John Kufuor: Wikis


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John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor

2nd President of Ghana
(4th Republic)
In office
7 January 2001 – 7 January 2009
Vice President Aliu Mahama
Preceded by Jerry Rawlings
Succeeded by John Atta Mills

Born 8 December 1938 (1938-12-08) (age 71)
Kumasi, Gold Coast
Political party New Patriotic Party
Spouse(s) Theresa Mensah
Profession Lawyer
Religion Roman Catholic

John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor (born 8 December 1938) was the second president of Ghana (2001–2009) and Chairperson of the African Union (2007–2008). His victory over John Atta-Mills after the end of Jerry Rawlings' second term marked the first peaceful democratic transition of power in Ghana since the country's independence in 1957.

Kufuor's career has been spent on the liberal-democratic side of Ghanaian politics, in the parties descended from the United Gold Coast Convention and the United Party. He was a minister in Kofi Abrefa Busia's Progress Party government during Ghana's Second Republic, and a Popular Front Party opposition frontbencher during the Third Republic. In the Fourth Republic he stood as the New Patriotic Party's candidate at the 1996 election, and then led it to victory in 2000 and 2004. Having served two terms, in 2008 he was no longer eligible for the presidency.



Early life and background

A member of the Ashanti people, Kufuor is married to Theresa Kufuor (née Mensah) in 1962, with whom he has had five children. Kufuor and his family belong to the Roman Catholic Church. He was born in Kumasi and educated at Osei Tutu Boarding School (1951-53), Prempeh College (1954-58), Lincoln's Inn, London (1959-1961) and Exeter College, University of Oxford (1961-1964). In the Second Republic's Parliamentary Register Kufuor lists as his hobbies and interests table tennis, reading, football, and film shows.

Early political career

As Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs he represented Ghana on a number of occasions. From 1969 to December, 1971, he led Ghana's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Ministerial Meetings in Addis Ababa, and the Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Lusaka. In 1970, he led the Ghanaian delegation to Moscow in the former Soviet Union, Prague (Former Czechoslovakia), and Belgrade (Yugoslavia) to discuss Ghana's indebtedness to these countries.

As the Spokesman on Foreign Affairs and Deputy Opposition Leader of the Popular Front Party (PFP) Parliamentary Group during the Third Republic, he was invited to accompany President Limann to the OAU Summit Conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He was also a member of the parliamentary delegation that visited the United States of America (USA) in 1981 to talk to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Ghana's economic problems.

President Kufuor with United States President George W. Bush during a visit to the USA in 2001

In January, 1982, the leadership of the All People's Party (APP), which was an alliance of all the opposition parties, advised some leading members, including the Deputy Leader of the Alliance, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, the General Secretary, Dr. Obed Asamoah and Mr. J. A. Kufuor to accept an invitation from the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) to serve in what was purported to be a National Government. Kufuor was appointed the Secretary for Local Government in this new government.

As a Secretary for Local Government, he wrote the Local Government Policy Guidelines that were to be the foundation of the current decentralized District Assemblies.


On 20 April 1996, Kufuor was nominated by 1034 out of 2000 delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) drawn from all the 200 Constituencies of the Country to run for the President of Ghana on 10 December 1996. After campaigning for less than nine months, Kufuor polled 39.62% of the popular votes to Rawlings' 57% in the 1996 election. On 23 October 1998, he was re-nominated by the New Patriotic Party not only to run again for President but also to officially assume the position of Leader of the Party.

Kufuor won the presidential election of December 2000; in the first round, held on 7 December, Kufuor came in first place with 48.4%, while John Atta-Mills, Jerry Rawlings' Vice President, came in second with 44.8%, forcing the two into a run-off vote. In the second round, held on 28 December, Kufour was victorious, taking 56.9% of the vote.

Kufuor was re-elected in presidential and parliamentary elections held on 7 December 2004, earning 52.45% of the popular vote in the first round and thus avoiding a run-off, while at the same time Kufuor's party, the New Patriotic Party, was able to secure more seats in the Parliament of Ghana. [1]


His administration’s domestic policy in the first term was marked by fiscal and monetary stringency on the economic front aimed at stabilizing a national economy that had stagnated and was in decline. His social vision was anchored on unleashing the entrepreneurial, creative and innovative potential of Ghanaians as a means of creating wealth and hence dealing with the social challenges facing Ghanaians. This socio-economic vision was encapsulated in the Five Priority Areas Programme vis the pursuit of good governance, modernization of agriculture for rural development, private sector participation, enhanced social services and vigorous infrastructural development.

President Kufuor’s foreign policy was underpinned by what he termed "economic diplomacy." It is within this context that in Africa in general and in West Africa in particular a good neighborliness policy has been pursued which has seen Ghana under President Kufuor brokering peace in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Cote d’lvoire and Guinea- Bissau among other African states. On the global stage President Kufuor has actively sought the establishment of a just and equitable international social and economic order and promoted and safeguarded the interests of Ghana at the bilateral and multilateral level. His stature as statesman, democrat and credible spokesman for Africa has found expression in his invitation to major international meetings and conferences including the founding summit of the AU, G8 Summits in Sea Island, Georgia and Glenneagles, Scotland and the World Economic Forum among others.

