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Charles Adu Boahen to be elevated to minister of state

President Akufo-Addo is expected to name Charles Kofi Adu Boahen as a minister of state in the Finance Ministry

Barring last-minute changes, President Akufo-Addo is expected to name Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, a former deputy finance minister, as Minister of State in the Ministry of Finance. With this promotion, the Minister for Finance, Ken Ofori-Atta, will be assisted by the new Minister of State and two deputies, a source at Jubilee House has disclosed to Asaase News.

The president is due to release the list of his last batch of ministerial appointments and nominees for deputy ministerial positions this week as he completes the formation of his second-term government.

Motives for elevation

This latest move by the president in nominating Charles Kofi Adu Boahen as a minister of state is seen as a strategic move to assist Ghana’s fight to rebuild her economy after the devastation caused by COVID-19 on economies across the world.

It is also seen as a big vote of confidence in the ability of the chemical engineer-turned- investment banker and son of the first presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party under the Fourth Republican constitution, the late Professor Albert Adu Boahen.

His promotion should also allow the Finance Ministry to devote more attention to the president’s overarching vision to transform the Ghanaian economy during the lifespan of his second term in office.

Asaase News’s source further says that the new appointment has become even more urgent, considering the extent to which the novel coronavirus has exposed and continues to expose the manufacturing weaknesses of African economies and the need to address this deficiency.

The new opportunities for economies in Africa which can produce goods and services to sell as the continent’s economic integration agenda takes shape with the coming into force of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) also gives support to the president’s decision to appoint a minister of state at the Finance Ministry to augment the efforts of the substantive minister.

2021 direction for Finance Ministry

The 2021 Budget Statement gave a strong hint of where the focus of the Finance Minister, especially, will be.

Reading the statement on behalf of Ken Ofori-Atta, the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, said: “Mr Speaker, the last four years left no Ghanaian in doubt that ours is a government that cares. We care about the welfare of the people and we care about the need for business to create wealth.

“The next four years will see a more clinical structural focus on President Akufo-Addo’s transformation agenda as we build with deliberate rapidity on the gains so far made.

“In this regard, pursuing the GHC100 billion Ghana CARES (Obaatanpa) programme, which, in the words of the Finance Minister, is by far the boldest and biggest economic recovery programme in the country’s history,” should, he explained, “enable us to turn the challenges created by COVID-19 into opportunities for socio- economic transformation.”

Ken’s focus on “big things”

Information picked up by Asaase News suggests that consequently Finance Minister Ofori-Atta will focus more and more on “the big things”, meaning legacy projects for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo which revolve around his transformation agenda.

This, coupled with the president’s ever-growing confidence in Charles Adu-Boahens capacity, is what, our sources believe, inspired the president to elevate the third of Professor Albert Adu Boahens five children to the status of a minister of state.

It will be recalled that Dr Anthony Akoto Osei was the last minister of state for finance and economic planning over 12 years ago, under President John Kufuor.

Charles Adu-Boahen

Before his nomination as Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, the Harvard-trained Charles Adu Boahen was most recently the president’s acting representative at the Ministry of Finance.

He worked with the then Minister-designate for Finance and the ministry’s technical officers on the planning and preparation of the 2021 Budget during this period. Before that, under the first Akufo-Addo government, he was a deputy finance minister responsible for finance between April 2017 and January 2021.

In his role as deputy finance minister, Adu Boahen assisted the Minister for Finance to execute his mandate with a specific focus on finance and external resource mobilisation. He executed this with excellence, supporting Ghana to raise landmark bond issuances that were firsts in African history.

His work in this regard earned him international awards in 2018 and in 2020. He also led the Ministry of Finance (MoF) team participating in the ongoing energy sector reform and rationalisation exercise.

Before he was appointed as a deputy finance minister, he had accumulated over 20 years of experience in the sector – specifically in corporate finance, investment banking, asset management, private equity and real estate.

Adu Boahen was the chief executive officer of Black Star Advisors (BSA), a boutique investment bank and asset management firm, and Primrose Properties Ghana (PPG), a real-estate development company, both of which he founded in 2007. Before that, he was a director and regional head of corporate and investment banking for Standard Bank of South Africa.

Before he joined Standard Bank, Adu Boahen workd with JPMorgan for over five years as vice-president and head of investment banking for sub-Saharan Africa. In this role, he was responsible for developing the investment banking business across sub-Saharan Africa, excluding South Africa. He was also JPMorgan’s senior country representative for Nigeria.

He also worked for the $400mm AIG African Infrastructure Fund as an investment officer and on Wall Street for Salomon Smith Barney, now part of Citigroup, in their investment banking division. His responsibilities here included various corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions assignments, primarily in the chemicals and energysector.

Adu Boahen attended Achimota and Mfantsipim Schools for his O’ and A’ levels, respectively. He holds a BSc in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio

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