Joseph W.S. de Graft-Johnson

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Joseph de Graft-Johnson
1st Vice President of Ghana
(3rd Republic)
In office
September 24, 1979 – December 31, 1981
President Hilla Limann
Preceded by New position
Succeeded by Kow Nkensen Arkaah
Personal details
Born October 6, 1933
Cape Coast, Ghana
Died April 22, 1999(1999-04-22) (aged 65)
London, England
Nationality Ghana Ghanaian
Political party People's National Party
Spouse(s) Lily Anna de Graft-Johnson (née Sekyi)
Profession Engineer, Academic
Religion Methodist

Dr. Joseph William Swain de Graft-Johnson (October 6, 1933 – April 22, 1999) was a Ghanaian engineer, academic and politician. He was Vice President of Ghana from 1979 to 1981.


De Graft-Johnson practised as an engineer in Ghana. He was also a lecturer at the Buildings and Roads Research Institute of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology at Kumasi. He later became the director. He was also one of the founding members of the Ghana Institute of Engineers (GhIE). He was the President of the GhIE from 1977 to 1978.[1]


During the era of military rule under the Supreme Military Council, he was involved in opposition to continued military rule as he was then President of the GhIE, one of many professional bodies in Ghana opposing the military government. He suffered personal attacks because of this.[1] De Graft-Johnson joined the People's National Party (PNP) when it was founded in 1979. This was after the ban on political parties imposed in 1972 by the National Redemption Council was lifted. The PNP won the elections and he became the first ever Vice President of Ghana[2] in the Limann government. The government was overthrown by coup d'état on 31 December 1981. He left for exile in London, England after the coup.


He died on April 22, 1999 in London at the age of 65.[3]



  1. ^ a b McGough, Laura J., Dr. (December 1999). "The Ghana Institution of Engineers In Perspective" (PDF). Ghana Institution of Engineers. Retrieved 2006-06-06. 
  2. ^ "Aliu makes history as first Veep to earn two terms". Ghana Review International. 6 January 2005. Retrieved 2006-06-06. 
  3. ^ "Mills signs book of condolence for former Veep". General News of Wednesday, 12 May 1999. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2006-06-06. 
Political offices
New title Vice President of Ghana
1979 – 1981
Succeeded by
Kow Nkensen Arkaah
(1993 – 1997)