News > Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey.
Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey.

KEYNOTE - AKORA (1968) ISAAC OSEI

 

“I thank you Madam, for your kind introduction.
Mr. Chairman, I do not know why a simple man like me who does not want or need any trouble should be asked to speak on a subject which can be both emotive and divisive, and to do so in the company of distinguished Ghanaians and Akoras of high public standing. Considering the quality and experience of the discussants on this panel, I approach the subject matter of this evening’s conversation in this Jubilee Year of our country with some trepidation.

Mr. Chairman, this year being our school’s 90th Anniversary, I am reminded that Achimota did not train us to tremble in the face of difficulties, but the school prepared us to think, to think sometimes outside the box, to excite our mental faculties, to address issues by finding solutions to problems and generally to go out into every part of our country “as living waters to a thirsty land.”
Mr. Chairman, I have seen many definitions of ethnicity but the one which in my view best describes the word is that which sees ethnicity as the fact of belonging to a social group whose members have a common or similar history, culture, language, social norms and mores. Mr. Chairman, there is another word which probably because of its pejorative connotation(s) is not fashionable to use these days, and that word is ‘tribe’. Ladies and Gentlemen, the word ‘Ethnicity’ compared to the word ‘tribe’ which is more primordial, is a rather genteel word. In our context, no one has or should have any doubt what ‘tribe’ or ‘tribal’ means. I will be using these words to mean the same thing.

“Ethnicity in Our Political Development- Learnings in a 60-year Journey.” That is the title of our discourse today. It is useful to start by examining what others have said or written on this or similar topics. In ‘The Brink of Disaster’, a collection of lectures and writings of Ken Saro- Wiwa, he postulates that “The lack of competent personnel, the canalization of all energies into the struggle for power, debilitating corruption, and other social evils have arisen because we have ignored the ethnic nature of our society.””

— Akora (1968) Isaac Osei - Managing Director - Tema Oil Refinery Limited

H.E. Ambassador Isaac Osei was educated at Achimota School and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated with a BSc. (Hons) degree in Economics. He studied Mathematics and Statistics at the Economics Institute at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1976. Subsequently, he obtained a Masters degree in Development Economics from the Center for Development Economics, now Center for Policy Analysis in 1977, at the prestigious Williams College in Massachusetts in The United States of America.

 He started his career in 1973 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Amb. Osei was also the Head of the Commercial Operations Department and later Head of the Research, Projects and Development of the Ghana Tourist Development Company Ltd.

Amb. Osei was also an international trade consultant for UNCTAD and is considered an expert on the multi-lateral trading system and its implications for Ghana.

He was appointed to the high office of High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and with concurrent accreditation to Ireland and served from 2001-2006 during which time he served for two years as Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat. He was prior to this, the Managing Director of Intravenous Infusions Ltd., the largest manufacturer of infusions and small volume injectables in West Africa.  

Amb. Osei was Member of Parliament for the Subin Constituency from 2009 to 2017. In Parliament, he was the Ranking Member on the Select committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism and in his second term, served as Ranking Member on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. He was a member of the House Committee and the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategies and served on the Ad-Hoc committee which prepared the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament and was a member of the team which drafted the guidelines for the formation and operation of Parliamentary Friendship Associations and Study Groups.

Amb. Osei is an established businessman with interests in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, quarrying and financial services. He has served on several boards including Aluworks Limited and Cocoa Processing Company Ltd. He is currently Chairman of Intravenous Infusions Ltd. He has held several public offices including Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board and the current one, the CEO of the Tema Oil Refinery.

Panel Discussion Moderated By Akora (19XX) Audrey Gadzekpo featured Akora K. Boakye-Djan, Akora Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings, Akora Rhodaline Ayarna, Akora Pat Sogbojor, Akora Isaac Osei (Keynote speaker) and Akora K.B Asante (Chairperson)

Akora Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings schooled at Achimota School, where she met her future husband H.E. Jerry John Rawlings.

 She continued at the University of Science and Technology, where she read Art, specializing in Textiles. She was a student leader right from those early days and an executive of her Hall of residence, Africa Hall.

Nana Konadu got married to her sweetheart, Jerry John Rawlings, then an Airforce Officer, in 1977. She gave birth to her first child Hon. Ezenator Rawlings in 1978. Two other daughters and a son followed later; Yaa Asantewaa, Amina and Kimathi. She also has some grandchildren.

Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings came into the political limelight when her husband became Head of Statein 1979 and has since contributed in no small measure to the body politic of Ghana.

She set up and was president of the 31st December Women's Movement from 1982.

She was elected First Vice Chairperson of the NDC in 2009 during the second term of her National Democratic Congress (NDC) party's tenure in office under President John Atta Mills. She challenged Atta Mills for the party's flagbearership position at the party's congress which took place at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region from 8–10 July 2011 and lost to him.

She has also been the flagbearer of her own party … the National Democratic Party (NDP)

 

H.E. Amb Kwaku Baprui Asante … known simply to most as K.B. Asante is a Ghanaian retired diplomat, writer and statesman.

