Harry Sawyerr (Former Education Minister)
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Harry Sawyerr is a former Ghanaian politician and quantity surveyor.
Mr Sawyerr was appointed valuer for the Kumasi City Council in 1962 and a year later became the first African to be appointed Chief Federal Lands Officer for the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Before joining the city council, Mr Sawyerr had served in various capacities between 1953 and 1962. Those included working as a probationer with the London County Council Valuation Department while studying at the London University College of Estate Management and later with the Lands Department in Accra and Kumasi.
Harry Sawyerr was the first person to be president of the Ghana Institution of Surveyors. He served two terms spanning 1969 to 1971and between 1971 and 1977 he was the Organiser and Convener of the Association of Recognised Professional Bodies.
He was among the founders of the United National Convention formed to contest the 1979 parliamentary election. He however left the party to stand as an independent candidate and became a Member of Parliament in the Third Republic Parliament for Osu Klottey.
Harry Sawyerr served as Minister for Transport and Communications from 1979 to 1981 in the Limann government. He was also an External Examiner in Rating Valuation for the Department of Land Economy at the then University of Science & Technology (now KNUST).
After the 1981 coup d’etat he, in the company of others such as the late Peter Ala Adjetey, was incarcerated at the Nsawam Prison for more than three months and later released when no wrongdoing was found against him.
He subsequently joined the NDC and was elected National Vice-Chairman of the party. He chaired the National Campaign Committee in 1992.
In 1990, prior to becoming a Minister of Education, Mr Sawyerr became the first Chairman of the Executive Council of the University of Ghana Medical School and since then he had been sponsoring prizes for graduating medical doctors of the Ghana Medical School. He served as Minister for Education in the Rawlings government from 1993 to 1997.
One of his major hallmarks was ensuring punctuality to work. He was instrumental in setting the framework for the attainment of the FCUBE programme as enshrined in the 1992 Constitution, establishing the Best Teacher Awards Scheme and the Distance Learning programme.
He was appointed to the Council of State in 1998 and served till 2000.
He was an ardent football enthusiast and staunch Accra Hearts of Oak supporter. He was a Life Vice-Chairman of Patrons and became Life Chairman of Patrons.
He won five trophies for the club in the 1980s when he was called upon to take charge of the management of the club and save it from further decline.
Later in 2010, he was made member of the ruling National Democratic Congress's Council of Elders.
He resigned his position as Vice-Chairman of the Council of Elders of the ruling National Democratic Congress (NDC) days before he turned 87.
Harry Sawyerr was decorated by President John Atta Mills with the highest state honour, Companion of the Order of the Volta.
He died on 8th November 2013.