fbpx

Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu marches to eternity

BY: Hadiza Nuhhu-Billa Quansah
Bridagier-General Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu

The funeral service of the First Female Bridagier-General of the Ghana Armed Forces (GAF), Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, was held yesterday at the Garrison Methodist/Presby Church, Burma Camp in Accra. She was 61. 

Having proven her mettle and excellence in leadership, she was confirmed as the substantive Commanding Officer, Forces Pay Regiment from January 2000 to May 2002. She thus became the first female officer to chalk such a feat, trailblazing an enviable path for many more females to aspire to with the encouragement and support of the entire GAF.

Brigadier-General Edjeani- Afenu also served at three different times as Service Financial Comptroller, Naval Headquarters between May 2002 and January 2007. She once served as Finance Officer, 37 Military Hospital from June 2008 to September 2009. She was Director Audit and Inspections as well as Director Pay from July 2007 to June 2008 and December 2009 to April 2013 respectively at Defence Financial Comptroller, General Headquarters.

Biography
The late Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu was born on March 5, 1960 at Vane Avatime in the Volta Region. She attended Wesley Girls’ High School where she attained her General Certificates of Education for both the Ordinary and Advanced Levels (O’Level and A’Level) from 1971 to 1978 before enlisting into the military service.

She had her officer cadet training at the Ghana Military Academy (MATS), Teshie from November 1978 to April 1980 and was commissioned on April 25, 1980 into the Ghana Army as part of the Regular Career Course Intake 21.

On commission, she was first posted to the then Border Guards Unit. She served the colours for approximately 42 years. These years of service were mixed with career progression training courses, refresher training and civil education. She also had diverse staff and command appointments across the GAF and civil institutions, including the United Nations organisation.

Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu was such a rare professional who exuded confidence and competence throughout her distinguished service. She lived by the core values and standards of the GAF as evidenced by the Long Service and Efficiency Medal awarded her on November 20, 1996.

The late General made the GAF proud at UN Peace Operations and Civil Administration. She served as Paymaster with the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) Ghanaian Battalions (GHANBATT) 41 and 47 from September 1994 to March 1995 and August 1997 to March 1998 respectively.

She also served in the same capacity with the United Nations Organisation Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (MONUC) GHANBATT 11 between January and July 2007.

She was appointed Deputy Military Adviser, Office of the Military Adviser at the United Nations Headquarters in New York from April 2013 to January 2017. She was seconded to the Comptroller and Accountant General’s Department between January 2017 and September 2019.
While in New York, she was promoted to the first female Brigadier-General of the GAF on March 2, 2016. Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu was appointed Deputy Force Commander of the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara from September 2019 to December 2021.

She, thus, became again the first uniformed Ghanaian female to chalk up this feat, which completely shattered the proverbial glass ceiling for women in the GAF and the whole country. Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu passed away on January 24, 2022.
She was a wife, mother and grandmother, among many other roles.


Tributes

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo
President of the Republic of Ghana
The death of Brigadier-General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu is one of the saddest news I have had to receive.
Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu was a distinguished woman and citizen of Ghana. Following news of her death, I had a telephone call from the Secretary General of the United Nations (UN), António Guterres, who extended the condolences of the UN to Ghana.
For me, the UN Secretary General’s gesture demonstrates the impact that the late Brigadier-General Edjeani-Afenu had on the UN body and on the international stage. My deepest condolences to her family and colleagues.

Fred Afenu
I am thankful that you chose me to spend those years with. You touched my life in ways no one has ever done, and no one can ever do. I am grateful for every moment we spent together and wished we had more.
With all my heart, I love and cherish you dearly.
Enjoy your rest, Constance.
Hede nyuie!
Your loving husband

Ghana Armed Forces
May be our Lord, the greatest teacher, desires that we just look to and reflect on how she seized the opportunities to demonstrate that the female is equally capable of excelling at what was hitherto the preserve of men. If so, her sad demise should pass for another first, a reference point to keep striving for extending equal opportunities to both sexes and all minorities in society. Our dear general and comrade, march on strong to God’s glory. May your gentle soul rest in absolute and perpetual peace.

Forces Pay Corps
We are grateful to God for her life and the quality time shared with us. The Forces Pay Corps is eternally grateful. We shall forever remember you.
Fare thee well.

