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Meet Asenso-Boakye, Minister-designate for Works and Housing

Francis Asenso-Boakye served for many years as Nana Akufo-Addo’s political assistant and before that was the founding president of TESCON

Francis Asenso-Boakye is the Minister-designate for Works and Housing and the former deputy chief of staff and political assistant to President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.

Asenso-Boakye had for many years served as the political assistant to Nana Akufo-Addo, the then presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party.

A development planning, project management and policy specialist and professional, Asenso-Boakye has over 22 years of wide-ranging professional experience in the field. Before becoming a key member of staff in the Office of the President, he held positions at the Ministry of Employment and Social Welfare (MESW, as it was then called), Global Media Alliance (GMA), Delta Acquisitions and Development in Delaware, USA, the Michigan House of Representatives, also in the USA, the Ghana Free Zones Board (GFZB) and the Ghana Investment Promotion Centre (GIPC).

At the MESW, he was a development communication specialist for a programme to eliminate child labour in cocoa-growing areas of Ghana. He served as the secretary to the technical working group on child labour in the cocoa sector and the joint working group (JWG) of Ghana and Côte d’Ivoire on child labour in the cocoa sector.

He also led Ghana’s engagement with the United States government and the chocolate industry on efforts to eliminate the practice and co-ordinated the development of a facilitators’ manual on best practice that has become a blueprint for efforts to eliminate child labour on cocoa farms.

Flagship assignments

At GMA, where he was project manager, Asenso-Boakye managed several of the company’s flagship assignments and projects, including the Ghana@50 fireworks display at the Independence Square, the opening and closing ceremonies for the 2008 African Cup of Nations, the CNN Africa Journalist of the Year Awards and the African Union Summit Media Centre.

He also served as the lead consultant on GMA’s event consulting work for the Government of Guinea for the Guinea@50 celebrations.

As a project analyst at Delta Acquisitions and Development LLC in Delaware, United States, Asenso-Boakye was responsible for monitoring and evaluating the company’s real-estate acquisitions and development.

He oversaw the construction of 50 homes/duplexes in Dover, Delaware. In this role, Asenso-Boakye was exposed to and had first-hand experience in the planning and management of housing projects.

Asenso-Boakye also served as a policy and research associate in the Office of State Representative Michael C Murphy and to the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus (MLBC) of the Michigan House of Representatives, USA. His work here focused on policy and legislative issues affecting the interests of African-American and minority communities, including the provision of decent and affordable housing.

He drafted an issues book to offer policy guidance for the Michigan Legislative Black Caucus. In 2005, in recognition of his exemplary service as a legislative staffer, he received a special tribute from the Michigan House of Representatives.

Planning, projects and research

Asenso-Boakye also previously worked as a planning officer at GFZB. As the project manager for the Tema Export Processing Zone (TEPZ), he managed a US$50 million World Bank-financed project to provide off-site infrastructure at the TEPZ, including a road network, water storage, drainage and sewerage system.

The experience gave Asenso-Boakye an overview of the kind of work and infrastructure needed for development.

For his national service, he worked as a research analyst at GIPC, where he prepared product profiles for potential investors and served as the centre’s focal person for an investment survey of Ghana conducted by the International Finance Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank.

He gained deep insight on attracting investment to critical areas of the economy, and came to understand particularly the role that foreign direct investment plays in the country’s development.

Office of the President

As deputy chief of staff and political assistant to the president, Asenso-Boakye assisted the Chief of Staff in the Office of the President to provide oversight of the various ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs), ensuring that their plans and programmes were in sync with those of the Presidency.

He was also responsible for management of the president’s engagements with stakeholders and political players across Ghana and ensured that President Akufo-Addo visited every nook and cranny of the country to inspect projects which were having an impact on the lives of Ghanaians. Through these visits, it became abundantly clear to him that after health, education and employment, the next major policy are that will have an impact on the lives of Ghanaians, both in cities and the rural areas, is provision of affordable housing.

Asenso-Boakye has first-hand experience of the need among the Ghanaian people for decent housing. In addition to this, he has gained vast experience over the years in investment and management of housing projects, among other things.

He willingly accepted his new portfolio and looks forward to assisting the president to leave a significant legacy in the works and housing sector of the economy.

Asenso-Boakye is a graduate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, with a BSc degree in development planning. He obtained his Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Michigan State University in the United States as a Rotary Scholar.

He is a former student activist and the founding president of the Tertiary Students Confederacy of the NPP (TESCON). Asenso-Boakye, currently the MP for Bantama, is married with three children.

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