in a narrow 5/4 decision in favour of Mahama. Akufo-Addo accepted the verdict in the interest of economic stability and international goodwill.
In March 2014, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the third time ahead of the 2016 election. In the NPP primary conducted in October 2014, he was declared victor with 94.35% of the votes. Akufo-Addo also served as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014.
He focused his campaign on the economy, promising to stabilize the country’s foreign exchange rate and to reduce unemployment levels. On 9 December 2016, sitting president Mahama conceded defeat to Akufo-Addo. Akufo-Addo won the election with 53.83% of the votes against Mahama’s 44.4%.
President of Ghana
Akufo-Addo took office on 7 January 2017. His inauguration was held at Black Star Square in Accra. Twelve presidents from African and European countries attended the ceremony, including Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.
In September 2017, the president launched the Free High School Education (SHS) policy, which will make secondary high school free for students in Ghana. The president states it is a “necessary investment in the nation’s future workforce” and will help parents who are unable to pay for their children’s education due to financial hardships. The program met with positive reaction from the nation, parents and students were excited and fervent.
Akufo-Addo is from Akropong-Akuapem and Kyebi in the Eastern Region. He is married to Rebecca Akufo-Addo (née Griffiths-Randolph), the daughter of judge, Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph, the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana during the Third Republic. They have three daughters; Gyankroma Funmi Akufo-Addo, Edwina Nana Douka Akufo-Addo and Valerie Obaze.
Akufo-Addo was presented with the Mother Theresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice in 2016 by the Harmony Foundation for sacrificing political ambitions for the sake of national peace and reconciliation.
Akufo-Addo was given an award for Exemplary Leadership in June 2018 by the Whitaker Group. In September 2018, the U.S. Africa Business Centre of the United States Chamber of Commerce presented Akufo-Addo with the 2018 Outstanding Leader’s Award in recognition of regional, diplomatic, and economic leadership in Africa. In October 2018 he received the 2018 Governance Leadership Award “in recognition of his commitment towards enhancing the living standards of the Ghanaians and governing the country in accordance with the rule of law”.
Early life of Ghana Vice President
Bawumia was a Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana until his nomination as the vice presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 2008, standing alongside presidential candidate Nana Akufo-Addo. He also ran as the NPP vice-presidential candidate in the 2012 general elections and was the lead witness for the petitioners in the 2012/2013 Presidential Election Petition which challenged the declaration of John Mahama as winner of the election. He is married to Samira Ramadan and has four children.
Bawumia was born on October 7, 1963, in Tamale to Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia and Hajia Mariama Bawumia.
Bawumia’s father, Alhaji Mumuni Bawumia was a teacher, lawyer and politician, a Mamprugu Royal and Chief of the Kpariga Traditional Area at the time of his death in September 2002. He was a founding member of the Northern Peoples’ Party alongside Chief S. D. Dombo, Chief Abeifa Karbo, Yakubu Tali, the Tolon Naa, and J. A. Braimah, Kabachewura. He served as Chairman of the Council of State from 1992 to 2000.
The Northern Peoples Party, together with the National Liberation Movement and other opposition political parties, later merged into the United Party, the forbearer of the current New Patriotic Party.
Alhaji Bawumia served under various Ghanaian governments in various capacities, including member of the Northern Territories Council, the Gold Coast Legislative Assembly, a Member of Parliament of the First Republic, Northern Regional Minister, and Ambassador to Saudi Arabia.
Early life and education
Born into a large family, Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia was the twelfth of his father’s 18 children and the second of his mother’s five.
Mahamudu Bawumia attended the Sakasaka Primary school in Tamale, and gained admission to Tamale Secondary School in 1975. After graduating from Tamale Secondary School, he went to the United Kingdom where he studied banking and obtained the Chartered Institute of Bankers Diploma (ACIB). He was President of the Ghana United Nations Students’ Association (GUNSA) for 1981. He took a First Class Honours Degree in Economics at Buckingham University in 1987.
He then obtained a master’s degree in Economics at Lincoln College, Oxford, and obtained a Ph.D. in Economics at the Simon Fraser University, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada in 1995. His areas of specialization include Macroeconomics, International Economics, Development Economics and Monetary Policy. He has numerous publications.
From 1988 to 1990, Bawumia worked as a lecturer in Monetary Economics, and International Finance at the Emile Woolf College of Accountancy in London, England. He also served as an economist at the Research Department of the International Monetary Fund in Washington, DC, USA.
Between 1996 and 2000, Bawumia served as an Assistant Professor of Economics in the Hankamer School of Business at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, USA, where he also received the Young Researcher Award in 1998. He was listed in “Who is Who Among America’s Teachers’ in 1999.
Bawumia returned to Ghana in 2000 to work as an economist at the Bank of Ghana. He rose from Senior Economist to Head of Department, and subsequently as Special Assistant to the Governor of the Bank. President John Kufuor appointed Bawumia as Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana in June 2006.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey was born in Accra on 8 February 1963. She had her secondary education at St. Mary’s Girls’ Senior High School at Korle-Gonno . She is a product of the University of Ghana Business School (UGBS), the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ), Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), the Pitman’s Central College, University of London and University of Westminster all in the United Kingdom (UK).
The Hon. Minister holds an Executive MBA, (Project Management option), MA in Public Communication, Bachelor of Laws Degree (LLB), a Diploma in Public Relations and Advertising as well as a certificate in Marketing Management.
In the last NPP administration under President John Agyekum Kufuor, Hon Ayorkor Botchwey served as Deputy Minister for the Foreign Affairs, Information, as well as the Trade and Industry ministries. She is a fourth term legislator and represented the most populous constituency in the country, Weija, for two terms until it was demarcated. She is currently serving a second term, representing the people of Anyaa/Sowutuom. She will not be running for re-election in the 2020 general and parliamentary elections.
At the party level, the Hon. Minister served as spokesperson on Foreign Affairs between the year 2009 and 2013.
During the same period, she was Ranking Member for the Parliamentary Select Committee on Foreign Affairs and subsequently, the Appointments, Defence and Interior Committees of Parliament
A member of the ECOWAS Parliament from 2013 – 2017, Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey worked with her colleagues to assist the Community Parliament in its advisory role in considering matters concerning the region particularly on issues relating to fundamental human rights and freedom, while making recommendations to institutions and organs of ECOWAS. The Hon Minister also served as Vice Chair on the NEPAD & APRM Committees.
Currently she sits on the Communication as well as the Gender and Children Committees of Parliament where she works with colleague members to look into matters relating to communications generally as well as examine all gender and children focused issues to ensure their inclusion in all appropriate legislation.
Before entering into frontline politics, Hon Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey ran a successful Marketing and Communications Company where she was a consultant for the Ministry of Tourism.
As a practitioner of public administration, she worked with various organizations such as Worldspace Ghana, the Divestiture Implementation Committee, Glaxo Group Research and Hodge Recruitment.
Hon. Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey is married with two children. She is a Christian who is an Anglican by denomination.