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Profile of Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, flagbearer of NPP for 2020 elections

Credit: Yale School of Management 3 mins read

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo is the President of the Republic of Ghana, the Commander-in-Chief of the Ghana Armed Forces, and the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) for the December 2020 elections.

Akufo-Addo is the son of Edward and Adeline Akufo-Addo, and is recognised to be of political descent, where three close relatives of his were members of the Big Six – also referred to as the Founding fathers of Ghana. They were: his father, Edward Akufo-Addo, who was the third Chief Justice of Ghana and the President of the Republic (1969-1972); his uncle, William Ofori-Atta; and his granduncle, J.B Danquah. 

Akufo-Addo’s public political involvements unfolded in his early thirties as he was engaged in some political activism while serving in some associations. 

He was part of those who spearheaded the pro-democracy movement in Ghana through the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), where he served as General-Secretary. 

He is also noted to have established grassroots branches of the Organising Committee of the Danquah-Busia Memorial Club all over the country in 1991, while he served as the Club’s chairman. Akufo-Addo then became the first national organiser of the NPP in 1992 and, later in the same year, he became the campaign manager for Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, who was NPP’s first presidential candidate. Akufo-Addo is also acknowledged to have set up and financed The Statesman newspaper, which is noted to be the unofficial newspaper of the NPP, in 1992.

His political activism continued in 1995 when he led the ‘Kume Preko’ demonstrations by the Alliance For Change (AFC). 

Akufo-Addo contested for parliamentary elections and was elected three times between 1996 and 2008, as Member of Parliament for the Abuakwa South constituency in the Eastern Region. 

Then from 2001 to 2007, Akufo-Addo had some ministerial appointments, serving under the Kufour government as Cabinet Minister, where he was first an Attorney-General and Minister for Justice for two years, and then a Foreign Minister for five years.

Akufo-Addo’s bid for presidency started in October 1998 when he competed for the presidential candidacy of the NPP and lost to John Agyekum Kufuor, who later became president. 

In July 2007, Akufo-Addo won against 16 others for the position of presidential candidate for the NPP for the 2008 December elections; however, he lost the election that year. He contested again for the 2012 national elections and conceded defeat yet again.  

In March 2014, Akufo-Addo announced his decision to run as NPP presidential candidate again for the third time and he was nominated against 7 competitors. Subsequently, in the 2016 elections, he won the presidential elections and was sworn in as President of Ghana on 7 January 2017

Besides being a politician, Akufo-Addo is a trained lawyer and economist. He studied law in the UK and was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971 and to the Ghana bar in July 1975. He also studied Economics at the University of Ghana and obtained BSc in Economics in 1967.

Before then, Akufo-Addo received his primary education in two schools: at the Government Boys School in Adabraka, and later at the Rowe Road School, which is currently called Kinbu, in Central Accra. He later went to the UK to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations at Lancing College, Sussex and returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at Accra Academy Secondary School.

Akufo-Addo was born on 29 March 1944 in Swalaba. He comes from Akropong-Akuapem and Kyebi in the Eastern Region and was raised in the Ga-Maami and Nima areas in the Greater Accra Region. 

He has four children and is married to Rebecca Akufo-Addo, who is the daughter of former Speaker of Parliament of the Third Republic, Jacob Hackenburg Griffiths-Randolph.

Maxine Gloria Danso is a Senior Researcher with Dubawa Ghana. Maxine has previously worked as a Research Assistant engaging in some notable communication research projects in Ghana, having completed a Master of Philosophy programme in Communication Studies at the University of Ghana, with specialisation in journalism, public relations and advertising. She also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English and French from the University of Ghana, with a University Diploma in French Studies from Université Rennes 2 in France. Maxine contributes to the team by drawing from her knowledge and research experience in media studies.

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