There's no way we can forget about our financial historical background and progress as a nation.
History gives us all the confidence we need to reliably and effectively understand past issues, challenges, events or phenomena, and as well gives us the resilient foundation and backbone to tackle recent issues in an efficient manner so that we can excellently project into the future.
It may surprise you that the challenge we're facing now may have its origin from the past. This presupposes that, at any point in time, we should have a very critical look at how our predecessors of the Finance Ministry tackled certain issues pertaining to economic growth and national development, and see how best we can finetune those strategies and utilize it grow the current Ghanaian economic environment.
At the heart of this discussion is the list of all the Ministers of Finance from the First Republic to the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
We are going to together carefully trace their works, and comprehensively unfold their life chapters in a rich historical piece of credible and reliable information.
The first personality on the list is Komla Agbeli Gbedemah.
Born on June 17, 1913 to Ewe parents in Warri, Nigeria, Komla Agbeli Gbedemah had his secondary school education at Central Region's popular Mfantsipim School. He then proceeded to Achimota School for his Advanced Studies, and graduated in 1933.
Gbedemah initially worked as a teacher, then a Science Master at Accra Academy.
Though he loved teaching, his attention shifted to the timber industry over time. He therefore retired from the teaching profession, and worked as a full-time timber trader.
In the political arena, Komla Gbedemah popularly known as Afro Gbede served as the First Finance Minisiter of Ghana from 1954 to 1961 as well as the country's first Minisiter for Health and Labour who led in the construction of the Akosombo Dam through his strong advocacy strategy and powerful lobbying skills.
Even when his relationship with Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah dwindled, and was forcefully resigned from his position as the Finance Minisiter, Gbedemah continued to work behind the scene with the government of the United States, and ensured the successful completion of the Akosombo Dam Project.
He also led and founded the National Alliance of Liberals in 1969 with the slogan, "Say it loud, I am black and proud!".
He was formerly a member of the United Gold Coast Convention as well as the Convention People's Party.
Komla Gbedemah died on July 11, 1998 at the age of 85.
He was an indigene of Anyako in Ghana's Volta Region.
2. Ferdinand Koblavi Dra Goka
Born on November 7, 1919 to Reverend F.D Goka and Mrs. Goka at Mafi Anfoe in the Volta Region of Ghana (the Gold Coast), Ferdinand Koblavi Dra Goka served as the Regional Commissioner for the Volta Region (from 1959 to 1960), Minisiter for Trade (from 1960 to 1961) and the Second Minisiter for Finance of Ghana (from 1961 to 1964).
He was the man who championed the changing of the name, 'Trans Volta Togoland' to Volta Region.
Ferdinand died in 2007 at Mafi Anfoe, Volta Region, Ghana.
3. Kwesi Amoako-Atta
Born on December 18, 1920 to Ofori Atta I and Agnes Akosua Dodua in Kibi in the Eastern Region of Ghana (then Gold Coast), Joseph Amoako-Atta served as the Minister for Finance (from 1964 to 1966), Member of Parliament for the Akim Abuakwa West Constituency (from 1964 to 1965) and Member of Parliament for the Kade Constituency (from 1965 to 1966).
He died in 1983, and left behind nine children.
4. Lieutenant General Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa
Born on April 24, 1936 in Mampong-Ashanti, Gold Coast , Akwasi Amankwa Afrifa popularly known as Akatakyie served as the 3rd Head of State of Ghana from 1969 to 1970 and a soldier in the Ghana Army from 1957 to 1970.
He was married to Christine Afrifa, and died on June 26, 1979 at the age of 43.
Afrifa was an old student of Adisadel College.
5. Emmanuel Noi Omaboe
Born on October 29, 1930 to Peter Nortey Omaboe of the Adjuate We Royal Family and Mary Opeibea Awuku of the Royal Asona Clan of Amanokrom, at Amanokrom in Gold Coast (now Ghana), Emmanuel Noi Omaboe, well-known as Oyeeman Wereko Ampem II served as a Government Statistician (from 1960 to 1966), Commissioner for Economic Affairs (from 1966 to 1969) as well as the Gyaasehene of Akuapem and Ohene of Amanokrom (from 1975 to 2005).
