GHANA: Charles Adu Boahen to be elevated to Minister of State

President Akufo-Addo barring any last minute changes, is expected to name Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, a former Deputy Finance Minister, as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance. This elevation should mean that Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta, will be assisted by a Minister of State and two other deputies, a source at the Jubilee House has disclosed to Asaase News.

President Akufo-Addo is due to release his last batch of Ministerial appointments and Deputy Ministerial list this week as he completes the formation of his second term government.

Motivation for Elevation

This latest move by the President in nominating Charles Kofi Adu Boahen, as a Minister of State at the Ministry of Finance, is seen as necessary as the country fights to rebuild the economy after the devastation caused it by the COVID-19 Pandemic as well as 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 (NPP) under the 4th Republican constitution, the late Professor Albert Adu Boahen.

His elevation should also allow the Ministry to devote more attention to the President’s overarching vision to transform the economy of GHANA during the lifespan of his second term in office. Asaase News’ source further intimates that the new appointment has become even more urgent looking at the extent to which the novel corona virus, COVID-19, has and continues to expose the manufacturing weaknesses with African economies and the need to salvage the situation.

The new and exciting opportunities for economies in Africa that can produce 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 decision of the President to appoint a Minister of State at the Finance Ministry to augment the efforts of the substantive Minister.

2021 Direction of Finance Ministry

The 2021 Budget Statement gave a strong hint of where the focus of the Finance Minister, especially, will be.
In the statement read on behalf of Ken Ofori-Atta by the Majority Leader, Osei Kyei-Mensah-Bonsu, he 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 GH¢100 billion Ghana CARES (Obaatan pa) 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 Finance Minister Ken Ofori-Atta will, thus, focus more and more on “the big things”, meaning, legacy projects for President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, which revolves around his transformation agenda. This, coupled with the President’s ever-growing confidence in the capacity of Charles Adu-Boahen, is what, our sources believe, inspired the President to elevate the third of five children of Professor Albert Adu Boahen, to the status of a Minister of State. Dr. Anthony Akoto-Osei, it would be recalled, was the last Minister of State for Finance and Economic Planning over twelve (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 Kofi Adu Boahen was most recently the President’s Acting Representative at the Ministry of Finance. He worked with the then nominee for Minister for Finance and the Technical Officers of the Ministry on the planning and preparation of the 2021 Budget, during this period. Prior to this, he was a Deputy Minister for Finance responsible for Finance, under the first Akufo-Addo administration, from April 2017 to January 2021.

In his role as Deputy Finance Minister, Mr. Adu Boahen assisted the Minister for Finance in executing his mandate with a specific focus on Finance and External Resource mobilization. He executed this with excellence by supporting the country to raise some of the landmark bond issuances in Africa’s history, earning him international awards in 2018 and in 2020. He also led the Ministry of Finance (MoF) team participation in the ongoing Energy sector reform and rationalization exercise.

Prior to his appointment as a Deputy Minister for Finance, he had accumulated over 20 years of experience in Finance – specifically in Corporate Finance, Investment Banking, Asset Management, Private Equity and Real Estate.

Charles was the CEO 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, Mr. Adu Boahen was a Director and Regional Head of Corporate & Investment Banking for Standard Bank of South Africa.

Prior to Standard Bank, Mr. Adu Boahen was with JP Morgan for over five years as Vice President and Head of Investment Banking for Sub-Saharan Africa where he was responsible for developing the Investment banking business across sub-Saharan Africa excluding South Africa, he was also the JP Morgan Senior Country Representative for Nigeria.

Mr. Adu Boahen 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 where his responsibilities included various corporate finance and mergers & acquisitions assignments, primarily in the Chemicals and Energy sector.

Mr. Adu Boahen attended Achimota and Mfantsipim School for ‘O’ and ‘A’ Levels respectively. He has a BSc in Chemical Engineering from the University of Southern California and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Wilberforce Asare

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