First Lady of the Republic of Ghana
Mrs Rebecca Akufo-Addo
As an icon for women, she has received laurels from all over, including the “First Lady's Award “on International Women's Day in 2019.
May your soul rest in peace, Brigadier Genera;l and my deepest condolences to everyone whose life was touched by this great woman.

 


The United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara
(MINURSO)
Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu was truly an inspiration, serving as a role model for literally generations of soldiers and officers. She is deeply missed by all her colleagues here in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) and by the entire UN Peacekeeping family. We offer our heartfelt condolences.

António Guterres
UN Secretary General
Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu was a true pioneer and made history in peacekeeping as the first female Deputy Force Commander in the United Nations Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO).
Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu also served in United Nations peacekeeping operations in Lebanon, Liberia and the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Brigadier Edjeani-Afenu will be remembered for her distinguished service in these missions, as well as her tireless work to promote inclusiveness and increase the number of women in the peacekeeping operations where she served; our heartfelt condolences to her family, to the people and the Government of the Republic of Ghana.

1976 Year Group Wesley Girls’ High School
In the book titled “Yes You Can, Girl!” which Wesley Girls’ High School published on its 180th anniversary, In her own words, “everything was ordered, structured and thought through. The school shaped my life and prepared me to be a lady and an achiever; it prepared me to face the world.” Rest in perfect peace, dear Constance. May the good Lord keep you safe till we meet again.

Jani-Gre Foundation
We at Jani-Gre Foundation are profoundly saddened at the death of our Founder, Brigadier General Constance Emefa Edjeani-Afenu whose vision was to empower young girls to achieve their dreams through our foundation.
Brig- Gen Edjeani -Afenu's vision has already begun making a positive impact on the youth in Vane - Avatime. The foundation was poised to expand its reach to other parts of the Volta Region then nationwide and with her able leadership but God in his wisdom has called her home. We are saddened but not deterred. We shall continue on our course to make that difference you very much wanted to see. You have left a huge vacuum. We miss your ready and insightful advice, your drive, unique perspective and exceptional leadership but we shall press on regardless. We pray you find eternal rest in the bosom of your maker.

EMCPS-5, Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre (KAIPTC)
The world you have left is still a war zone, but we find solace in knowing that we have you as our guardian angel. We will do our best to honour you. Your passing has broken our hearts deeply. Rest peacefully, General Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu. Hede Nyuie.

GMA Intake XXI
We, the members of GMA Intake XXI, wish to affirm that our queen, Connie General, has played a significant part in our lives. Her perseverance through life, her career resilience, her faith, love of family, role-modelling for young women, her enduring friendships with her Intake mates, her love for dancing and sharing joy in the little corner that she lived, were so monumental and enduring. For that, she will never be forgotten.

Avatime Traditional Council
In our mind’s eyes, in Avatime, you had, indeed, fought a good fight. Victory awaits you when you meet your ancestors and your Maker.
Ator woaga mumoe lo, General!!!!! Hede nyuie, General!!!!! Damirifa due!!!!!! Wor, baabaaa!!!! Fare thee well, Avatime’s gallant officer!!!!!!!!!!!. Thank you.

The Presiding Bishop, Most Rev. Dr Charles Agyinasare
She started out as an usher and was very committed and diligent in her work. She rose to become an elder and a church board member. My dear Elder and board member, fare thee well, and may you be kept in the bosom of the Lord. I am sure watching us from where she is, she would want us to celebrate the Lord at her home going. I would, therefore, end my tribute with your favourite song, “Halleluya eh, halleluya oooo!” X2 It’s a sound of victory. Let the sound of rejoicing fill this place

Girls Excellence Movement (GEM)
Her life and story were and still is an inspiration to us and an encouragement to girls everywhere. She did not only believe in the GEM Vision, but she also embodied it. Indeed, she was the WALKING SPIRIT OF GEM! The bearer of our light may be gone, but she is gone to hold up the flame that will perpetually lighten our paths and the trail of many generations to come. Ride on Matriarch! Rest in Power Gallant Soldier!! Sleep well, our Crown of Honour!!!
21 GEM SALUTES TO YOU GENERAL!!!!