He was married to Leticia Omaboe.
Emmanuel Noi Omaboe died on November 26, 2005 in Ghana at the age of 75.
He was proudly an old student of Accra Academy.
6. Henry Joseph Mensah
Born on October 31, 1928 in Gold Coast (now Ghana), Henry Joseph Mensah served as the Minisiter of Finance (from 1969 to 1972), Member of Parliament for the Sunyani East Constituency (from 1997 to 2001; 2001 to 2009) as well as the Minisiter and Leader of Government Business, Minisiter for Public Sector Reform and National Institutional Renewal Programme and Senior Minisiter.
He died on July 12, 2018 in Accra, Ghana at the age of 89.
Mensah was proudly an old student of Achimota School.
7. Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
Born on September 23, 1931 in Gold Coast (now Ghana), Ignatius Kutu Acheampong was a Ghanaian Soldier (General) who served as the 6th Head of State of Ghana (from 1972 to 1978).
He died through execution (by firing squad) on June 16, 1979 at the age of 47.
His wife was Faustina Acheampong.
8. Seth Amon Nikoi
Born on January 19, 1930 to Gottfried Ashaley Nikoi and Agnes Betty Oboshie Quao in Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Amon Nikoi served as the Permanent Representative of Ghana to the United Nations (from 1957 to 1960), Bank of Ghana Governor (from 1973 to 1977) and Minisiter for Finance and Economic Planning (from 1979 to 1981).
He was married to Gloria Amon Nikoi, and had three children.
Amon Nikoi was proudly an old student of Achimota School.
9. Robert Kweku Atta Gardiner
Born on September 29, 1914 in Kumasi, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Robert Kweku Atta Gardiner served as the Director of the Department of Social Welfare and Community of the Gold Coast (from 1953 to 1955), Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Housing of Ghana (from 1955 to 1957), Establishment Secretary of Ghana (from 1957 to 1959), Executive Secretary of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (from 1962 to 1975) and Commissioner for Finance and Economic Planning of Ghana (from 1975 to 1978).
He was married to Linda Charlotte Edwards, and had three children.
Robert K.A Gardiner died on April 13, 1994 in Accra, Ghana at the age of 79.
Gardiner was proudly an old student of Adisadel College.
10. Joseph Leo Seko Abbey
Born on August 15, 1940 to Mr. Robert Mensah Abbey and Mrs. Abbey in Accra, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Joseph Leo Seko Abbey served as the Minisiter for Finance and Economic Planning (from 1978 to 1979), Ghana High Commissioner to Canada (from 1984 to 1986), Ghana High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (from 1986 to 1990), and as well served as the country's Ambassador to the United States of America (from 1990 to 1994).
Abbey is proudly an old student of Ghana's prestigious Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast, Ghana.
11. Emeritus Professor George Kwabena Effah Benneh
Born on March 6, 1934 to Mr. Isaac William Benneh and Mrs. Benneh in Jamdede in Gold Coast (now Ghana), George Kwabena Effah Benneh served as the Commissioner of Lands, Natural Resources, Fuel and Power (from 1979 to 1981), Minister of Finance and Economic Planning (from May 1981 to December 1981) as well as the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana, Legon (from 1992 to 1996).
Emeritus Professor George Benneh died on February 11, 2021 in Accra, Ghana at the age of 86.
He was proudly an old student of Achimota School.
12. Richard Kwame Peprah
Kwame Peprah served as the Minisiter of Mines and Energy (from 1993 to 1995) and Minisiter of Finance (from 1995 to 2001) under the leadership of late president Jerry John Rawlings.
Peprah is an independent Director of Skipper Ghana, and an old student of Achimota School.
