Nana Akufo-Addo is a Ghanaian politician and lawyer. He is the incumbent and the fifth president of the fourth Republic of Ghana leading from 2017 to date. Prior to that, he was the Attorney General of Ghana from 2001 to 2003, and Minister of Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007.
He emerged as the President on his third attempt in the presidential race. He defeated John Dramani Mahama who served as the President from 2012 to 2017.
Since then, Nana has made notable contribution and invested into the economic sector of Ghana with several policies and reformation programs. The programs include the free high school education policy and the One District, One Factory project and many others.
Nana Akufo-Addo Background
William Addo Dankwa Nana Akufo-Addo was born on March 29, 1944, Accra Ghana. Nana hails from Akropong-Akuapen and Kyebi in the Eastern Region. He was born into a prominent Ghanaian royal and political family by Edward and Adeline Akufo-Addo. His father Edward, was the former President of Ghana who served from 1970 to 1972.
He began his primary education at the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later moved to Rowe Road School (now Kinbu), in Accra Central. Thereafter, he moved on the Lacing College to study for O-level and A-levels examination.
Then, in 1962, he attended the New College, Oxford to study Philosophy, Politics and Economics, but he soon left afterwards. Then in 1964, he moved to University of Ghana and earned a B.Sc Economics in 1967. Subsequently, he went to the Inns of Court School of Law.
Nana Akufo-Addo Personal Life
He is married to Rebecca Akufo-Addo. His wife is the daughter of Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph, former Judge and speaker of the Parliament of Ghana during the Third Republic.
His union with Rebecca is blessed with five daughters – Gyankroma, Edwina, Adriana, Yeboakua and Valerie.
Nana Akufo-Addo Early Career In Law
He began at the Inner Temple and trained as a lawyer under the apprenticeship system known as the Inns of court, where no formal degree in Law was required. Then, in July 1971, he was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple). Then, in 1975, to the Ghanaian Bar.
Also, he worked with the Paris office of the U.S Law firm called Coudert Brothers. Subsequently, in 1979, he co-founded the law firm, Prempeh and Co.
He began to participate in politics in the 1970s when he joined the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ). Then, in 1992, he joined the New Patriotic Party (NPP). By May 1995, he was among a broad group of elites who formed Alliance for Change which soon collapsed. Later on, he formed a civil rights organisation called Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights.
From 1997 to 2004, he was a member of parliament for Abuakwa. Subsequently, a member of parliament for Akim Abuakwa South from 2005 to 2009.
In January 2001, he was appointed the Attorney General of Ghana and served till April 1, 2003. And, on the same day, he became the Minister of Foreign Affairs until July 1, 2007, both under President John Kufuor.
In 2008, he contested against John Atta Mills of NDC but lost. Also, in 2012, he contested, and lost to John Mahama. However, in 2016, he won the Presidential election against John Mahama under the New Patriotic Party. He has also picked a nomination form as the flagbearer of the party ahead of the 2020 general elections.
President Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana was inaugurated into office on January 7, 2017 at the Black Star Square, Accra, Ghana. Since then has made a notable contribution and major reforms in the country.
In 2017, he launched the Free High School Education (SHS) policy to make secondary school free for students in Ghana. In the first year, about 90,000 more than the usual enrollment of students applied for education and in 2019, over 180,000 students benefited from the policy.
Also, in 2018, he introduced the 7-year Co-ordinated Programme of Economic and Social Development Policies to create jobs for the country. He implemented #OneDistrictOneFactory, by building a factory in each of the country’s districts. The program is expected to facilitate the creation of between 7000 to 15000 jobs per district and between 1.5 million and 3.2 million jobs in Ghana by the end of 2020.
In addition, he has reformed all of Ghana’s ports by implementing a paperless clearing process and reduced the number of regulatory agencies undertaking inspections from 16 to 3, to facilitate efficiency. Also, he appointed a special prosecutor to tackle the issue of corruption in 2018.
Awards And Recognition
He is a Co-chair of the SDG Advocates. Also, he has received the following awards and recognition.
- Phantom Award, 2014
- Mother Theresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice, Harmony Foundation, 2016
- National Achievement Award, Africa-America Institute’s on behalf of the People of Ghana, 2017
- AU Gender Champion, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), 2017
- CAF Platinum Award, 2017
- Exemplary Leadership, Whitaker Group, 2018
- African Best President Award, 2018
- African Port Award, The African Port Award (APA) Foundation), 2018
- Outstanding Leader’s Award, United States Chamber of Commerce, 2018
- Prestigious Procurement Award, 2018
- Exemplary Leadership Award, 2018
- Governance Leadership Award, 2018
- FOCOS Humanitarian Award, 2019
- Merit Award, Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA), 2019
- Honorary Guide of Humanity 2019
- Champion of Trade in Africa Award, 2020
- Fourth Ghana Hotels Association Awards, 2020
- African Leader of the Year, 2020
Nana Akufo-Addo Quotes
“We know how to bring the economy back to life, what we do not know is how to bring the people back to life.”
“A responsible government is required to look at all the implications before decisions are made…”
“We should learn and accept that we do not own the land, but hold it in trust for future generations.”
“After 60 years of independence, we no longer have any excuse for being poor.”
“The SDGs are about the future that we all want and indeed the future that we all need. It is not just desirable. It is an indispensable investment for our future – the future of our youth and that of our children. We cannot and should not fail them.”
“…the global environment is shaky, but the lesson that I draw from that is the need to be consistent and firm in the things that we are doing at home.”
“In Ghana, 60% of the population is under the age of 25. But the race against time is to give this population the requisite skills to operate within the 21st-century.”
“If we are going to make the changes we all want, then we have to start with a change in attitude to work.”
“We are determined to turn around the fortunes of Ghana. Ghana should not be a poor nation. We are not a poor nation.”
Lessons From The Life Of Nana Akufo-Addo
Never Give Up On Your Dreams
Before Nana’s victory in the presidential race, he had failed many times. In 1998, he lost to John Kufuor in the primary election under NPP. Then, in 2008 and 2012 he lost to John Atta Mills and John Mahama respectively in the general elections.
However, his perseverance to achieve his dreams remains worthwhile. Just like President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria who also failed on three occasions before emerging at the fourth attempt, they both never gave up on their ambitions.
As affirmed by Denis Waitley “determination gives you the resolve to keep going in spite of the roadblocks that lay before you.” Perseverance and determination are one genuine characteristics of successful people.
Some Battles Are Won By Retreating
Nana Akufo-Addo is a multi-award-winning President both for his leadership so far and his role in upholding peace in Ghana.
After losing the general elections in 2012, and contesting the results of the election in court, he accepted the courts’ resolve to uphold Mahama’s victory. Also, he urged his supporters to follow suit and this reduced tension in the country.
As a result of his interest in the country’s peace, he received the Mother Theresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice in 2016 for sacrificing political ambitions for the sake of national peace and reconciliation.
Not all retreat is an act of cowardice. Sometimes, some battles are won by retreating.
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