John Willie Kofi Harlley

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John Willie Kofi Harlley
10th Minister for Foreign Affairs (Ghana)
In office
Preceded byLt. Gen. J. A. Ankrah
Succeeded byPatrick Dankwa Anin
9th Minister of the Interior
In office
Preceded byLawrence Rosario Abavana
Succeeded bySimon Diedong Dombo
1st Inspector General of Police of the Ghana Police Service
In office
Preceded byE. R. T. Madjitey
Succeeded byB. A. Yakubu
Personal details
Born(1919-05-09)9 May 1919
Akagla, Volta Region, Ghana[1]
Diedc. 1980s
NationalityGhana Ghanaian

John Willie Kofi Harlley (9 May 1919[2] – c. 1980s) was a Ghanaian senior police officer and politician. Harlley was a former foreign minister of Ghana. He was a member of the Presidential Commission that ruled Ghana during the military era of the National Liberation Council and the first year of the Second Republic.[3] He was the first Inspector General of Police in Ghana.

Early years and education[edit]

He was born at Akagla in the Volta Region which was then administered by the French and English. He attended Presbyterian Schools at Boso and Akropong. He completed his elementary school education at Anloga Presbyterian School in 1936 and later enrolled into the Accra Academy where he had his secondary education from 1936 to 1939.[4][5][2]


He was an interpreter in ewe and twi at the district magistrate court, Accra. Then later at the Supreme Court of Ghana, before enlisting in the Gold Coast Police just a week before his 21st birthday in May 1940. He became an inspector in November 1952 and was selected for training at the Metropolitan Police College, Hendon (now Hendon Police College) in 1953. On his return to Ghana he progressed from the rank of assistant Superitendent of Police to become the commissioner of police in 1965.[5][6][7][8]


At the time of the February 24, 1966 coup d'état that removed the Convention People's Party government of Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Mr. Harlley was the Inspector General of Police, making him the most senior police officer in the country. He was one of the eight members of the National Liberation Council government formed afterwards.[9] He remained in his office as the head of the police force and in addition was appointed Minister for Foreign Affairs between 1967 and 1968.[10] On September 3, 1969, a Presidential Commission was formed. Mr. Harlley was one of the three members of the commission. This commission remained in place even after the handover to the democratically elected Progress Party government of Dr. Kofi Abrefa Busia. On August 7, 1970, the commission was replaced by an interim President, Nii Amaa Ollennu.[3]



  1. ^ Europa Publications Limited (1975). Africa South of the Sahara. Europa Publications Limited. ISBN 9780900362750. Retrieved 2015-03-10.
  2. ^ a b "The New Ghana". Accra, Ghana Information Services Department. 1966. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  3. ^ a b Roberto Ortiz de Zárate. "Leaders of Ghana". World Political Leaders 1945–2007. Zárate's Political Collections. Archived from the original on 2007-04-29. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
  4. ^ "African Biographies, Volume 2". African Biographies. Verlag Neue Gesellschaft: 46. 1971.
  5. ^ a b Baynham, Samuel (1988). The military and politics in Nkrumah's Ghana.
  6. ^ "The New Ghana". Accra, Ghana Information Services Department. 1966. Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  7. ^ The rebirth of Ghana, the end of tyranny. 1966.
  8. ^ Vieta, K. T (1999). The flagbearers of Ghana: profiles of one hundred distinguished Ghanaians.
  9. ^ "Nkrumah's Overthrow!". News archive. Ghana Home Page. Archived from the original on 2007-09-30. Retrieved 2007-04-11.
  10. ^ B. Schemmel. "Foreign ministers E-K - Ghana". Lists of heads of state of government and ministers of various countries. Retrieved 2007-04-11.

External links[edit]

Police appointments
Preceded by
E.R.T. Madjitey
Inspector General of Police
1965 – 1969
Succeeded by
B. A. Yakubu
Political offices
Preceded by
Lawrence Rosario Abavana
Minister for the Interior
1966 – 1969
Succeeded by
Simon Diedong Dombo
Preceded by
Lt. Gen. Joseph A. Ankrah
Foreign Minister
1967 – 1968
Succeeded by
Patrick Dankwa Anin