The first female Chief of Staff at the Office of the President, Akosua Frema Osei Opare, has received the award in the governance category of the Ghana Women of the Year Honours for her outstanding performance and hard work in the Akufo-Addo government since it assumed office in January 2017.
Organisers of the awards ceremony acclaimed of the Chief of Staff, saying that in spite of Ghana’s rough and rivalry-filled political terrain, Akosua Frema Osei Opare “has survived in the space in an outstanding and impressive manner”.
In a eulogy before she presented the award to the Chief of Staff on behalf of the organisers, the former first lady and presidential candidate of the National Democratic Party (NDP), Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings, said: “Throughout her work life, both in private and in public service, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare has been sober, diligent, faithful and consistent.”
The Chief of Staff
In her acceptance remarks, the Chief of Staff gave thanks to the God for everything she has achieved in and with her life so far.
She registered her sincere thanks to the organisers of the awards and to her late father, who, she said, in spite of the way girls were treated then in education, insisted that all his female children must be educated, including her good self.
In the political sphere, the Chief of Staff said her few political friends have kept her going throughout tough times. John Kufuor, the former president, first gave her the opportunity to work in the political arena in Ghana, she said. And ultimately, the current president, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, took the political risk of appointing her to her current position, which has produced the honours she is receiving.
“My advice to all women is that do the best that you can when you are given an opportunity, and I can say that the best will come to you,” the Chief of Staff said.
At the Glitz Africa 5th Annual Ghana Women of the Year Honours, held at the Mövenpick Ambassador Hotel in Accra on Saturday 26 September 2020, several other women who have excelled in various fields of endeavour also received awards.
Her Excellency Akua Kuenyehia, a former judge of the International Criminal Court (ICC), received the Lifetime Achievement award for exemplary and distinguished services on the international stage.
In the Corporate Personality category, the award went to Elsie Addo Awadzi, Second Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana. Reverend Dr Gifty Akushika Lamptey, the chief executive officer of the Sidalco group of companies, received the Excellence in Business award.
The chief executive officer of the Ghana Export Promotion Authority (a state organisation with a mandate to develop, facilitate and promote Ghanaian exports), Dr Afua Asabea Asare, received the Excellence in Public Service award. In the category of Excellence in Education, the award went to Professor Rita Akosua Dickson, Vice-Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
Three very well-known media personalities and professionals – Beatrice Agyemang Abbey, group chief executive officer of Media General, Berla Addardey (Berla Mundi) and Nana Ama McBrown – received the Excellence in Media, Young Star and Excellence in Creative Arts awards respectively.
Ethel Delali Cofie, chief executive officer of EDEL Technology Consulting, secured the Excellence in Technology award for leading a successful ICT company.
The Woman of the Year in the Diaspora category went to Bozoma Saint John, the chief marketing officer for Netflix. And finally, the Ghana Health Service (GHS) was recognised for its outstanding response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ghana Women of the Year Honours
The Ghana Women of the Year Honours is a ceremony where women who are excelling and making a great impact in various fields of endeavour are celebrated and their stories shared, so as to inspire the next generation of ambitious and impact-conscious women.
The winners are selected by an astute board of achievers who use clear and objective criteria to ensure that the final list comprises the most deserving women in various fields.
Claudia Lumor, chief executive officer of Glitz Africa and the United Nations Population Fund’s honorary ambassador for Ghana, is the lead lady behind the awards.
Wilberforce Asare / Asaase Radio