13. Yaw Osafo-Maafo
Born in 1942 in Akyem Awisa, Gold Coast (now Ghana), Yaw Osafo-Maafo served as the Member of Parliament for the Akim Oda Constituency (from 1997 to 2009), Minisiter for Finance and Economic Planning (from 2002 to 2005), Minister for Education and Sports (from 2005 to 2005), and has as well served as the Senior Minister of the Fourth Republic of Ghana since 2017.
He is proudly an old student of Akyem Awisa Presbyterian School and Achimota School.
14. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu
Born in 1952 in Asante Akim Agogo, Ghana, Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu attended Kumasi High School and Prempeh College for his Ordinary Level Certificate and Sixth Form Education respectively.
He then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration (Accounting Option); and in 1985, he obtained a Qualifying Accounting Certificate as a Chartered Accountant at the Institute of Chartered Accountants.
In the political arena, Baah-Wiredu served as the Minisiter for Local Government and Rural Development from 2001 to 2003 , and as well served as the country's Finance and Economic Planning Minister from 2005 to 2008 under the leadership of former president John Agyekum Kufour.
Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu died in Pretoria, South Africa on September 24, 2008 at the age of 56.
He was married with six children.
15. Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei
Born on April 18, 1957 in Sunyani in the defunct Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana, Anthony Akoto Osei obtained his Ordinary Level Certificate and Advanced Level Certificate from Achimota School and Opoku Ware Senior High School respectively.
He then proceeded to the Oberlin College in Ohio, United States, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics.
Osei further obtained a Master of Arts Degree in Applied Economics and a Doctor of Philosophy in Economics from the American University and Howard University in 1987 respectively.
Dr. Osei served as the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning from 2003 to 2007, then the country's Finance and Economic Planning Minister from 2007 to 2009.
He however previously served as a Research Assistant and Associate Professor at the Centre for Policy Analysis in Ghana and Dillard University, United States respectively.
16. Kwabena Duffour
Kwabena Duffour is regarded as one of the best financial experts in Africa, particularly in Ghana.
During the 1999 IMF/World Bank meeting, he was awarded as one of the four best Central Bank Governors.
After obtaining his Ordinary Level Certificate and Advanced Level Certificate on a Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board Scholarship from the Prempeh College in 1962 and 1964 respectively, he then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Economics.
He further did an MBA in Banking and Finance and Master of Arts in Economics at the Syracuse University in New York, United States in 1975.
And in 1979, he obtained a Doctor of Philosophy in International Finance from the same University.
Dr. Kwabena Duffour served as the Governor of the Bank of Ghana from 1997 to 2001, and as well served as the country's Finance Minister from 2009 to 2013 under the leadership of Professor John Evans Atta-Mills.
17. Seth Emmanuel Terkper
Born in Somanya in Ghana's Eastern Region, Seth Emmanuel Terkper holds a Bachelor of Commerce and MPA from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana and the Kennedy School, Harvard University.
He is a Chartered Accountant, and served as a Senior Economist in the Fiscal Affairs (FAD) of the International Monetary Fund from 1999 to 2009.
Terkper further served as the Deputy Minister for Finance and Economic Planning under Prof. Evans Atta-Mills' Administration, and as well served as the Minisiter for Finance and Economic Planning from 2013 to 2017 under the leadership of former president John Dramani Mahama.
Last but no least personality is Kenneth Ofori-Atta.
Born on November 7, 1958 in Kibi in Ghana's Eastern Region, Kenneth Ofori-Atta obtained his secondary school education at Ghana's prestigious Achimota School, and then proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon for his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics in 1984.
And in 1988, he graduated with an MBA from the Yale University School of Management.
Two years later (in 1990), he co-founded Databank Financial Services together with Keli Gadzekpo, Togbe Afede XIV and Daniel Ofori-Atta.
He is also a Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute as well as the Co-founder of the Aspen Africa Leadership Initiative.
Since 2017, Ken Ofori-Atta has served the Minisiter for Finance of the Fourth Republic of Ghana.
He is happily married to Professor Angela Lamensdorf Ofori-Atta, and blessed with four children.
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