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Gabby Otchere-Darko named among Africa’s 50 most influential Africans

The Africa Report also names several influential personalities on the continent. Amongst them is Nigerian political titan O. H. Gbajabiamila

Founder and Executive Chairman of the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), organisers of the economic-integration-focused Africa Prosperity Dialogues (APD), and senior partner and co-founder of Africa Legal Associates (ALA), Gabby Asare Otchere-Darko, has been named as one of the fifty most influential Africans by “The Africa Report,” a leading international news magazine.

The Africa Report also names several other influential personalities on the continent. Amongst them is Nigerian political titan Olufemi Hakeem Gbajabiamila, aka “Gbaja,” who is now the chief of staff for President Bola Tinubu.

According to the magazine, the fifty (50) leading Africans have their thumbs on the balance of power at home and beyond. Justifying their decision to name Mr Otchere-Darko as one of the fifty, The Africa Report says Gabby Otchere-Darko, a former speechwriter for President Nana Akufo-Addo and key adviser for the ruling party is a pivotal figure in the decision-making arena of Ghana.

Mr Otchere-Darko, a prominent corporate lawyer also owns a newspaper, The Statesman, and a number of radio stations across Ghana, under the Asaase Broadcasting Company brand.

“As the founder of Asaase Radio and senior partner at Africa Legal Associates, he actively contributes to the media and legal sectors. Drawing from his grandfather J.B. Danquah’s political legacy, Otchere-Darko shapes policy, particularly in collaboration with finance minister Ken Ofori-Atta,” Africa Report stated in their write-up.

The “Africa Report” further made mention of Mr Otchere-Darko’s footprints in the political space of Ghana and the strategic role he plays, including fundraising, in the New Patriotic Party (NPP), which is the party that currently forms government in the West African state.

New endeavour

Mr Otchere-Darko has in the last three years been spearheading the Africa Prosperity Network (APN), an independent, and not-for-profit organisation, committed to mobilising private sector support for the implementation of Africa’s single market project.

The annual Africa Prosperity Dialogues is recognised by the African Union as a formidable platform, which brings together Africa’s political and business leaders, Pan-African thought leaders and other stakeholder institutions to think and work together in Africa’s efforts to build the world’s largest single market, through the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area project.

The overarching vision of APN is to significantly push the prosperity agenda of Africa, with urgency, by helping to facilitate the free movement of people, goods, and services across member states.

The Africa Prosperity Dialogues 2024 takes place at the Peduase Presidential Lodge, Aburi Hills, Ghana, from Thursday, 25th to Saturday, 27th January, 2024. Under the theme, “Delivering Prosperity in Africa: Produce. Add Value. Trade.”, the retreat will see 800 of Africa’s top decision-makers and influencers, deliberating on the essential issue of value addition to economies across Africa as a necessary means of increasing intra-African trade and making economic integration a meaningful reality.

Other influential personalities

Formerly the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Gbaja according to the Africa Report, is a trusted ally with a deep political pedigree.

“A member of the bar in Lagos and in Georgia, US, he set up a law firm in Atlanta in 2001. A devoted protégé of Tinubu since the 1980s, Gbaja has held positions as minority and majority leader. Recently, he skillfully protected Tinubu’s presidential bid with a key Electoral Act provision.

“As chief of staff, Gbaja will serve as gatekeeper, policy adviser, and legislative expert, wielding immense power in shaping the administration’s agenda, particularly given Tinubu’s age and health” the Africa Report read.

Another person named by the Africa Report is Mamo Mihretu, the young former head of Ethiopia’s sovereign wealth fund, who ruffled feathers when he was appointed governor of the Central Bank last year.

Critics of his rise pointed to his close relationship with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his lack of senior management experience. Handpicked by Abiy to advance his liberalization agenda, Mamo, who was educated at Harvard and spent eight years at the World Bank, has sought partnerships with China and the US, while promoting green initiatives to attract external investment.

“Ethiopia faces a global economic downturn and the aftermath of a two-year civil war, but Mamo remains confident in its potential. “Ethiopia is a land with countless opportunities for local and foreign investors […] we will give them security,” Mamo Mihretu is quoted to have said in 2022, as the recent war in Ethiopia drew to a close.

Odrek Rwabwogo, who the Africa Report refers to as the husband of President Yoweri Museveni’s daughter Patience, is a businessman playing a key role in Uganda’s political landscape.

“Appointed by Museveni as chair of the presidential advisory committee on exports and industrial development, Rwabwogo is the vital link between investors and the President.

“He also advises on Special Duties, influencing Museveni’s choice of summits and business meetings. Favoured by the President and First Lady, he portrays himself as a modest man, managing his farms while serving as Museveni’s confidant.

“This has strained relations with his brother-in-law Muhoozi Kainerugaba, who holds a less influential role as senior presidential advisor on special operations.

“While Museveni and his son play out their power struggle, Rwabwogo subtly maintains his position in the background and is said to have a significant influence on Museveni’s decision-making” the Africa Report indicated.

Reporting by Wilberforce Asare in Accra
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