9 January 2013

Ghana: John the Fourth Makes Four Appointments

Barely 24 hours after being sworn in as President of Ghana, Mr. John Dramani Mahama has made his first appointments to help him discharge his duties of managing the economy for the next four years.

A press statement signed by the president's spokesperson, Abdulai John Jinapor, said Mr. Prosper Douglas Kweku Bani has been appointed as Chief of Staff at the Presidency, with Mr. Roger Kwesi Angsomwine, who until recently was the Chief Director at the Presidency, taking over from Mr. Bebaako Mensah as Secretary to Cabinet.

Dr. Raymond Akongburo Atuguba, who served as Executive Secretary to the Constitutional Review Commission has also been appointed as Executive Secretary to the President.

Dr. Sulley Gariba would also serve as Senior Policy Co-ordinator in the Office of the President.

For the orderly conduct of Government business in the period before Ministers of State are appointed to head Government Ministries, the President designated the various substantive Ministers, including Regional Ministers, whose tenure of office expired at midnight on the 6th of January 2013, in caretaker positions of the various Ministries and Regions they previously occupied.

It said in the case of the Ministry of Justice and Attorney-General's Department, and in accordance with the Transition Act, the Solicitor-General "shall be in charge of the Ministry".

Dr. Benjamin Kunbuor, who was the substantive Minister of Justice and Attorney-General, is now the Majority Leader of Parliament, after winning the Nabdam Constituency seat on the ticket of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC).

Additionally, the President retained non-career Ambassadors and High Commissioners in office as caretakers. The President, however, cautioned those in caretaking positions not to take decisions involving a policy issue.

PROFILE of new Chief of Staff

Mr. Prosper Bani is a senior manager and specialist in international peace-building and development processes. For over 15 years, Mr. Bani has led innovative processes in peace and development with the United Nations in several locations, world-wide.

Between 2011 and 2012, he led the UN/IGAD inter-ministerial response on the humanitarian crises in Horn of Africa. Prior to this, Mr. Bani managed and coordinated Crisis Prevention and Recovery (CPR) programmes in support of over 20 countries and Regional Organisations in Africa, as the team leader for the Bureau for Crisis Prevention and Recovery (BCPR) based in South Africa, between 2009 to 2011.

He served as Regional Advisor in a similar capacity in Senegal, between 2006 and 2009. Mr. Bani's UN experience has taken him on specialist assignments in Tajikistan for 3 years, Geneva for 5 years, during which time he developed systems for crises prevention and designed various instruments for sustainable, post-crises development.

In Ghana, Mr. Bani has remained active in various development processes, having been a senior lecturer and Director of Studies in Ghana Institute of Journalism from 1984 to 1992. As a lecturer, he contributed towards the training f some of the country's leading Journalists, and remains a mentor for most media managers in Ghana.

Mr. Bani is a competent administrator, strategic leader and highly experienced in initiating and managing strategies for governance, building partnerships and facilitating complex relationships, especially in conflict resolution and management.

His experience with international organizations is an asset in ensuring that both resources and international legitimacy are brought to bare on national development programs.

Mr. Bani has a B.A. Hons degree in Political Science and Sociology from the University of Ghana, two Masters degrees -one in Comparative Politics and Government from the University of Texas, USA and the other Politics and Development Strategies from the Institute of Social Studies in the Hague, Netherlands. He speaks the major languages of Ghana, has working knowledge in Russian and French.

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