Sebastian R. Freiku, Kumasi
ACCARA, GHANA — The Reformed Patriotic Democrats (RPD) has congratulated Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo on his election as the fifth President of the fourth Republic of Ghana.
Mr. Kwabena Adjei, leader and founder of the party described Nana Akufo-Addo’s election victory as resounding and a reflection of the choice of the people who are yearning for positive change.
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Akufo-Addo was born in Accra, Ghana, to a prominent Ghanaian royal and political family as the son of Edward Akufo-Addo and Adeline Akuffo-Addo.
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo was born and raised in Ga-Maami (Accra Central) and in the Nima area of Accra. His father’s residence, Betty House at Korle Wokon in Accra, was effectively the headquarters of the country’s first political party, the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC), after it was formed at Saltpond on 4 August 1947.
Akufo-Addo received his primary education first at the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later at the Rowe Road School (now Kimbu), both in Accra Central. He went to the England, United Kingdom to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations at Lancing College, Sussex. Akufo-Addo returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at Accra Academy Secondary School, before going to read Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964, earning a B.S. in Economics in 1967. He subsequently studied law in the United Kingdom and was called to the United Kingdom’s Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971.
Akufo-Addo stayed in France for 5 years as a lawyer at the now-defunct New York-based international law firm, Coudert Brothers.
In 1975, he returned home to Accra to continue with his legal career. Akufo-Addo was called to the Ghana bar in July 1975. He joined the chambers of U.V. Campbell from 1975 to 1979, and in 1979 co-founded the law firm Akufo-Addo, Prempeh & Co., which has become one of the prominent law firms in Ghana.
Akufo-Addo has served on the boards and committees of a number of political, legal, commercial, and social organizations in the country.
In his early thirties, Akufo-Addo was the General Secretary of the broad-based People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ).
In 1992, he was the first national organiser of the NPP and, later that year, campaign manager of the party’s first presidential candidate, Prof. Albert Adu Boahen, the man of courage who broke the “culture of silence” in Ghana, and played such a crucial role in the reintroduction of democracy.
In 1992, Akufo-Addo set up and financed The Statesman newspaper, which has become the unofficial mouthpiece of the NPP.
As Attorney-General, he was responsible for the repeal of the Criminal Libel Law, which, hitherto, had been used to intimidate the media and criminalise free speech. The repeal has enabled the Ghanaian media become one of the most vibrant and freest in Africa.
As Foreign Minister, he was fully involved in the successful Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) peace efforts in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, and Guinea Bissau, and was chairman of the ECOWAS Mediation and Security Council in 2003.
In 2004, Ghana was elected one of the 15 pioneer members of the African Union (AU) Peace and Security Council, a mandate which was renewed at the AU Summit in Khartoum in January 2006. Akufo-Addo was chosen by his peers on the AU Executive Council to chair the Ministerial Committee of 15 that fashioned the Ezulwini Consensus, which defined the African Union’s common position on UN Reforms. He negotiated for the 2007 AU Summit to be held in Accra as part of Ghana’s Golden Jubilee celebrations, and chaired the AU Executive Council in 2007.
Ghana was elected by her peers to take the non-permanent West African seat on the UN Security Council for 2006-07. In August 2006, Akufo-Addo chaired the meeting of the Security Council which took the decision that halted Israel’s massive incursions into Lebanon.
Edward Akufo-Addo, who was a member of the Bar in London, UK, in 1940 returned to what was then the Gold Coast. After independence 1962–1964, Edward Akufo-Addo was a Supreme Court Judge. From 1966 to 1970, he was Chief Justice. Akufo-Addo was President of Ghana in the Second Republic from August 31, 1970 to January 13, 1972 and was deposed in a coup d’état.