Nana Akufo-Addo

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Nana Akufo-Addo
Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg
President of Ghana
Assumed office
7 January 2017
Vice President Mahamudu Bawumia
Preceded by John Mahama
Minister of Foreign Affairs
In office
1 April 2003 – 1 July 2007
President John Kufuor
Preceded by Hackman Owusu-Agyeman
Succeeded by Akwasi Osei-Adjei
Attorney General of Ghana
In office
7 January 2001 – 1 April 2003
President John Kufuor
Preceded by Obed Asamoah
Succeeded by Papa Owusu-Ankomah
Member of Parliament
for Akim Abuakwa South
In office
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Samuel Atta Akyea
Member of Parliament
for Abuakwa
In office
Preceded by Constituency established
Succeeded by Constituency abolished
Personal details
Born William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
(1944-03-29) 29 March 1944 (age 73)
Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana)
Political party New Patriotic Party
Spouse(s) Rebecca Griffiths-Randolph
Children 5
Residence Flagstaff House
Education New College, Oxford
University of Ghana
Inns of Court School of Law
Website Campaign website

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (/æˈkʊf ɑːdˈ/ (About this sound listen) a-KUU-foh ad-OH; born William Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo;[1] 29 March 1944) is the President of Ghana, in office since January 2017.[2] He previously served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007.[3]

Akufo-Addo first ran for President in 2008 and again in 2012, both times as the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but was defeated on both occasions by NDC candidates: John Atta Mills in 2008 and John Dramani Mahama in 2012.[4] He was chosen as the NPP's candidate for a third time in the 2016 elections and defeated Mahama in the first round (winning 53.85% of the votes) which was an unprecedented defeat and the first time in the history of Ghana.[5]

Early life and education[edit]

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was born in Accra, Ghana, to a prominent Ghanaian royal and political family as the son of Edward and Adeline Akuffo-Addo.[6] His father Edward Akufo-Addo from Akropong-Akuapem was Ghana's third Chief Justice from 1966 to 1970, Chairman of the 1967–68 Constitutional Commission and the non-executive President of Ghana from 1970 till 1972.[6] Akufo-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.[6] He is a nephew of Kofi Asante Ofori-Atta and William Ofori Atta. His great-uncle was J. B. Danquah, another member of The Big Six.[7]

He started his primary education at the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later at the Rowe Road School (now Kinbu), both in Accra Central. He went to England to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations at Lancing College, Sussex, where he was nicknamed 'Billy'.[1] He began the Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at New College, Oxford in 1962, but left soon afterwards.[8] He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at Accra Academy , before going to read Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964, earning a BSc(Econ) degree in 1967. He subsequently studied law in the UK and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971. He was called to the Ghanaian bar in July 1975.[9] Akufo-Addo worked with the Paris office of the U.S. law firm Coudert Brothers. In 1979, he co-founded the law firm Prempeh and Co.[10]

Political life[edit]

Akufo-Addo's participation in politics began in the late 1970s when he joined the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice,[11] an organization formed to oppose the General Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council's Union Government proposals.[12] In May 1995, he was among a broad group of elites who formed Alliance for Change, an alliance that organized demonstrations against neo-liberal policies such as the introduction of Value Added Tax and human rights violations of the Rawlings presidency.[13] The broad-based opposition alliance later collapsed as the elite leaders jostled for leadership positions.[9] In the 1990s, he formed a civil rights organization called Ghana's Committee on Human and People's Rights.[11]

Presidential bids[edit]

In October 1998, Akufo-Addo competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP[9] and lost to John Kufuor, who subsequently won the December 2000 presidential election and assumed office as President of Ghana in January 2001. Akufo-Addo was the chief campaigner for Kufuor in the 2000 election. He became the first Attorney General and Minister for Justice of the Kufuor era, and later moved to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and New Partnership for Africa's Development (NEPAD).[14][15]

In 2007, he was the popular candidate tipped to win NPP's presidential primaries.[16] In 2008, Akufo-Addo represented NPP in a closely contested election against John Atta Mills of NDC.[17] In the first round of voting, Akufo-Addo tallied 49.13%, leading Atta Mills with a slim margin that was below the constitutional threshold of 50% to become the outright winner.[18]

