Faces of five female ministers designate, Chief of Staff

BY: Daily Graphic
 Ms Gloria Akuffo,  Attorney-General and Justice
Ms Gloria Akuffo, Attorney-General and Justice

President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s release of the third batch of ministerial nominees for Parliamentary consideration, last Thursday, brings the number of ministerial nominees to 36.

This was after the President had announced the first batch of 13 last Tuesday and then another batch of 12 last Wednesday.

Out of the number, 27 are males and nine are females. Six of the female nominees are Members of Parliament (MPs).

 The nine are Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, MP for Anyaa Sowotuom- Foreign Affairs; Gloria Akuffo - Attorney General and Justice, Hajia Alima Mahama, MP for Nalerigu Gambaga - Local Government and Rural Development, Ursula Owusu-Ekuful,  MP for Ablekuma Central - Communications, and Otiko Afisa Djaba - Gender, Children and Social Protection.

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The rest are Catherine Afeku, MP for Evalue-Gwira - Tourism and Culture; Hawa Koomson, MP for Awutu Senya East - Special Development Initiatives; Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, MP for Krowor - Fisheries; and Cecilia Dapaah – Aviation.

Below is the profile of the female nominees:

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Ursula Owusu-Ekuful is a lawyer, women’s right activist, and parliamentarian representing Ablekuma West constituency. Born in October 1964, Ursula hails from Akim Oda in the Eastern Region of Ghana.

She attended the Labone Senior High School and proceeded to Mfantisman Girls Secondary School to have her sixth form education. She furthered her education at the University of Ghana, Legon, where she obtained an LLB.

Mrs Ursula Owusu-Ekuful, Communication 

The Member of Parliament for Anyaa Sowutuom, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, was Deputy Foreign Affairs Minister in former President John Agyekum Kufuor's administration.

She graduated with an MA (Public Communication) from University of Westminster in 2002. She also has an MBA (Project Management) from the University of Ghana obtaining it in 2004.

The 53-year-old minister designate is a Communication Consultant, Politician, Public Relations Practitioner, Marketer and Journalist. She was born on February 8, 1963 and hails from Gbawe-Accra.

She has been in Parliament since 2005 and has served on a number of parliamentary committees, including, Gender and Children, Committee of Selection, Committee on Members Holding Offices of Profit, Communications.

Under the Kufuor Administration, Ms Botchway was the Minister of State at Water Resources, Works and Housing. She has two children.

Ms Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, Foreign Affairs

Hajia Alima Mahama, an experienced lawyer, is also the Member of Parliament for Nareligu-Gambaga in the Northern Region.

She was the Minister of Women and Children’s Affairs and a Deputy Minister of Trade in the Kufuor Administration.

The President’s newly appointed Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Osei-Opare, is 69 year old and a development consultant. She has 40 years of experience as a labour and employment expert.

She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Home Science from the University of Ghana and a master’s degree in Foods from the University of Guelph, Canada. She was a lecturer at the University of Ghana, Legon, from 1976-1982, consultant for the United Nations in  Women in Fisheries programme in countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo, Kenya, and Namibia.

She was also the Deputy Minister for Manpower, Youth and Employment from 2005 to 2008 under the government of President John Agyekum Kufuor.

She was a two-term Member of Parliament for Ayawaso West Wuogon and is married with four children.

Hajia Alima Mahama - Local Government

Gloria Akuffo, born on December 31, 1954, graduated in 1979 from the University of Ghana,Legon, with a B.A. (Hons) in Law and Political Science.

She became a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Ghana in 1982.

From 2001 to 2005 Gloria Akuffo was the Deputy Minister of Justice and Deputy Attorney General, the first woman to hold this position.

In 2005, she was appointed the Deputy Minister of the Greater Accra Region and later the Minister of Aviation in 2008.

She was most notably part of the lead counsel for the New Patriotic Party flag bearer in the 2012 Election Petition case before the Supreme Court in 2013.

Otiko Afisa Djaba is 54 years old. She studied Information Systems in the UK, communications in Eygpt and holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Integrated Development Studies from the University  for  Development Studies (UDS)  in Ghana.

She also was the National Facilitator for the campaign for Greater Discipline under former Vice-President, Aliu Mahama, in 2004. She worked as a Consultant in Children’s Rights and rural women’s development for Plan Ghana in extremely deprived rural communities in Sissala districts  of the Upper West Region.

In 2008, she was the New Patriotic Party (NPP) Parliamentary Candidate for the Bole-Bamboi Constituency, and is currently the Women’s leader of the Npp a position she has held since 2010. She has four children. 

Ms Otiko Afisa Djaba, Gender, Children and Social Protection