President-elect Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has mentioned three additional names for ministerial positions subject to parliamentary approval after his inauguration. The names are Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto for the Ministry of Food and Agriculture; Prof. Kwabena Frimpong-Boateng, the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation, and Mr Isaac Asiamah, the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
Earlier, he had pencilled in Mr Kwadwo Alan Kyerematen for the Ministry of Trade and Industry and Hajia Alima Mahama for the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development.
Nana Akufo-Addo will be sworn into office as the fifth President of the Fourth Republic on Saturday, January 7, 2017, after which he will officially name his ministers.
But even before that, he has been dropping hints of who the men and women will be at various functions.
Dr Afriyie Akoto
At a meeting with a delegation of some Zongo chiefs at his Nima residence in Accra over the weekend, the President-elect hinted that Dr Afriyie Akoto, who is currently the Member of Parliament (MP) for Kwadaso in Kumasi and Minority Spokesperson on Agriculture, would be his Minister of Agriculture.
Dr Akoto will not be part of the next Parliament which begins its tenure from January 7, 2017 because he lost in the parliamentary primary to Dr S. Kwadwo Nuamah, a young lecturer at the University of Ghana and new entrant.
“The Kumasi people will recognise Amadu Baba of Kwame Nkrumah’s time. He had a great friend in the Asantehene’s Kyeame (senior linguist), Baffour Akoto. Dr Akoto is his son, who is the MP for Kwadaso.
"He is our Spokesperson on Agriculture and if Parliament passes him, he is likely to be the Minister of Agriculture,” Nana Akufo-Addo told the Zongo chiefs.
Who is Dr Akoto?
The 57-year-old Dr Akoto is a farmer himself with plantations at Manso Nkwanta in the Ashanti Region. He is the CEO of Plantation Resources Company Limited and holds a PhD in Agricultural Economics from Cambridge University, UK.
As the son of the late Baffour Akoto, who was himself deeply involved in the National Liberation Movement (NLM) during Nkrumah's time, Dr Akoto first launched his parliamentary bid in Kumasi in 2000 in the then Bantama Constituency, challenging the incumbent MP, Dr Richard Anane, who was seeking re-election after his first term.
When Dr Akoto was unsuccessful in the primary, he went independent and lost to Dr Anane.
In 2004, the then Bantama Constituency was divided into three — Nhyiaeso, Kwadaso and Bantama — and Dr Akoto attempted the bid at Kwadaso but lost to Hilda Josephine Addo in the NPP primary.
He relaunched his campaign in 2008 and defeated Hilda Addo in the primary.
In 2015, however, Dr Nuamah defeated Dr Akoto in the NPP parliamentary primary.
For the two terms that Dr Akoto was in Parliament — 2009 to 2012 and 2013 to 2016 — he served as the Minority Spokesperson on Agriculture.
With regard to Dr Frimpong Boateng, the President-elect dropped the hint at the 36th annual Technological Exhibition of the Kristo Asafo Mission in Accra on Sunday, January 1, 2017.
He told the gathering that his government would focus much on science and technology in order to speed up the nation’s drive for industrialisation.
Explaining, Nana Akufo-Addo said the quest for greater heights could only be achieved with the right team, noting that science and technology were key components for the development of the nation, and that was why his administration would ensure that committed Ghanaians with much insight in science and technology would be made to manage the sector.
He announced that the former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital, Prof. Frimpong-Boateng, would manage the Ministry of Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation (MESTI) if he was approved by Parliament.
Who is Frimpong-Boateng?
Nana Akufo-Addo expressed high hopes in the Ghanaian physician and cardiothoracic surgeon who established the National Cardiothoracic Centre (NCC), saying Prof. Frimpong-Boateng would bring the needed change to the sector.
He expressed the belief that science and technology were key areas which needed to be strengthened in order to attain development, while persons who were making giant strides in the sector must be motivated to attain higher heights.
“For this reason, if the next Parliament agrees, I will appoint a prominent Ghanaian to come and assist me and take over the Environment, Science, Technology and Innovation portfolio,” he disclosed.
Concerning Isaac Asiamah, who is presently the MP for Atwima Mponua, it was the President-elect’s Spokesperson, Mr Mustapha Hamid, who disclosed that the MP was set to become the next Minister of Youth and Sports.
Mr Hamid had led a delegation that was sent by Nana Akufo-Addo to meet with the players and management of the senior national football team, the Black Stars, at the Alisa Hotel in Accra on Sunday, January 1, 2017.
Speaking during the meeting, Mr Hamid said Mr Asiamah, who was part of the delegation, would occupy the position of Sports Minister after vetting by Parliament.
Who is Isaac Asiamah?
Mr Asiamah is currently the Chairman of the Parliamentary Select Committee on Youth and Sports.
He hails from Tano Odumasi in the Ashanti Region and is married with three children.
He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Geography and Political Science from the University of Ghana, Legon, and had also served on the Parliamentary Committee on Mines and Energy, as well as the Public Accounts Committee in the past.
He previously worked at the National Youth Secretariat.