Akufo-Addo was again NPP's presidential candidate in the 2012 national elections against major rival NDC's John Mahama, the successor the late Atta Mills. Mahama was declared the winner of the election, an outcome that was legally challenged by Akufo-Addo. The court case generated considerable controversy, and was finally decided by the Ghana Supreme Court in a narrow 5/4 decision in favour of Mahama. Akufo-Addo accepted the verdict in the interest of economic stability and international goodwill.[6]

In March 2014, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to seek his party’s nomination for the third time ahead of the 2016 election. In the NPP primary conducted in October 2014, he was declared victor with 94.35% of the votes.[19] Akufo-Addo also served as Chair of the Commonwealth Observer Mission for the South African elections in 2014.[20][21]

He focused his campaign on the economy, promising to stabilize the country's foreign exchange rate and to reduce unemployment levels.[22] On 9 December 2016, sitting president Mahama conceded defeat to Akufo-Addo.[23] Akufo-Addo won the election with 53.83% of the votes against Mahama's 44.4%.[24]

President of Ghana[edit]

Akufo-Addo took office on 7 January 2017. His inauguration was held at Black Star Square in Accra. Twelve presidents from African and European countries attended the ceremony, including Edgar Lungu of Zambia, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi of Egypt, Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe, Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria.[25][26][27]

Akufo-Addo faced global backlash, especially on social media, for plagiarizing parts of his inauguration speech, having lifted passages, word-for-word, from previous inaugural addresses given by American presidents John F. Kennedy, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush as well as prepared remarks given by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari at a 2015 United States Institute of Peace event.[28][29][30][31][32][33] After the scandal came to light, his press office issued an apology, with his communication director describing the situation as a "complete oversight and never deliberate."[34][35][36] However, after the mea culpa, it was found that Akufo-Addo had also plagiarized portions of his 2013 concession speech after the Supreme Court of Ghana upheld the 2012 electoral victory of President John Mahama. In that speech, lines were lifted verbatim from United States Vice President Al Gore's 2000 presidential concession speech given after the US Supreme Court verdict.[37][38][39]

In September 2017, the president launched the Free High School Education (SHS) policy, which will make secondary high school free for students in Ghana. The president states it is a "necessary investment in the nation's future workforce" and will help parents whom are unable to pay for their children's education due to financial hardships. The program met with positive reaction from the nation, parents and students were excited and fervent, however, private schools opposed to the program state it will decrease the number of students enrolling in their system.[40][41]

Personal life[edit]

Akufo-Addo is from eastern region and Akropong-Akuapem in the Eastern Region. He 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.[42] They have five daughters.[43][44]

