Three Things You Have Not Realised About Akufo-Addo’s Second Cabinet
The president, Nana Akufo-Addo, on June 10, released the composition that will be his first cabinet of the second term and The Ghana Report gave you a breakdown of who is in and out, as well as the story of the new faces in the team.
The 1992 constitution of Ghana grants the president the power to put together a cabinet of not fewer than 10 and not more than 19 ministers. In spite of this, presidents have been known to invite other ministers to sit in cabinet meetings since the law grants that possibility if said ministers are of a vital need to the meeting.
The president and the vice-president are also members of the cabinet. If the president is unavailable, the vice-president hosts the meetings of the most powerful deliberative body in the Executive.
The cabinet is the highest deliberative and decision-making body of the Executive in Ghanaian democracy. It is, for intent and purposes, a cabal, and thus, those who make the list are seen as the most trusted and/or needed by the president.
But more often than not, Ghanaian presidents since 1993 have tried to compose cabinets that are representative of Ghana’s ethnic diversity. This is symbolic but its significance lies in the message it communicates about the presidency.
In the spirit of the times, presidents have also paid attention to representation for women as well as youth.
So, what does Nana Akufo-Addo’s opening cabinet of the second term tell us in terms of age, gender and regional balance?
A total of three women will be in the starting cabinet for President Akufo-Addo’s second term. All the rest are men.
The women are Shirley Ayorkor Botchway, the Minister for Foreign Affairs; Cecilia Abena Dapaah, the Minister for Sanitation and Water Resources and Mavis Hawa Koomson, the Minister for Fisheries and Aquaculture Development.
Four women, including Botchway, began the first cabinet in the first term of the president.
Regional representation is better understood as more than a politician being a native of a particular region. Greater Accra, for instance, has a lot of Members of Parliament (MPs) who are not native to the region.
Representation, in this case, additionally means representing a constituency or holding political office in that region.
Ashanti Region commands the bulk of ministers who make up this cabinet with eight members. The region’s contingent includes Francis Asenso-Boakye, Osei Kyei Mensah-Bonsu and Dapaah.
Greater Accra has one minister in the person of Foreign Minister Botchway; Central Region has one in Koomson (Western Region-born) while the Volta Region has John Peter Amewu.
Ken Ofori-Atta and Dan Botwe come from the Eastern Region while Ignatius Baffour-Awuah (Ashanti Region-born) and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu represent the Bono Region.
Dominic Nitiwul and Ibrahim Awal come from the Northern Region, Samuel Jinapor from the Savannah Region and Ambrose Dery from the Upper West Region.
The oldest minister in this cabinet is Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto who will be 72 years old later in 2021. The youngest member is Jinapor who is 38 years of age.
There are at least, seven or more ministers who are in their 60s or beyond. Six of the cabinet ministers are in their 50s and everyone else (five) is outside the 50-year mark.
The mean age in Ghana’s current cabinet is 56.5 years.