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Dr. John Karefa Smart

In office
April 27, 1961 – April 28, 1964
Monarch Elizabeth II
Preceded by none
Succeeded by Cyril B. Rogers-Wright

Born 1915
Rotifunk, Moyamba District, Sierra Leone
Nationality Sierra Leonean
Political party United National People's Party (UNPP)
Religion Christianity (Methodist)

Dr. John Albert Musselman Karefa-Smart (born 1915 in Rotifunk, Moyamba District) is a Sierra Leonean politician and leader of the United National People's Party. He is an ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church.



An ethnic Sherbro, John-Karefa-Smart was educated at the E.U.B. Primary School, in Moyamba District and the Albert Academy in Freetown. He received his B.A. from Fourah Bay College in Freetown in 1936. Four years later in 1940, he received his B.S. from Otterbein College in Westerville, Ohio, United States in 1940. From Otterbein, he went to McGill University in Montreal, where he received his M.D. and C.M. in 1944 and Diploma in Tropical Medicine in 1945. Finally, in 1948, he received his M.P.H. from Harvard University in Boston.


Karefa-Smart has also been a fellow or professor at many colleges and universities across the world, including Bunumbu Union Teachers Training College in Sierra Leone (1936-38), University of Ibadan in Nigeria (1949-52), and several American universities such as Xavier University of Louisiana (1953), Columbia University (1964-65), Harvard University (1971-81), Boston University (1972-77), Wellesley College (1974), and Howard University (1980-83).

Political career

Karefa-Smart's political career began with his election to Parliament in 1957. From 1957 to 1964, Karefa-Smart was a Member of Parliament for Tonkolili District. He also served as Minister of Lands, Mines, & Labor; Defense; and as foreign minister (1961-1964). During that time period, he also served occasionally as acting Prime Minister. From 1965 until 1970, he was Assistant Director-General of the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland. In 1996, he returned to Sierra Leonean politics as a member of parliament and presidential candidate. Karefa-Smart lost the 1996 and 2002 presidential elections to former President Ahmad Tejan Kabbah.

Status as Leader of the UNPP

It was initially reported on 12 June 2006 that Karefa-Smart had been replaced as leader of the UNPP at a party convention; however, Karefa-Smart subsequently refuted this claim and called the convention null and void.[1]

External links


  1. ^ UNPP Convention in Sierra Leone declared as a big hoax in Awareness Times, 20 June, 2006
Preceded by
Foreign Minister of Sierra Leone
Succeeded by
Cyril B. Rogers Wright


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