Ghana’s president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, says he does not know why the African Union (A.U.) conferred a recent award on him.
The 73-year-old who came to power in 2016 referred journalists to the A.U. President, Alpha Conde, who he said could better explain the reason he was given this year’s ‘A.U. Gender Champion Award’.
He was speaking to a cross-section of journalists during the government’s press meeting to mark six months since he took office. He, however, observed that the appointment of a sizeable number of women in his government could have earned him the accolade.
It's a question that I forgot to pose to Alpha Conde, the president of the A.U. but frankly I think this is an area that I could still do much better than I have done so far.
‘‘It’s a question that I forgot to pose to Alpha Conde, the president of the A.U. but frankly I think this is an area that I could still do much better than I have done so far.
‘‘I have not been able to make the 30% benchmark that we stated in our manifesto with respect to public appointments,’‘ he stressed.
The award was given to him on June 3 during the 29th A.U. Heads of States summit that took place in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. It was presented by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA).
Part of the citation that came with the plaque read: ‘In recognition of your efforts in gender equality at continental level as the African Union Gender Champion for the year 2017.’‘
The West African nation currently has a number of high ranking female appointees chosen by Akufo-Addo. Among others, first female secretary of cabinet, Madam Debrah-Karikari and Ghana’s first woman Chief of Staff, Madam Frema Opare Addo.
He also chose another woman to occupy the seat of Chief Justice. Justice Sophia Akuffo took over from Ghana’s first female Chief Justice, Georgina Theodora Wood, who retired after a decade as head of the judiciary.
The Chief Justice is the fourth most powerful person in Ghana behind the president, his vice and the speaker of parliament.