NewsWest AfricaOut with the old, in with the new: Ghana's people to watch

Tue,20Feb2018

Posted on Friday, 19 January 2018 10:20

Out with the old, in with the new: Ghana's people to watch

By Billie Adwoa McTernan & Marshall VAN VALEN

Ghana's people to watch
The December 2016 election victory of Nana Akufo-Addo and the New Patriotic Party has brought a host of fresh faces to government, with more perhaps to come

 

PRESIDENCY | Akosua Frema Osei-OpareRight-hand woman

Nana Akufo-Addo is the first Ghanaian president to appoint a woman as his chief of staff: Akosua Frema Osei-Opare, who, prior to her appointment, was a development consultant, a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon and country director for the non-governmental organisation ActionAid. Osei-Opare last held a cabinet position in the government of John Kufuor, where she was deputy minister of manpower development, youth and employment.


CENTRAL BANK OF GHANA | Ernest Addison | New man at the helm

Shortly after Ghana’s new government discovered a $1.6bn hole in its budget, news that central bank governor Abdul-Nashiru Issahaku was under scrutiny risked causing a further dent to investor confidence. Issahaku resigned three years before the end of his tenure citing personal reasons. Filling his shoes is Ernest Addison, who was head of research at the central bank from 2003 to 2011 before becoming the lead regional economist for the African Development Bank. Addison is expected to tread a middle path between price stability and economic growth. His first test was at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) spring meetings, where he stated that the central bank would not finance the government’s deficit, despite a law passed in 2016 allowing it that by breaching terms of the IMF’s $918m aid deal.


FOREIGN AFFAIRS MINISTRY Shirley Ayorkor Botchway Doing more with less

A deputy foreign affairs minister during the Kufuor administration and a well-regarded stateswoman, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway’s appointment as foreign minister was one of the less controversial of Akufo-Addo’s nominations. But just a few months into office, she has to deal with financial hurdles that will make it hard to deliver on the government’s promises to the diaspora and its missions abroad. In March, the finance ministry reduced her funding to only 35% of internally generated funds, a move that Botchway says will make it challenging to pay a $50m loan from Société Générale secured in 2016 to upgrade and renovate its missions and embassies.


GHANA INVESTMENT PROMOTION CENTER Yoofi Grant | Selling Ghana

An investment banker with more than three decades of experience, Yoofi Grant took over as CEO of the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre earlier this year, following his appointment by Akufo-Addo. Grant’s colleagues are currently setting up a database for investors charting opportunities and investible assets. A psychology graduate from the University of Ghana, he is a director of Databank Group –  the firm founded by finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta – where he worked in business development and private equity.


JUSTICE MINISTRY Gloria Akuffo Your day in court

One of the major demands on new attorney general and minister of justice Gloria Akuffo’s time will be leading Ghana’s case in the border and oil dispute with Côte d’Ivoire at the International Tribunal for the Law of the Sea, a dossier she inherited from her predecessor, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong. Akuffo was part of the legal counsel for the New Patriotic Party’s election petition at the Supreme Court following the 2012 election and served as a deputy under Akufo-Addo when he was attorney general in 2001. She was also the country’s first minister of aviation in 2008.


PARLIAMENT | Francisca Oteng-Mensah | Young trailblazer

At 23 years old, Francisca Oteng-Mensah is not your usual millennial. Under the banner of the governing New Patriotic Party, the law student at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology became the youngest parliamentarian in Ghana’s history when she won a seat in June 2015. It was a major upset when she defeated the sitting member of parliament in the Kwabre East constituency. The daughter of Kwaku Oteng, founder and chief executive of the Angel Group of Companies, she has vowed to push for women’s empowerment and encourage more of them to take up leadership roles.

 

From the May 2017 print edition

 



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