Seven things you (probably) didn’t know about Matthew Opoku Prempeh

Napo is a prominent Ghanaian politician who has made significant contributions to the development of his country in politics, health, education and energy

Matthew Opoku Prempeh is the current Energy Minister and a medical doctor and former education minister.

Napo, as he is affectionately called, was born on 23 May 1968.

He is a prominent Ghanaian politician who has made significant contributions to the development of his country.

Here are seven facts you probably didn’t know about him: 

Born in Kumasi

Dr Opoku Prempeh is the Minister of Energy and Member of Parliament for Manhyia South in the Ashanti Region.

He was born in Kumasi, where he went on to have his primary, secondary and tertiary education. At the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), he obtained a Bachelor of Science (BSc) degree in human biology in 1992 and a Bachelor of Medicine and Surgery (MB, ChB) degree in 1995.

Former security firm boss

Before he entered Parliament, Opoku Prempeh served as the chief executive officer of Keyedmap Security Services Ltd from 2004 to 2009.

As a trained medical doctor/ health worker, he was also a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of the United Kingdom from 1999 to 2003.

He identifies as a Christian and is a nephew of the former Ghanaian president John Agyekum Kufuor.

One of 19 ministers in Akufo-Addo’s first cabinet

In May 2017, President Akufo-Addo named Matthew Opoku Prempeh as one of the 19 ministers in his first cabinet.

The names of the 19 ministers were submitted to Parliament and announced by the then Speaker of the House, Right Honourable Professor Aaron Mike Oquaye.

Today, as a surviving cabinet minister, Dr Opoku Prempeh is still part of the president’s inner circle and assists in key decision-making in Ghana.

Journey to becoming a doctor

After serving as a house officer at the Komfo Anokye Teaching Hospital in Kumasi from 1995-97, Dr Opoku Prempeh continued his education at the Erasmus University in the Netherlands, obtaining an MSc in clinical epidemiology in 1998.

He proceeded to the UK to practise as a doctor, becoming a member of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons in Glasgow in 2002. He is also a Harvard scholar and an alumnus of the Harvard Ministerial Leadership Programme.

He has received two honorary doctorates from the University of Education in Winneba and the University of Professional Studies, Accra for his leadership and achievements as a minister of education. The African Energy Chamber recently named him among the top 25 movers and shakers in the energy sector.

Journey into politics

Dr Opoku Prempeh returned to Ghana in 2003 to pursue a career in business and politics. He ran for Parliament on the ticket of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in the 2008 general election and won the mandate to represent the people of Manhyia. Subsequently, the constituency was divided into two and he went on to win Manhyia South in 2012.

He retained the seat in the 2016 election and again in 2020. Following the NPP’s victory in the 2016 general election, Dr Opoku Prempeh was appointed by President Akufo-Addo as education minister and served from 2017 to 2021.

During his tenure, he successfully led the team at the Ministry of Education to deliver on the flagship education programme of the government – Free Senior High School – to widespread admiration, even from his political opponents.

His team also delivered on curriculum reforms, teacher reforms and many other initiatives, including the promotion and mainstreaming of technical and vocational education and training (TVET).

After the NPP’s victory in the 2020 general election, President Akufo-Addo nominated Dr Prempeh to serve as Minister of Energy.

He has since championed major projects including the achievement of universal rural electrification by 2025 (coverage is currently 86%); renegotiation of power purchase agreements; the revamping of Ghana’s cylinder manufacturing company and improvement of the cylinder recirculation model to meet Ghana’s clean energy goals; the establishment of a petroleum hub; revision of local content legislation in the power sector; improving the efficiency of electricity producers and distributors; and relieving the energy debt stock of Ghana through the Energy Sector Recovery Programme (ESRP).

Best minister in 2017 and 2019

Dr Opoku Prempeh was adjudged the best minister in Ghana in 2017 and 2019.

He is also the recipient of the 2020 Harvard Ministerial Medal of Achievement in recognition of his exemplary leadership style.

Dedication to public service

Dr Opoku Prempeh’s dedication to public service and his commitment to improving the lives of Ghanaians have earned him the respect and admiration of many.

He continues to work tirelessly to ensure that every Ghanaian has access to quality education and health care, and his efforts have had a positive impact on the country as a whole.

He is a passionate politician who has made significant contributions to the development of Ghana. His work in education and health care has had a lasting impact on the lives of many Ghanaians, and he continues to be a driving force for positive change in the country.

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