On Thursday, January 21, 2021, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo announced his second list of appointees expected to serve in the various ministerial portfolios in his government. These appointees will help him achieve his goals as president.
From the list, 23 appointees are Members of Parliament, fulfilling the constitutional mandate of the president to appoint a certain percentage of his ministers from Parliament but that has not been without some concerns on its composition, gender-wise.
However, many have raised concerns about the number of women who have made it to the list, making the case of imbalance in the gender distribution of roles in the president’s decision.
Today though, the Parliament of Ghana, although is split right in the middle for both the NPP and NDC sides, with one Independent candidate, has only 40 women MPs.
For the record, out of the 46 appointments by President Akufo-Addo, only 8 of them are women, including two women nominated for regional minister positions.
It is worth mentioning that President Akufo-Addo has already stated that there will not be deputy ministers for regional ministerial posts, as a measure to cut down on what was an elephant-sized government that characterized his first tenure.
This leaves the ratio of possible nominations for women in the expected list of women in the future at a relatively slimmer proportion.
But, is this new? Let us analyze the compositions of some of the most recent-past governments in Ghana’s Fourth Republic, including those from Akufo-Addo’s first term as president. We start with the John Agyekum Kufour regime.
John Agyekum Kufour (2001-2009)
President John Kufour served two terms as president and in total, appointed only nine (9) women Five in his first tenure, and, four new additions in his second term. However, a number of these women were moved around a few ministries within the entire period of his administration.
They were Cecilia Ladze Bannerman, Gladys Asmah, Hawa Yakubu, Elizabeth Ohene, Christine Churcher, Florence Oboshie Sai-Coffie, Gloria Akuffo, Esther Obeng Dapaah, and Alima Mahama.
John Evans Atta Mills (2009-2012)
The National Democratic Congress’s John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills did not do any better. In comparison with his predecessor’s ratio, he only beat the number by one, putting the tally of women appointees under his administration at ten (10). They included two Ministers of State at the Presidency (Hautie Dubie Alhassan and Rafatu Halutie A. Dubie)
The rest were Betty Mould-Iddrisu, Hanna Tetteh, Juliana Azumah-Mensah, Zita Okaikwei, Akua Sena Dansua, Sherry Ayitey, and Ama Benyiwa-Doe.
John Dramani Mahama (2012-2016)
Under John Mahama’s presidency, the numbers tallied back down to nine (9) although there were quite many women appointments to deputy ministerial roles.
Ministers who served with John Mahama as ministers were Hanna Tetteh, Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, Nana Oye Lithur, Marietta Brew Appiah-Oppong, Dzifa Attivor, Elizabeth Ofosu Agyare, Sherry Hanny Ayittey, and Comfort Gaisie.
Nana Akufo-Addo (2016-)
President Akufo-Addo took office again on January 7, 2021, to complete his second and final term as president. In his first term, he nominated ten (10) women, beating his predecessor’s figure by one.
They are Gloria Akuffo, Shirley Ayorkor Botwe, Cecilia Abena Dapaah, Catherine Ablema Afeku, Mavis Hawa Koomson, Alima Mahama, Ursula Owusu Ekuful, Cynthia Morrison, Elizabeth Afoley Quaye, and Sarah Adwoa Safo.
Akufo-Addo’s recent list cuts down his previous appointees’ number by one but it must be emphasized that for all of the above-listed presidents and their various appointments, the figures do not include deputy ministers, heads of institutions, heads of departments, among others.
Also, the list is without appointments for ambassadorial portfolios.
By: Sarah Aba Brew