See Also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "OL Elected President of Ghana". 22 December 2016. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  2. ^ Osei Boakye, Evans (7 January 2017). "Nana Akufo Addo Is the New President for Ghana – Here's His Inauguration Speech". GhanaStar. 
  3. ^ "Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo Profile". GhanaWeb. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  4. ^ "Nana Akufo-Addo". Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  5. ^ "World Digest: Dec. 9. 2016: Ghana president concedes to opposition leader". The Washington Post. Retrieved 9 December 2016. 
  6. ^ a b c d Duodu, Cameron (April 2014). "Why Akufo-Addo chose caution, not confrontation". New African. 
  7. ^ "Salute the New King: President-elect of Ghana Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo". 9 December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  8. ^ Ata, Kofi (11 November 2012). "Why has Nana Akufo Addo omitted Oxford University from his Profile?". Modern Ghana. Retrieved 1 November 2016. 
  9. ^ a b c Agyeman-Duah, Ivor (2003). Between Faith and History: A Biography of J.A. Kufuor. Africa World Press. pp. 81, 95. 
  10. ^ "Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co". Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  11. ^ a b Oquaye, Mike (24 December 2008). "Why Nana Akufo-Addo Should be Elected President". Daily Graphic. Ghana. 
  12. ^ Owusu-Ansah, David (2014). Historical Dictionaries of Africa : Historical Dictionary of Ghana (4). Rowman & Littlefield Publishers. 
  13. ^ Ayelazuno, Jasper (2011). "7". Neo-liberalism and Resistance in Ghana: Understanding the Political Agency of the Subalterns in Social-historical Context (Thesis). York University. 
  14. ^ "Africa will continue to dominate Ghana's foreign policy - Akufo-Addo". ghanaweb. 4 June 2005. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  15. ^ "Ghana: NPP Presidential Race for Election 2008". 26 July 2006. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  16. ^ Samin, Zam R. (30 October 2007). "Akufo-Addo Gets Another Boost". The Ghanaian Chronicle. AllAfrica. 
  17. ^ Kennedy, Brian (5 December 2008). "Ghana: Voters Head for Polls in Tight Race". 
  18. ^ Otchere-Darko, Gabby (2010). "Ghana's fragile elections: consolidating African democracy through e-voting". Georgetown Journal of International Affairs. 11 (2). 
  19. ^ "Ghana's Presidential Candidates". Africa Research Bulletin: Political, Social and Cultural Series. 51 (10). November 2014. 
  20. ^ "Akufo-Addo leads Commonwealth Observer Mission to South Africa". 29 April 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  21. ^ "South Africa elections 'crucial' says Akufo-Addo". 9 May 2014. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  22. ^ Lyngaas, Sean, and Dionne Searcey (6 December 2016). "Ghana Presidential Vote Hinges on Economic Perceptions". The New York Times. 
  23. ^ "Ghana: Akufo-Addo wins presidential election", Al Jazeera, 10 December 2016.
  24. ^ "National Results For Elections 2016". ghanaweb. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  25. ^ "LIVESTREAMING: Nana Akufo-Addo takes office as president". ghanaweb. 7 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  26. ^ "Akufo-Addo formally sworn in as Ghana's president, gets 21-gun salute". 7 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  27. ^ "African leaders arrive ahead of Akufo-Addo's inauguration". My Joy Online. 6 January 2017. Retrieved 7 January 2017. 
  28. ^ Sotubo, 'Jola. "Buhari: Read full text of President's speech at US Institute for Peace". Pulse. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  29. ^ "Plagiarism in Akufo-Addo's speech depressing and shocking - Minority". 10 January 2017. Retrieved 9 February 2017. 
  30. ^ Nyanin, Natasha, "Opinion: why Ghanaians shouldn't ignore plagiarism row",, 11 January 2017.
  31. ^ "Ghana's Nana Akufo-Addo and other leaders caught up in plagiarism scandals", BBC News, 9 January 2017.
  32. ^ Ogundipe, Samuel "Ghana President Akufo-Addo caught in plagiarism scandal", Premium Times (Nigeria), 8 January 2017.
  33. ^ Abdulai, Hanan R. Confidence, "Of Akufo-Addo's speech plagiarism", MyJoyOnline, 9 January 2017.
  34. ^ Brown, Hayes (10 January 2017). "Ghana's President Ripped Off A Bunch Of US Presidents In His Inaugural Speech". BuzzFeed. Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  35. ^ "Ghana: Nana Akufo-Addo caught up in plagiarism row", Al Jazeera, 9 January 2017.
  36. ^ Glum, Julia, "Who Is Nana Akufo-Addo? Ghana President's Plagiarism Scandal, Explained", International Business Times, 10 January 2017.
  37. ^ "Full text: Akufo-Addo's post-verdict speech". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  38. ^ Eidenmuller, Michael E. "Online Speech Bank: Al Gore – 2000 Presidential Concession Speech". Retrieved 10 February 2017. 
  39. ^ "Saint Akufo-Addo in the web of the moral shame of new-age plagiarism". 11 January 2017. Retrieved 11 February 2017. 
  40. ^ "Ghana Launches Free High School Education". Joy Online. September 15, 2017. Retrieved 11 November 2017. 
  41. ^ "Akuffo-Addo launches free SHS". Ghana News Agency. Retrieved 11 November 2017. 
  42. ^ Kumasi (7 October 2012). "About the NPP: Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo-Addo". Archived from the original on 28 September 2013. Retrieved 7 October 2012. 
  43. ^ "Akufo-Addo, the family man". Ghanaweb. 3 December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 
  44. ^ "Meet the incoming first family". 30 December 2016. Retrieved 31 December 2016. 

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