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Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, born on March 29, 1944, is a Ghanaian politician who has served as the president of Ghana since 2017.
He previously served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 under the Kufuor-led administration.
Early Life and Education
Akufo-Addo was born in Swalaba, Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana), to Edward Akufo-Addo, a prominent lawyer and politician, and Adeline Akufo-Addo. His father served as the third Chief Justice of Ghana and later as the ceremonial president of Ghana from 1970 to 1972.
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.
Akufo-Addo’s educational background
Nana Akufo-Addo has an impressive educational background. Here are some key points about his education:
Akufo-Addo received his primary education at the Government Boys School and Rowe Road School, both in Accra Central.
He went to England to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations.
He attended Lancing College in England for his secondary education from 1957 to 1961.
He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at the Accra Academy before going to the University of Ghana in 1964 to study Economics.
He graduated from the University of Ghana with a Bachelor of Science degree in Economics in 1967.
He then went to the United Kingdom to study law and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in 1971 and the Ghana Bar in 1975.
Akufo-Addo worked for a law firm in Paris and later worked for another law firm in Ghana. In 1979 he co-founded the law firm of Akufo-Addo, Premph, and Company.
Overall, Akufo-Addo has a strong educational background, having studied economics and law in Ghana and the United Kingdom.
Nana Akufo-Addo Political Career
Akufo-Addo’s political career began in the 1970s when he was involved in the fight against the one-party rule of Kwame Nkrumah. He was also a member of the Movement for Freedom and Justice (MFJ), which opposed the military junta that ruled Ghana from 1972 to 1979.
In 1992, Akufo-Addo joined the newly formed New Patriotic Party (NPP). Akufo-Addo was elected for three terms to Parliament serving from 1996 to 2008 and also served as Minister of Justice in the national government from 2001 to 2003 and later as Foreign Minister from 2003 to 2007.
In October 1998, Akufo-Addo competed for the presidential candidacy of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and lost to John Kufuor, who won the December 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana in January 2001.
He later became the first Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Kufuor era. Akufo-Addo resigned from the Kufuor government in July 2007 to contest for his party’s presidential nomination in the 2008 elections.
In the runoff, John Evans Atta Mills an NDC candidate beat Akufo-Addo by the smallest margin in Ghanaian political history.
However, after the death of John Evans Atta Mills on 24 July 2012, he was succeeded by his vice president, John Mahama in accordance with the 1992 Constitution.
Akufo-Addo also lost to John Dramani Mahama and then went off to serve as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014.
In March of the same year, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the third time ahead of the 2016 election.
He was elected President of Ghana in the December 7 elections, after obtaining 53.85% of the total valid votes cast.
Akufo-Addo was inaugurated as president of Ghana on January 7, 2017. He has pledged to focus on economic development, job creation, and infrastructure development. He has also committed to fighting corruption and improving education and healthcare.
Akufo-Addo’s presidency has been marked by both successes and challenges. On the positive side, he has overseen a period of relative economic stability and growth. He has also made progress in improving access to education and healthcare.
However, he has also been criticized for his handling of the economy, his government’s record on human rights, and his failure to address corruption.
Personal Life of Nana Akufo-Addo
Akufo-Addo 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 five children and five grandchildren.
Akufo-Addo had two previous wives before marrying Rebecca. Their names are Remi Fani-Kayode and Eleanor Nkansah-Gyamenah.
Who is Akufo-Addo’s wife
Nana Akufo-Addo is married to Rebecca Akufo-Addo (née Griffiths-Randolph), who is the current First Lady of Ghana. They got married in 1997 and have been together for over 20 years. Rebecca Akufo-Addo was born on March 12, 1951, and is a Ghanaian public figure.
She is the daughter of Judge Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph, who was the Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana during the Third Republic. Rebecca Akufo-Addo is the founder of the Rebecca Foundation, which is a non-governmental organization that focuses on improving the lives of women and children in Ghana.
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She has been praised for her advocacy work in fighting malaria and malnutrition in children and adolescents, as well as her efforts to improve women’s health and reduce infant mortality in Ghana and across Africa.
Nana Akufo-Addo had two previous wives before marrying Rebecca. Their names are Remi Fani-Kayode and Eleanor Nkansah-Gyamenah. His marriage to Remi ended with a divorce after almost a decade of staying together whilst Akufo-Addo’s marriage to Eleanor ended with her death. Nana and Rebecca Akufo-Addo have five daughters and five grandchildren.
