Globally, the issue of a lack of female representation at the upper echelons of security services becomes topical but Ghana achieved a major milestone last Monday, August 9, with the elevation of Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Faustina Agyeiwaa Kodua Andoh-Kwofie as the first woman to head the high profile Intelligence Department of the Ghana Police Service (GPS).
This achievement comes as part of changes at the top hierarchy of the police service by the new acting Inspector General of Police (IGP) Dr George Akuffo Dampare last week
The highly sensitive Intelligence Department is staffed with Intelligence Analysts who gather information and evidence on crime and criminal activities across the country. The unit feeds other departments of the Police Service with information to help them plan operations.
It also collaborates with other security and intelligence agencies to proactively curtail any breakdown of law and order in the country.
In an interview with The Mirror, ACP Andoh-Kwofie said she least expected this elevation but it only meant she needed to work harder to break new grounds in her new appointment.
“Interestingly, recently some female police officers paid a courtesy call on the Deputy Interior Minister who is a woman. At that meeting COP Maame Tiwaa Addo-Danquah bemoaned the fact that female representation at the top of the GPS is almost zero since she is the only female representative at the Police Management and Advisory Board (POMAB). She, therefore, pleaded with the minister to do something about it.”
For her, she thinks this advocacy perhaps has gone down well with the Interior Ministry and the Police Administration under the current acting IGP to have a succession plan for women to strategically position them at the top for fair representation and effective policing.
“Therefore, promoting me and another female senior officer who is qualified by all standards to the Director General position is a step in the right direction. We are counting on the acting IGP to choose more female police officers to occupy the various leadership positions in the GPS,” she said.
Who is ACP Andoh-Kwofie?
Until her elevation last week, she was the Director in charge of the Commercial Crime Unit under the Criminal Investigation Department at the National Police Headquarters.
According to ACP Andoh-Kwofie, her duties at her former office included leading and directing investigations into fraudulent transactions such as money laundering. She, therefore, comes into her new position with critical firsthand experience in what has become the menace of financial crime that thrives in a globalised digital economy.
Having risen through the ranks by dint of hard work, she has over 28 years of work experience in active policing. “I was enlisted into the service on October 1,1992, and passed out on October 1,1993 as a Constable,” she recounted to The Mirror.
With excellent managerial and leadership skills, she has held various command positions in the GPS and symbolic of what is becoming a trend of excellence in Ghana’s policing leadership, she holds a professional qualification outside of her policing work: she is a trained lawyer.
ACP Andoh-Kwofie was the first District Commander for the newly created Community 18 District in Accra. She recalls that the Community 18 Police District was created with no office accommodation for police work to begin. ACP Andoh-Kwofie said she was able to secure an office for the District from the Tema Development Corporation (TDC).
A parcel of land was secured from the then Chief of Lashibi, Nii Whang, to build a permanent Police District.
“Through negotiations and lobbying, the Head Pastor of ICGC and the leadership of the church resolved to build a permanent structure for the
Police District and subsequently sent a contractor to the site before I was transferred to Ada Foah to take a District Command post in May 2016,” she recounted.
In addition, she doubled as the Divisional Commander anytime the Substantive Divisional Commanders were not at post at both Baatsona and the Ada Police Divisional Commands.
ACP Andoh-Kwofie was the acting Head for International Criminal Police Organisation (INTERPOL) Ghana from 2008 to 2009. During the period, she led Operation SEMTA, organised in Ghana where INTERPOL Ghana impounded 42 Stolen luxurious cars on INTERPOL database.
Due to this operation, Ghana had the highest impoundment of stolen vehicles in Africa at that time. As a result of this, she won an INTERPOL Excellence Award in March 2009 during the Heads of INTERPOL Annual Meeting held in Lyon, France.
ACP Andoh-Kwofie has had the opportunity to work with various experienced senior officers. For instance, she worked with former IGP, Patrick Kwarteng Acheampong, as an Executive Secretary from 2005 to 2008.
“In this position, I learnt a lot and acquired the requisite skills and abilities needed for the smooth running of the Police Administration as an Executive Secretary,” she said.
She was also fortunate to work under DCOP Nathan Kofi Boakye as the Deputy Director of the Police Education Unit from 2011 to 2013 and initiated reforms in the Police Schools across the country. This includes streamlining admissions to the Police JHS. The current police printed uniform used in Police Schools was initiated and introduced by her as well.
ACP Andoh-Kwofie was the Aide de Camp (ADC) to Ex-Commissioner of Police (COP) Gifty Enin Botwe. “She was then the Commissioner responsible for Human Resource Development, National Police Headquarters, Accra. Therefore, I accompanied her as my boss to tour all the Police Training Schools in Ghana to have first-hand information as to the challenges facing the schools. During the same period, I doubled as a Police Liaison Officer to Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping and Training Centre (KAIPTC) in Accra,” she indicated.
ACP Andoh-Kwofie is a member of the International Police Women Association.
She was a member of a task force that drafted a national action plan for the Elimination of Child Labour in 2007 at Sogakope. She was also a member of a committee that was set up by the then IGP Kwarteng Acheampong to review the syllabi used by the Ghana Police College in 2007 and a member of Police UN & UN Mission selection text team in 2007. She has also been a Board member for Africa Centre for Counter-Terrorism since 2016.
Her desire to achieve academic laurels is undoubtedly manifested in the various academic programmes she has undertaken and the positive impact these have on her work performance.
She holds a Bachelor of Laws (BL) from the Ghana Law School and an LLB from the University of Ghana. She was called to the Bar in 2013.
Among her tall list of academic successes are MA in International Relations, MBA in Human Resource from University of Ghana, MSc Criminology & Criminal Justice-University of Portsmouth, UK, and a Bachelor of Education in Psychology, University of Cape Coast.
She has four academic research works to her credit. ACP Andoh-Kwofie had her secondary education at St Monica’s Secondary School and Nsutaman Catholic Secondary where she was the Assistant Head Girl from 1990 to 1991 and the Girls Prefect from 1988 to 1989 respectively.
Currently, she is the Vice-President of the Nsutaman Old Students Association (NOSA).
ACP Andoh-Kwofie is from Kwamang in the Sekyere Central District in the Ashanti Region. She is a Presbyterian and a mother of two boys.
She enjoys researching modern trends in policing and how to combat crime.
For her, cooking is her passion and she loves to sing when in a great mood.
“I enjoy having great fun with genuine friends and colleagues,” she stated.