President Akufo Addo
President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo yesterday officially released the names of the first batch of ministerial nominees with the name of former Finance Minister under the erstwhile Kufuor-led New Patriotic Party (NPP) administration, Yaw Osafo-Maafo and some of his colleagues featuring prominently on the list.
Mr Osafo-Maafo who was the leader of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) side of the Transition team was nominated to the position of Senior Minister.
In all 13 people were nominated for various ministerial positions pending parliamentary approval.
At a press briefing at the Flagstaff House [presidency], President Nana Akufo-Addo also mentioned former Interior Minister in the previous NPP administration, Albert Kan Dapaah; Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen; Ken Ofori- Atta of Databank fame; former Minority Spokesman on Agriculture, Dr Owusu Afriyie-Akoto; Boakye Agyarko and the Member of Parliament (MP) for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul.
The rest are MP for Nandom, Ambrose Dery; MP for Anyaa-Sowotuom, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway; Madam Gloria Akufo; Nalerigu-Gambaga MP, Hajia Alima Mahama; Manhyia South MP, Dr Mathew Opoku Prempeh; MP for Dormaa, Kwaku Agyemang Manu and Mr Peter Amewu, NPP Volta Regional Chairman.
The 75-year-old Osafo-Maafo, a banker, consultant and politician who has been designated as Senior Minister, is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Engineer, Project Analyst and a fellow of the Ghana Institute of Engineers.
He is said to have started his career as an engineer at the Volta Aluminium Company (VALCO) and later headed the Bank for Housing and Construction and National Investment Bank where he is touted to have restructured the two major development banks.
Osafo-Maafo later became the Member of Parliament for Akyem Oda Constituency for three consecutive terms and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning from 2001 – 2005, a period which saw the dramatic turnaround of the Ghanaian economy. He also headed the Youth and Sports as well as the Education Ministries.
Mr Osafo-Maafo is married with four children.
Even though a Chartered Accountant by profession, Albert Kan Dapaah, who has been nominated as Minister-designate for National Security, is said to be well-versed in security matters.
A former president of the Institute of Chartered Accountants Ghana, he was a former partner in the international accounting firm – Pannell Kerr Forster – and later worked with the Electricity Company of Ghana as the Director of Finance for six years before entering the Parliament of Ghana in January 1997.
He was the Minority Spokesman on Mines and Energy from 1997 to 2000 and served under the Kufuor administration in the Ministries of Energy, Communications, Interior and Defence between 2001 and 2008.
He also chaired the Public Accounts Committee of Parliament from 2009 to 2012 when he left the House and has since been an adjunct lecturer in Auditing and the Director of the Centre for Public Accountability at the University of Professional Studies in Accra.
Trade & Industry
The mention of the name of Alan as the Minister-designated for Trade and Industry was one of the obvious among the lot since the president had already made his intention about his (Alan’s) likely appointment to the position public.
Alan, who is a graduate in Economics from the University of Ghana and qualified Barrister at-Law from the Ghana School of Law, has an extensive and distinguished record in international development and public policy, trade and enterprise development, politics and diplomacy.
He served as Cabinet Minister of Trade, Industry and Presidential Special Initiatives of Ghana; Ambassador of Ghana to the United States of America; UNECA Senior Policy Advisor on Trade; UNDP Regional Director for Enterprise Africa; CEO of Empretec Ghana Foundation and a Senior Corporate Executive of Unilever-Ghana.
He is married with two children.
Lands, Forestry & Mines
The Chairman of the NPP in the Volta Region, Mr Peter Amewu, an energy expert, has been nominated for the position of Minister for Lands, Forestry and Mines. He played a major role in ensuring the sanctity of the electoral process in the Volta Region.
John-Peter Amewu is 48 years old and holds an MBA (Finance) from University of Ghana. He also has a Post-Graduate Degree (Executive MBA in International Energy Industry Management), and Masters in Petroleum Law and Policy from University of Dundee (UK).
He has more than 15 years’ experience in Government, Private Sector, Civil Society and International Development Organizations. He has participated and undergone several mining professional training and attained various certificates from some Australian prestigious universities such as University of Sydney and University of Western Australia.
He is a Cost Engineer by profession with broader knowledge in the Energy and Mining Industry. He is a co-founder of Africa Center for Energy Policy – ACEP; and also worked as the Director of Policy and Research where he provided pro-active and comprehensive policy-related advice to support a variety of Government and Private Sector Projects.
Mr Amewu is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of major private institutions in Ghana and a professional international consultant in his area of expertise (Mining and Petroleum). His contributions in providing solutions to the problems in the Energy Sector in Ghana have earned him both local and international acclamation and recognition.
Mr Amewu was a mayor of the Hoehoe municipality under the Kufuor regime.
He is married with three children.
If approved, the Finance Ministry is going to be headed by celebrated banker, Ken Ofori-Atta, 57, who holds Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Columbia University in New York, and an MBA from the Yale School of Management.
Among his long credentials, he was twice honoured by Price Water House, Ghana as one of the Top 5 Most Respected CEOs in the country.
He was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley and Salomon Brothers on Wall Street in New York, before co-founding the Databank Group (an investment banking firm) in Ghana.
He was the Executive Chairman from 1990 until his retirement on February 14, 2012.
