Amissah-Arthur goes home Friday July 27

BY: Seth J. Bokpe
Amissah-Arthur goes home Friday July 27
Amissah-Arthur goes home Friday July 27

Former Vice-President Mr Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur will be laid to rest on Friday after living for 67 years on earth and spending for more than four decades in public service.

The former Vice-President’s journey to eternal rest will begin today [Thursday] when his body will be laid in state at the Accra International Conference Centre (AICC) from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

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This will be followed by a burial service at the same venue Friday.

The body will be interred in a private ceremony at the Military Cemetery in Burma Camp. An avowed Methodist while alive, the sun will finally set on his life at a thanksgiving service on Sunday at the Calvary Methodist Church in Accra.

His is a decorated public life, from academia through the days of the revolution in the 1980s to captaining the country’s economic ship as the
Governor of the Bank of Ghana and later Vice-President from July 2012 to January 2017.


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Soft-spoken and lacking the jabs of career politicians, the former Vice-President will be remembered for his parrying off even the worst political attacks diplomatically.

Tributes

A former Presidential Staffer in charge  of Communications at the former Vice-President’s Office, Mr Kweku Tsen, had this to say about him:

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“He had a pragmatic way of handling claims and rivalries of work mates and suggestions of the National Democratic Congress (NDC)”.

An astute academician, Mr Tsen said, the late former Vice-President had a razor-sharp mind capable of understanding the psychology of the
contrasting characters he interacted with on a daily basis.

“The former Vice-President was a brick and mortar person who weighed thoroughly the pros and cons of an issue before drawing his own
conclusion. He was also an indefatigable worker who was dedicated to his work and gave others the credit that was due them,” he added.

Not all journalists who cover the Presidency develop intimate relationships with the men and women who govern the country, especially the Number Two man of the land.

But Mr Amissah-Arthur was said to be so easy to approach that he often had sit-down chats with the Press Corps covering him at least twice in a month and most often those chats were very casual.

The Daily Graphic’s Sebastian Syme, who covered the Office of the Vice- President during the Mahama administration, had interesting
memories of the Second Gentleman.

“The former Vice-President was a gentleman par excellence and his humility was phenomenal. I had always described him as Atta Mills
reincarnated because he possessed the qualities of the late former President, who was loved by all, including his political opponents.

“Covering him as my beat for the Daily Graphic from November 2013 to December 2016, I realised that Mr Amissah-Arthur was always accessible and gave his press corps a listening ear; perhaps what his boss the former President, John Mahama, failed to do.

“I had the rare opportunity to travel within and outside of the country with him and each time we travelled by air Mr Amissah-Arthur would leave his seat and join each member of the press corps on his or her seat just for an interaction before we got to our destination. He was, indeed, a great man and decent politician,” Mr Syme 
recalled.

That’s not all. Mr Komla Klutse, who was also assigned to the former Vice-President’s Office by TV3, also shared his memory of him.
“He was practical, calm and Amissah-Arthur goes home tomorrow sensitive to the feelings of people. A man who anticipates the challenges of
people even before they spoke to him.

He was a man who commanded a great deal of respect, but above all, he was humble and affable,” he said of the late former Vice-President.

Background

Former Vice-President, Mr Amissah-Arthur, was born in Cape Coast in the Central Region in April 1951.

He started his education at Cape Coast Methodist ‘B ‘Primary School and passed the Common Entrance Examination from the Akim Oda
Methodist School in 1964.

He entered Ghana’s oldest secondary school, Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast later in 1964 and passed the General Certificate of Education (GCE) Ordinary Level in 1969 and the GCE Advanced Level in 1971. Mr Amissah-Arthur then entered the University of Ghana, Legon, in
1971, graduating with a Bachelor of Science (BSc. (Economics) degree in 1974.

He was granted a University of Ghana Post-Graduate scholarship in 1975.

In 1980, he was awarded a Master of Science MSc (Economics) degree and lectured at the Economics Department, University of Ghana, for a
number of years.

He also lectured at the State College of Education, Awka in the Anambra State of Nigeria from 1981-1983.

In July 1983, he served as Advisor to the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning and was appointed a Deputy Finance and Economic Planning Minister in February 1986, a position he held until April 1997.

After retiring from public office in 1997, former Vice-President Amissah-Arthur continued to work on a number of consultancy jobs.

He was the Senior Economist for the Sigma One Corporation, Ghana, from 1998 to 2000, during which he helped to design and implement the
Ghana Policy Dialogue Project, a USAID-funded project that provided advisory services to the Government of Ghana.

He also worked on the Trade and Investment Reform Project aimed at enhancing Ghana’s export competitiveness.

Between 2001 and 2002, he was contracted to execute a special assignment by the Danish Foreign Ministry.

He co-authored a review of Ghana’s public financial management system, titled: Guidance Note: Financial Integration into Relevant Ghanaian
Structures, a report that has been used as a training manual for new employees at the Finance Ministry.

Former Vice-President Amissah-Arthur also worked as a private international consultant/economist for the World Bank and some foreign
countries.

As a consultant for the World Bank, he trained the staff of The Department of State for Agriculture, Republic of The Gambia, in 1997 in initiating a review of the World Bank-funded Medium-term Expenditure Programme.

He was the consultant on all stages of The Netherlands Government funded Technical/Vocational Education project for Ghana’s Ministry
of Education, in association with TNW Export BV of Waalwijk, Netherlands.

He served on a number of boards and committees, including the Bank of Ghana, Ghana Commercial Bank, the Ghana National Petroleum
Corporation, the Ghana National Procurement Agency, Ghana Supply Commission, and the Academic Board and Finance Committee of the
University of Ghana.

The late former Vice-President was appointed Governor of the Bank of Ghana on October 1, 2009.

He was a soccer enthusiast and great fan of Accra Hearts of Oak, one of the leading football clubs in Ghana, and enjoyed playing table tennis.

The former Vice-President was a devoted family man and Christian by faith.

He was married to Matilda and their marriage was blessed with two children.

On August 6, 2012, he was sworn-in as the Vice-President of the Republic of Ghana and served in that position until January 7, 2017.