Nana Akufo-Addo (NPP)

Nana Akufo-Addo (NPP)

By David Amanor

BBC Focus on Africa Magazine October - December 2008

One of the founding members of the New Patriotic Party in 1992 when multiparty democracy returned to Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo has had presidential ambitions since 2000.

With a father who was ceremonial president from 1969 to 1972 he has political pedigree, and he is related to founding members of Ghana's pro-independence movement, the United Gold Coast Convention.

As a toddler, the family home in Accra was like the party's headquarters.

He won a fierce contest at the party primaries last year to get his name on the ticket despite not being the favoured candidate of outgoing-President John Kufuor.

His campaign slogan is "BIG – Believe In Ghana".

In the political arena

As a student, he did economics in Ghana and read law in the UK, he flirted with Marxism, at one time describing himself as a Trotskyite, before returning to the liberal ideals of his political forebears, known in Ghana as the Danquah-Busia tradition.

In 1975 he became a barrister in Ghana and secretary general of the People's Movement for Freedom and Justice, a broad-based coalition of activists that ultimately brought about the downfall of Ignatius Acheampong’s military government in 1978.

During the 20-year rule of Jerry Rawlings, Akufo-Addo established himself in Ghana's political arena as a champion of human rights.

He founded Ghana's Committee on Human and Peoples' Rights and as attorney general in 2002 drafted the National Reconciliation Act, which established the National Reconciliation Commission to investigate past human rights abuses in Ghana.

Married with five children, he is a fluent Twi, Ga, English and French speaker.

Ghana 2008 | Africa Today | Africa Today archive | Focus on Africa Magazine

At a glance

Nickname: Nana
Party: New Patriotic Party (NPP)
Age: 64
Home town: Kyebi, Eastern Region
Executive posts: Attorney general 2001-03; Foreign affairs minister 2003-07
Profession: Lawyer