Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the two-term Member of Parliament (MP) (2009-2012/2013-2016) for the good people of Kwadaso in the Ashanti region, and Minister for Food and Agriculture has superbly distinguished himself in the government of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo Addo.
The Ghanaian public sees his reappointment to the same Ministry as a step in the right direction. The much-revered Minister has extensive training in the sector, having graduated many decades ago from Ghana’s premier University, Legon, with a Bachelor of Science degree in agriculture and Master of Science degree, from Cambridge University in England in Agricultural Economics.
The Honourable Minister obtained his Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) from the same Cambridge University in 1985. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, had extensive practice in his profession – having worked and consulted for prominent international organisations in agribusinesses.
Naturally, eminent personality has the ear of the President on critical and germane matters that affect the sector in addition to policy streams geared towards leapfrogging the agricultural sector as a springboard for a rapid industrialisation agenda.
He is indeed a reputable Agricultural Economist with a global experience in how the low-income and less developed countries transition into mass industrialisation from agrarian backgrounds.
The deep-thinking, accomplished member of President Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet, is seen not only as an exceptional professional and technocrat, but also a progressive personality greatly immersed in the corporate Ghana agenda of a Ghana beyond aid; A Ghana at the forefront and blazing the trail of the African renaissance of political and economic liberation.
It is important to acknowledge that his passion for public service over the years fuelled his decision to leave behind lucrative and luscious opportunities abroad to join members of his political party, the New Patriotic Party (NPP) to work towards liberating our country from the deprivation it had sunken into for the longest part of our history when military interregnum held our dear nation spellbound. To this course he has placed his professional and academic wherewithal.
Undoubtedly under Dr Akoto’s tenure, the agriculture sector since 2017 has seen significant resurgence. The sector has resuscitated food security and has contributed to our improved gross domestic product. The sectorial contribution under his watch, to the country’s GDP is overwhelming. Sustained food production throughout the year has helped to cover the perennial food shortages hitherto experienced and becoming the status quo. Staple food production through the ‘’Planting for Food and Jobs’’ has attracted greater part of our youth into the sector, thereby creating thousands of jobs. Farmers across the country have had a sector friendly minister whose direction and advice resonates with them and have been prepared to look to him as a perfect example.
A chip of the old block, he is indeed. With the advent of the fourth republic, he formed part of the young executive group which made financial commitments to ensure that NPP was put on even keel to compete with the then ruling regime which had had all the towering and overarching largesse of power.
ssDr. Akoto’s father, the renowned chieftain (a linguist of the Asante kingdom and politician), Baffour Akoto was the founder and leader of the National Liberation Movement (NLM) who gave the stiffest challenge to Dr. Nkrumah’s Convention Peoples Party, the CPP in the 1950s.
Admittedly, his rich background, association, exposition and professional accomplishments notwithstanding, Dr Akoto is extremely down to earth, devoting his energies to give much support not only to his own constituents but also the party rank and file. He cuts across as a fine and witty gentleman, gravel-voiced, warm, dedicated, and loyal; and a reliable confidant. He is widely respected amongst his peers and contemporaries including colleague Ministers of State and within the Legislature.
It is vital to stress that the government’s commitment to put the Ghanaian economy back to winning ways has become even more crucial given the colossal impact the novel coronavirus pandemic has had on nations across the globe, particularly low income sub-Saharan countries.
Governments have contracted in size in a bid to have a firmer grip over the exigencies of the wave of the socio-economic detours resulting from the struck of Covid-19. The role played by the Agriculture Ministry in agricultural policy frameworks and agribusiness to ensure food security and spur on our industrial drive could not be more pertinent.
Regarding a safe pair of hands for this endeavour, the President has made the perfect choice in the person of Hon. Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto.
Against this background, the Ghanaian public and youth congratulate Dr Akoto, for putting himself selflessly at the service of Ghana.