He is married to Prof. Angela Ofori-Atta of the University of Ghana Medical School, with whom he has four children.
Sixty-nine-year-old Agric Economist and former MP for Kwadaso, Dr. Owusu-Afriyie Akoto, would be heading the Ministry of Agriculture if given the nod by parliament.
He worked as an Economist, Senior Economist, Principal Economist and Chief Economic Advisor over a period of 18 years at the International Coffee Organization (ICO), London, England. He also worked as a
Consultant to the World Bank, United Nations on Soft Commodities (cocoa, coffee, sugar).
Dr Akoto is a two-term MP for Kwadaso where he served under various agric-related portfolios.
He is married with 8 children.
Sixty-year-old Boakye Agyarko, who was the Policy Advisor for the NPP’s 2016 campaign, heads for the Energy Ministry.
He held a vice president position at the Bank of New York, and in over 20 years at the Bank. He worked at senior levels in various departments, including Operations Management and Analysis, Product Development, Global Network Managements, International Banking, Asset Management and the Y2K Management Group.
He also served as the National Campaign Manager of the NPP for the 2012 elections.
At 39, the MP for Bimbilla, Dominic Nitiwul, would probably be the youngest in the country’s democratic history to head the Ministry of Defence.
He has been a legislator for the past 11 years and is currently a Member of the Pan-African Parliament.
Nitiwul has been the Deputy Minority Leader of the Ghanaian Parliament with four years of experience.
He has served in various committees in the Ghanaian Parliament and the Pan-African Parliament, including Finance Committee, Monetary and Financial Affairs Committee, Business Committee, Appointment Committee, Youth and Sports Committee, Roads and Transport Committee as well as Education Committee.
He is married with four children.
Lawyer and MP for Nandom, 61-year-old Ambrose Dery, has been nominated as the Minister of Interior.
He was deputy Attorney General under President Kufuor from 2003 to 2004, and then appointed Upper West Regional Minister from 2005 to 2007.
He was also a Minister of State at the Ministry of Justice from 2007 to 2008, and became Member of Parliament for Lawra/Nandom from 2009 to 2013.
From 2009 to 2013, he was the Deputy Minority Leader of Parliament, leader of the Pan African Parliament’s Observer Mission to the Presidential and Parliamentary Elections of Namibia in November 2009, and leader of the Pan African Parliament Fact Finding Mission to La Cote d’Ivoire.
He is married with a child.
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway’s appointment as Minister-designate for Foreign Affairs also came as no surprise to many since the president had dropped the hint a day earlier.
The 53-year-old product of the University of Ghana Business School, University of Westminster, London, Ghana Institute of Journalism, GIMPA and Pitman Central College, served in the last NPP administration as Deputy Minister for Foreign Affairs, Deputy Minister for Information and Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry.
She is a fourth term legislator who represented the most populous constituency in the country, Weija, for two terms and is currently in her second term representing the people of Anyaa-Sowutuom.
She is a mother of two.
Nana Akufo-Addo has also nominated lawyer and his onetime Deputy Minister while serving as Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Gloria Afua Akuffo, 62, as Attorney-General.
From 2001 to 2004, she served as the first female Deputy Attorney General of Ghana, the first two years of which were under the Attorney General of the time – Nana Akufo-Addo.
She was appointed the first female Deputy Greater Accra Regional Minister in 2005 and in 2006, set up a Ministry of Aviation, and was appointed the first Minister for the sector.
She has two children.
After managing to win back her seat as MP for Nalerigu, Hajia Alima Mahama, 59, has been honoured with an appointment as Minister-designate for Local Government and Rural Development.
She is a lawyer, development planner, trainer, public servant and consultant.
Between 2001 and 2008, she served in the government of John Agyekum Kufuor, firstly as the Minister for Women and Children Affairs then Deputy Minister for Trade and Industry and Deputy Minister for Local Government and Rural Development.
In the latter appointment, she directed and coordinated the development of the comprehensive policy and plan of action on decentralization for Ghana, and was responsible for the World Bank-supported Urban Infrastructure Development Program.
She has one son and two grand-children.
Vociferous 49-year-old medical doctor, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh, would head for the Education Ministry if approved by parliament.
Dr. Prempeh worked as a Medical Doctor in Ghana and United Kingdom, Surgeon and member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom.
He is currently the Member of Parliament for Manhyia South Constituency, having previously been the MP for the then Manhyia Constituency.
As a Member of Parliament, he has served on committees such as Health, Appointments, Special Budget, Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation.
Sixty-two-year-old MP for Dormaa, Kwaku Agyeman Manu, has also been named for the position of Minister of Health.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics and Statistics and is an Associate Chartered Management Accountant.
Under the government of President Kufuor, he served in various ministries as a Deputy. They are Trade and Industry, Interior, Finance, Communications and Roads and Transport. He has served on the boards of institutions such as the Small Arms Commission of Ghana, the Ghana Revenue Authority, Bank of Ghana and the Divestiture Implementation Committee.
He was also the Acting Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Insurance Authority in 2006.
He is the MP for Dormaa Central and is married with six children.
The appointees are expected to be vetted by the Appointments Committee of Parliament for their nominations to hold.
By Charles Takyi-Boadu