The year, 2017, has been a very interesting year for Ghana. This is mainly after the country experienced the swearing in of Nana Addo Danquah Akufo-Addo as the first ever political leader to have defeated a sitting president in the 4th Republic of Ghana.
The NPP administration tasted what it feels like to be at the helm of affairs in Ghana. In fact, the first year of government saw key officials of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) converge to celebrate their achievements and also strategize for the years ahead.
But the praise can’t only be hailed on President Akufo-Addo. This is because the very ministers the president appointed have to a large extent helped the president achieve the very political agenda that made him win the 2016 elections in the first place.
In this article, we explore the names of ministers who stood out in averting specific developments in the country which could have turned out to be a national disaster!
1. Health Minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu.
The work of the health minister, Kwaku Agyeman-Manu has been very intensive this year as he moved to address various topical issues faced the health sector of Ghana.
This year alone, Ghana has suffered various forms of health outbreaks with the major and deadly ones being the Meningitis and Swine Fever outbreak. Swine Flu, which reared its head at the Kumasi Academy, is feared to have killed about eleven students.
Currently, there is the issue of an outbreak of Meningitis and already, the minister is liaising with officials from the World Health Organisation (WHO) to prevent a subsequent spread of the contagious disease.
2. Attorney General, Gloria Akufo
Gloria Akufo had just taken over the office of the attorney general’s department when Ghana was battling a legal tussle with Ivory Coast over specific oil reserves.
In a seven-point unanimous decision, the tribunal chaired by President of the Special Chamber, Judge Boualem Bouguetaia declared that Ghana did not violate Ivory Coast’s maritime boundary or any articles of the ITLOS.
Though the special chamber dismissed Ghana’s claim that there has been a tacit agreement between it and Ivory Coast concerning their borders, it upheld its argument for the use of equidistance for the delimitation of the boundaries.
President Akufo-Addo has praised the attorney general for her efforts especially when she decided to work together with the former attorney general, Marrieta Brew Oppong.
3. Agriculture minister, Owusu Afriyie
The government challenges that hit Ghana’s Agric sector was that of the Army Worm invasion which consumed tens and thousands of hectares across the country. With governemnt losing millions of cedis in revenue. The Agric ministry invested in fighting this outbreak through the deployment of insecticides. Currently, according to the minister, the armyworm invasion has been totally dealt with. Talking about food security in Ghana, the agriculture ministry has also set out to deepen ties with the private sector to make the planting for food and jobs successful.
4. Defense minister, Dominic Ntiwul
One of the gravest challenges Ghana’s security has suffered has been the spring up of vigilante groups in the country. We all saw it during the actions of the Invincible Forces in the country. The minister has also considered various plans of improving security in this country following threats of terrorism. We recently saw it in the case of the set up of special task force training. Dominic Ntiwul was recently invited for questions by parliament over the setup of this special training of the task force.
5. Minister of mines and natural resources, John Peter Amewu
This minister waged a fierce campaign against illegal small-scale mining in Ghana. Under his leadership have we seen a special ban on illegal small-scale mining in the country. Illegal small-scale mining remains one of the menaces in Ghana which has eaten into the core of Ghana’s mining sector with residents even sacrificing their bedrooms for the bad act. So far, the government has extended the ban on small-scale illegal mining.
6. Minister of foreign affairs, Shirley Ayorkor Botchway
Shirley Ayorkor Botchway has been on the forefront of ensuring diplomacy between Ghana and other world leaders. The minister put in much effort in neutralizing the effects of the xenophobic attack on some Ghanaians by South Africans. The fate of Ghanaian migrants in Libya caught the attention of all Ghanaians especially when it was related to the Libyan slave trade. The minister brought together resources to repatriate all Ghanaian victims from Libya.