He started his primary education at the Government Boys School, Adabraka, and later went to Rowe Road School (now Kinbu), in Accra Central. He went to England to study for his O-Level and A-Level examinations at Lancing College, Sussex. He began the Philosophy, Politics and Economics course at New College, Oxford in 1962, but left soon afterwards. He returned to Ghana in 1962 to teach at the Accra Academy, before going to read Economics at the University of Ghana, Legon, in 1964, earning a BSc(Econ) degree in 1967.
He subsequently joined Inner Temple and trained as a lawyer under the apprenticeship system known as the Inns of court, where no formal law degree was required. He was called to the English Bar (Middle Temple) in July 1971. He was also called to the Ghanaian bar in July 1975. Akufo-Addo worked with the Paris office of the U.S. law firm Coudert Brothers. In 1979, he co-founded the law firm Prempeh and Co.
Akufo-Addo’s participation in politics began in the late 1970s when he joined the People’s Movement for Freedom and Justice (PMFJ), an organisation formed to oppose the General Acheampong-led Supreme Military Council’s Union Government proposals. In May 1995, he was among a broad group of elites who formed Alliance for Change, an alliance that organised demonstrations against neo-liberal policies such as the introduction of Value Added Tax and human rights violations of the Rawlings presidency.
The broad-based opposition alliance later collapsed as the elite leaders jostled for leadership positions. In the 1990s, he formed a civil rights organisation called Ghana’s Committee on Human and People’s Rights.
Journey to Presidency
Akufo-Addo’s journey to becoming the president of Ghana in 2017 is a long one. He lost the presidential candidacy of the NPP to John Kuffour. In 2007 he won the NPP presidential primaries but lost the presidential contest to John Atta Mills of NDC in 2008 and to John Mahama in 2012. Akufo-Addo won the 2016 presidential elections, amassing 53.83% of the votes. He will be leading the NPP again in the 2020 presidential elections.
Honors & Recognitions
Akufo-Addo has received several awards and honours in his illustrious life and career. Among them are:
January 2020: Honoured by the Ghana Hotels Association for demonstrating visionary leadership by declaring the year of return and ensuring its successful execution.
January 2019: Honoured by the Association of National Olympic Committees of Africa (ANOCA) for his tremendous contribution to sports development and projects in Ghana for the successful bid for Ghana to host the 2023 African Games.
October 2018: Outstanding Leader’s Award by the United States Chamber of Commerce in recognition of regional, diplomatic, and economic leadership in Africa.
September 2018: African Port Award from the African Port Award foundation for his project of modernising Ghana’s Ports.
June 2018: Exemplary Leadership Award by the Whitaker Group for his exemplary leadership
2016: Mother Theresa Memorial International Award for Social Justice by the Harmony Foundation for sacrificing political ambitions for the sake of national peace and reconciliation.