Nana Akufo-Addo’s children
Nana Akufo-Addo and his wife Rebecca Akufo-Addo have five daughters and five grandchildren. Their daughters are
1. Gyankroma Akufo-Addo
2. Edwina Nana Douka Akufo-Addo
3. Adriana Dukua Akufo-Addo
4. Yeboakua Akufo-Addo
5. Valerie Obaze (stepdaughter)
The professions of Nana Akufo-Addo’s daughters are not publicly known.
Nana Akufo-Addo Awards and Recognitions
Akufo-Addo has received numerous awards and recognitions, including:
- Order of the Star of Ghana (1971)
- Order of the Volta (2001)
- African Leadership Award (2011)
- Mo Ibrahim Prize for Leadership in Africa (2017)
Nana Akufo-Addo’s political background
Nana Akufo-Addo has a long and distinguished political background in Ghana. He has been involved in politics for over 25 years and has held various positions in government. Here are some key points about his political background:
1. Akufo-Addo has been a member of parliament for the New Patriotic Party (NPP) since 1996.
2. He has served as a Cabinet Minister in various capacities, including as Attorney General and Minister for Justice from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007.
3. As Foreign Minister, he was involved in successful peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was chairman of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in 2003
4. Akufo-Addo has been a guardian of democracy in Ghana and has been involved in various political pressure groups.
5. He has run for president several times, in 1998, 2008, 2012, and 2016, before finally winning the presidency in 2016 with 53.85% of the vote.
6. Akufo-Addo has been involved in international politics as well, serving as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014.
Overall, Akufo-Addo has a wealth of experience in Ghanaian politics, having held various positions in government and being involved in politics for over 25 years.
Nana Akufo-Addo controversies
Nana Akufo-Addo, like any other politician, has faced controversies during his political career. Here are some of the controversies associated with him:
Electoral fraud allegations
In the 2012 presidential election, Akufo-Addo and his party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP), lodged allegations of electoral fraud and challenged the results at the Supreme Court.
However, the court ruled in favor of the incumbent president, John Mahama, and Akufo-Addo accepted the results without calling for a recount.
In 2017, Akufo-Addo was accused of lifting parts of his inauguration speech from previous addresses given by former US presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush.
This led to a public uproar, with some calling for the sacking of the speechwriter or for someone to take responsibility. The Director of Communication at the Presidency subsequently issued an apology.
National Cathedral Controversy
Akufo-Addo’s plan to build an interdenominational national cathedral has been a source of controversy in Ghana. Some critics have called for the project to be scaled down over fears that it could be abandoned after Akufo-Addo’s exit from office.
There have also been allegations of financial impropriety by members of the board of trustees overseeing the project.
Despite these controversies, Akufo-Addo has remained a popular figure in Ghanaian politics and has been praised for his efforts to improve the country’s economy and infrastructure.
Economic policies implemented by Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo has implemented several economic policies during his presidency in Ghana. Here are some of the key policies:
1. Free SHS policy: This policy made access to Senior High School in Ghana free, which was a major policy in his first term.
2. One district, one factory policy: This policy aimed to put a factory in each of the country’s more than 200 districts.
3. Environmental war on illegal artisanal mining: In 2017, Akufo-Addo declared an environmental war on illegal artisanal mining in Ghana.
4. African Continental Free Trade Area: Akufo-Addo ratified the African Continental Free Trade Area and supported intra-African trade.
5. Fiscal consolidation and job creation: The 2022 Budget Statement and Economic Policy of the Government of Ghana presented by Akufo-Addo’s finance minister focused on building a sustainable entrepreneurial nation through fiscal consolidation and job creation.
6. Ghana Beyond Aid: Akufo-Addo’s government is focused on macroeconomic stability and economic growth, with a motto of “Ghana Beyond Aid” to diminish the nation’s reliance on foreign aid.
Overall, Akufo-Addo’s economic policies have focused on improving access to education, promoting entrepreneurship and job creation, and reducing the country’s reliance on foreign aid.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is a significant figure in Ghanaian politics. He has served his country in a number of important positions, and he has made a significant contribution to Ghana’s development. He is a controversial figure, but he is nonetheless a respected leader.
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