President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has described the late Professor Kwesi Botchwey as a very dedicated, honest and distinguished citizen, and that the nation is the poorer for his loss.
According to the President, he was a contemporary of the late former Finance Minister at the University of Ghana in the 1960s, and that their relationship was nurtured by their mutual interest in public life.
He said he, therefore, found it easy to exchange ideas with Prof. Botchwey till his demise.
President Akufo-Addo was speaking when Prof. Botchwey’s family called on him at the Presidency in Accra to officially inform him about his death, which occurred in Accra on Saturday, November 19, 2022.
Prof. Botchwey was the PNDC Secretary of Finance from 1982 to 1993 and the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning from 1993 to 1995.
The delegation was led by Major K. Donkor and included his daughter Nana Ama Botchwey and son, Prof. Edward Kwesi Botchwey, who lectures at the Georgia Institute of Technology, USA.
According to the President, he and Prof. Botchwey, at a time, lived at Labone in Accra, where they shared a wall, adding: “People will wonder why I speak like this about someone who is a political opponent.”
“I don't see this as something that should come between friends and people who have made their contributions to the nation.
“Contribution to the development of the country had to come from all sides. We only have a problem when it came from one way,” he said, in apparent reference to the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC).
The President further said although Prof. Botchwey became a political figure in the country at a difficult period, he carried himself with dignity and diligence.
“I think that the outpouring of grief in the country today is a good testimony of how the people value his contribution to the growth of our nation,” he added.
In a tribute on Facebook shortly after the news of Prof. Botchwey’s demise, President Akufo-Addo wrote: “The death of my good friend Dr Kwesi Botchwey is a very sad development.
“My contemporary at the University of Ghana, Legon in the mid-1960s, Dr Botchwey was a long-standing public servant who discharged his duties thoughtfully and with dignity and became the country’s longest-serving Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.”
He said his thoughts and sympathies and those of his wife, Rebecca, were with Prof. Botchwey’s partner, children and family.
“I extend my deepest condolences to them, and also to the National Democratic Congress, of which he was a prominent and much respected member. Ghana has lost a fine gentleman and exceptional public servant,” the President wrote on his wall.
The bereaved family has held a preliminary meeting on the final funeral rites of the economist, lecturer and politician, but no arrangements have been announced yet.
It was also not clear, after the family’s meeting with the President, that the PRESEC, the University of Ghana and the universities of Yale and Michigan trained lawyer and economist would be accorded a state burial.