Ghana Famous People
- Date of Birth:
- Place of Birth:
- Akyem Awisa, Ghana
Yaw Osafo-Maafo is a Ghanaian politician, engineer and banker who serves in the portfolio of Senior Minister of the Republic of Ghana in the Nana Akufo-Addo Administration.
Yaw Osafo-Maafo was born in Akyem Awisa in 1942. He attended Akyem Awisa Presbyterian School and then to Achimota Senior High School. He went on to study Mechanical Engineering at the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Ghana.
At KNUST he was the Vice President of the National Union of Ghana Students (NUGS). He established his credentials in the banking and finance sector by heading and successfully restructuring two major Ghanaian banks, the Bank for Housing and Construction, and the National Investment Bank between 1979 and 1992.
He has been a Consultant to the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the United Nations Development Programme. He is the past Vice-President of the Executive Committee of the West African Bankers' Association, and a founding Deputy Chairman of the Ghana Stock Exchange.
He has served as Chairman and a board member on a number of corporations including Nestle Ghana Limited, National Trust Holding Company, Merchant Bank Ghana Limited, National Development Planning Commission, Divestiture Implementation Committee and Donewell Insurance. He stepped down after serving as a Member of Parliament for Akim Oda Constituency in the Eastern Region of Ghana, for three terms.
He is a fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineers and an Honorary Fellow of the Ghana Institute of Architects.
He is a former Member of Parliament for Akim Oda, Ghana.
He was appointed Minister of Finance in February 2001 and later Minister of Finance and Economic Planning during the Kufuor Administration. He held this position until January 2005. At the Ministry of Finance he oversaw the dramatic turnaround of the Ghanaian economy.
In November 2001, he was named Finance Minister of the year with his Canadian counterpart Paul Martin by the World Economic Forum and Finance Minister of the year 2001, Africa, by Banker Magazine, a Financial Times publication.
Between 2005 and 2006 he was Minister of Education and Sports, where he commenced the implementation of major education sector reforms aimed at improving the quality of basic, secondary and tertiary education. The reforms also sought to align the education system with the needs of the broader economy. He implemented the new free basic education referred to as the Capitation Grant.
With respect to sports, his reorganization and restructuring of the finances and management of football in the country played a significant part in helping Ghana qualify for the 2006 World Cup.This was the first time Ghana had done so in her history.
Although no longer serving in the government, Osafo-Maafo campaigned for the New Patriotic Party in the 2008 runoff elections.
Osafo-Marfo in more recent times worked as a consultant for the World Bank advising the Ministry of Finance and the Legislature of the government of Liberia.
Since leaving the government, he has been critical of Ghana's government on issues such as the salaries paid to government officials and the proposed sale of Achimota Forest.
He has also been very critical of the government's handling of the economy, the country's increasing debt burden and the depreciating currency.
In February 2015, a secret audio tape capturing a male voice resembling that of Osafo-Maafo expressing ethnocentric comments in the Asante dialect went viral in the media and on the internet.
The recording was done during a meeting between the former Finance Minister and the New Patriotic Party's Council of Elders in the Eastern region of Ghana. The voice bemoaned why Ghana's' resources are benefited also by regions that have little or no resources.
"You have all the resources, but you have no say in the management of your resources, and that is what is happening. Your development depends on the one who has no resources" the voice said. The comments are thought to have been directed toward Northerners and President John Dramani Mahama in particular who is a Gonja by tribe.
He cautioned that such sentiments should not be said in public "You can’t say this openly, We should not", but added that "Council members are at liberty to talk about it only among Asantes".
In his defense, Osafo-Maafo told the media "he remembers speaking at a forum not too long ago but doubts if the alleged content of the tape is representative of all that he said there."