He was the Secretary to Ghana's First President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah. Amb K.B. Asante served under most Heads of States in Ghana, starting from Osagyefo Dr. Nkrumah, and also served as the Principal Secretary at African Affairs Secretariat from 1960 to 1966.

He was educated at Achimota School and later returned there to teach Mathematics.

Amb K.B. Asante attended Achimota School then Achimota College, where he taught mathematics before proceeding to Durham University in Britain, where he obtained a BSc Mathematics in 1952. He also became a member of the Institute of Statisticians in 1953, before returning to Achimota, where he again taught mathematics.

He became Ghana’s Ambassador to Switzerland and the United Nations Offices in Geneva and the UN establishment in Vienna, with concurrent accreditation as Ambassador to Australia from 1967-72.

He also served as the Ambassador to Belgium, Luxembourg and the European Economic Community from 1976-1978.

Mr Asante retired from the Civil Service in 1978 to form the Social Democratic Front to contest the 1979 elections.

The party won three parliamentary seats in those elections.

He was the Secretary for Trade and Tourism in the PNDC administration in 1982 and later Secretary for Education and Culture from 1986-1990.

He is the author of the book “Voice from Afar” and a regular columnist in various newspapers in Ghana.

Amb K.B. Asante is a renowned statesman who has been so recognized many times over

Education

-         Achimota School (1974 Year Group)

-         Islamic University College – BBA (HR option)

-         GIMPA- Masters in Public Sector Management (MPSM)

Self Employed

-CEO of Royans Company Limited

Construction and commodity trading company

Political Activities

-A member of the Convention People’s Party (CPP)

- CPP Deputy Women’s Organiser

-CPP 2nd National Vice Chairperson (2010-2014)

- CPP Coordinator for Labour Party, UK (2010-2014)

-CPP Communicator and a regular guest at TV and Radio discussions on political, social and economic issues affecting the country.

A. CAREER

Present: The Executive Chairman, Newguide Ltd, a company that trades mainly in:

I       Public Policy Management Consulting

ii      Agribusiness Management

iii     Policy Books and Periodicals Publishing       

Past:  NDC Parliamentary Candidate for the 2016 National Elections

B. ARMY OFFICER

a) Military ruling council member in Ghana June 4- September 24 1979.

Retired honourably and on the rank of major in 1981 after serving in the ruling Armed Forces Revolution Council (AFRC) as the Head of Government and Official Spokesman.

b) Commissioned into the Ghana Armed Forces on the rank of Lieutenant in 1970.

Held number of appointments in the following departments:

 1) Public Relations Directorate: as Assistant Director: 1970-1972.

2) Military Intelligence Directorate: as Operative, Research Analyst and Staff Officer to the Director: 1972-1978.

3) 5th battalion of infantry, Accra: as Company Commander: 1978-1979.

4) 1981 May 3 was retired honourably on the rank of Major.

 

C. EDUCATION:

a) Kings College, University of London: Enrolled in M. Phil course in War Studies in 1979.

b) University of Ghana: B A  (Hons)  in English  (1964-1967)

c) Achimota Secondary School, Achimota (1962-1964); Sixth Form Course for GCE (London) Advance Level in English Literature, History and Art

d) Opoku Ware Secondary School, Kumasi, Ghana (1958-1962); Ordinary Level Course for West Africa School Certificate in English Language, English Literature, French, Latin, History, General Science and Mathematics.

D. AUTHOR

2007Published first book entitled: CALL TO DUTY: The enforced restoration of the constitution of Ghana

FINAL THOUGHTS

“The question of meritocracy is of paramount importance. Any country which wants to progress must of necessity rely on the ability and skills of its own people. It is important that the state ensures that merit ability and competence, capacity and capability determine one’s progression.

Politics is an area where appointing authorities like presidents choose those they believe can do a job for them to enable them fulfill their promises to the electorate, to assist them in realizing their visions. I will 15 say to any head of state that within the limits of the law, select anybody who is qualified even if you find such a person in your kitchen but be prepared to face the consequences of your action.

Mr. Chairman, I was born by an Ahanta woman from Dixcove. My father was an Asante man from Sepe-Timpom in the Kumasi Metropolis. I stated school in Kumasi and continued at Achimota and Legon. I married an Akyem woman from Kukurantumi. I live in Accra and work in Tema. I have business interests in Koforidua, Accra, Kumasi and in the Ayensuano District.

My closest friends include a Bono from Drobo, an Ewe who hails from Toh-Kpalime, a Ga from Osu and an Asante from Kwaaman. Two of my sisters are married to Dagombas, one from Lamashegu and another from Gushiegu. Where I am today does it have anything to do with my being an Ahanta?

So who am I? Dwell on that for a while.
I thank you.”

— Akora (1968) Isaac Osei - Managing Director - Tema Oil Refinery Limited

News Source : OAA
Last updated at : 28 April,2017
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