Due to the policy successes his administration chalked President Kufuor had his mandate renewed in 2004 and was sworn into office on 7 January 2005. Policy direction in President Kufuor’s second term has built on the foundations laid in the first four years. President Kufuor’s administration is pursuing Ghana’s socio-economic transformation in the second term using the three pronged approach of private sector development, human resource development and good governance. At the international level President Kufuor is consolidating Ghana’s position as the voice of Africa, credible peace broker, beacon of democracy (Ghana is the first country to undergo Peer Review under NEPAD’s Africa Peer Review Mechanism) and responsible member of the comity of nations.

On 29 January 2007, Kufuor was elected as the Chairperson of the African Union for the 2007-2008 AU session. He was succeeded by Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania on 31 January 2008.[1] Kufuor was involved in a car crash during his presidency on 14 November 2007, in which another car collided with his and caused it to roll over several times. Kufuor was reported to be uninjured.[2]

Finally, President Kufuor’s good governance policy has led to Ghana obtaining a record $500 million grant from the U.S Millennium Challenge Account for economic development. Social vision was anchored on unleashing the entrepreneurial, creative and innovative potential of Ghanaians as a means of creating wealth and hence dealing with the social challenges facing Ghanaians. This socio-economic vision was encapsulated in the Five Priority Areas Programme vis the pursuit of good governance, modernization of agriculture for rural development, private sector participation, enhanced social services and vigorous infrastructural development.


First Cabinet (Jan 2001)

Second Cabinet (Jan 2005)

Third Cabinet (2006)

  • John Agyekum Kufuor — President of Ghana
  • Hon. Aliu MahamaVice President of Ghana
  • Hon. Papa Owusu Ankama — Minister of Education, Science and Sports
  • Hon. Joseph K. Adda — Minister for Manpower, Youth & Employment
  • Prof. Mike Oquaye — Minister for Communication
  • Hajia Alima Mahama — Ministry for Women & Children's Affairs
  • Hon. Kwadwo Baah Wiredu — Minister for Finance & Economic Planning
  • Mr. Kwamina Bartels — Minister for Information and National Orientation
  • Dr. Kwame Addo-KufuorMinister of Defense
  • Mr Jacob Otanka Obetsebi-Lamptey — Minister for Tourism & Diaporan Relations
  • Mr. Asamoah Boateng — Ministry for Local Government, Rural Development & Environment
  • Dr. Esther Obeng Dappah — Minister of Mining and Minerals
  • Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-AddoMinister for Foreign Affairs and NEPAD
  • Mrs. Gladys Asmah — Minister for Fisheries
  • Mr. Ernest Akobuor Debrah — Minister of Food & Agriculture
  • Major (Rtd) Courage Emmanuel Kobla Quashigah — Minister of Health
  • Hon. Dr. Richard Winfred Anane — Minister for Transportation (Later Resigned)
  • Prof. Christopher Ameyaw-Akumfi — Minister for Ports, Habours & Railways
  • Mr. Alan Kyeremanten — Minister for Trade and Industry, Private Sector Development & PSI
  • Mr. Albert Kan-Dapaah — Minister for the Interior
  • Mr. Joe Ghartey — Attorney-General & Minister for Justice
  • Hon. Felix Owusu Agyapong — Minister for Parliamentary Affairs & Acting Minister for Transportation
  • Mr. Francis Poku — Minister for National Security
  • Mr. Kwadwo Mpiani — Minister for Presidential Affairs
  • Hon. S.K. Boafo — Minister of State in Charge of Culture & Chieftancy Affairs
  • Miss Elizabeth Ohene — Minister of State at the Presidency


On September 21, 2009, he delivered the prestigious Legatum Pericles Lecture at the Legatum Center for Development and Entrepreneurship at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.[3]


Ivor Agyeman-Duah: Between faith and history : a biography of J.A. Kufuor. Oxfordshire : Ayebia Clarke Publishing, 2006. ISBN 9780954702397. (Edition 2003 [Trenton, NJ : Africa World]: ISBN 1592211283

See also


  1. ^ "Kikwete is new AU chairman", Reuters (IOL), 31 January, 2008.
  2. ^ "Ghana's president involved in a car crash", Reuters (IOL), 14 November, 2007.
  3. ^

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Minister for Local Government
Succeeded by
Acquah Harrison
Preceded by
Jerry Rawlings
President of Ghana
2001 – 2009
Succeeded by
John Atta Mills
Preceded by
Abdoulaye Wade
Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States
2003– 2005
Succeeded by
Mamadou Tandja
Preceded by
Denis Sassou-Nguesso
Chairperson of the African Union
2007– 2008
Succeeded by
Jakaya Kikwete
Party political offices
Preceded by
Albert Adu Boahen
New Patriotic Party presidential candidate
1996, 2000, 2004
Succeeded by
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

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