Although Boakye Agyarko’s name has not really been ringing the bells in the ears of Ghanaians as a whole; many are well aware that he has been making a lot of influence from behind the scenes…
Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko is the Energy Minister nominee for the Nana Akufo-Addo led NPP administration. President Akufo-Addo merged the Power and Petroleum Ministries and nominated the learned Economist and Banker to head the resultant ministry – The Energy Ministry. On his nomination, the President had urged Boakye Agyarko to ensure that Dumsor remains a story of the past.
Mr Agyarko appeared before the Parliament’s Appointments Committee on Monday, January 23rd for screening to determine his qualification for the post he has been nominated for. At the vetting session, Mr Agyarko gave out so many information about himself, education and career as he answered questions from his Curriculum Vitae which was previously submitted to the committee. He also outlined the various strategies he would employ if approved as the Energy Minister in other to bring about growth and improvement in the sector. Read! Enjoy!!
Boakye Agyarko’s Key Plans for the Energy Sector
Kyeremateng Agyarko vetting was really a display of competence and he evidently wowed the Parliament’s Appointments Committee with his unequivocal eloquence and learnedness. He really showed he is well read and versatile in his field that he almost intimidated and overwhelmed the house, especially the minority with his wealth of knowledge.
Mr. Boakye Agyarko is an experienced investment banker and the way he tackled the PAC’s questions shows that he really has a deep understanding of energy sector financing. Mr Agyarko suggested that entirely new approach be used to fight Energy Crises as the previous and ongoing strategies such as the ECG restructuring are “woefully inadequate” and will not get the problems permanently solved.
In response to how he will solve the problem of electricity crisis once and for all, he stated categorically that, the problem of electricity crisis ‘dumsor’ is not that of technicality but one of money. He explained in details how the lack of funds go in chains to hinder the country from achieving her goal of steady power supply and subsequently her dream of uninterrupted power delivery, specifying that about 40-45% of installed capacity are lying idle because there is no money for the fuel to power them. He concluded by saying that he is committed to seeing how to improve the financial management and structuring in the energy sector in order to end dumsor.
Still on the issue of financial management, the Energy Minister-designate revealed to the dismay of the past government that there have been questionable procurement in the energy sector. He cited the procurement of Floating Storage Regasification Unit as an example.
“Studies said Ghana needed one Floating Storage Regasification Unit but a 2nd was brought and then a 3rd.”
Mr. Agyarko also answered in the affirmative when asked if Energy Sector Levies will be revised – downwards. He said that a tariff reduction document which has looked at the current system and proposed some cuts has been presented to the President for approval. The reductions will be effected according to him, if approved by the President.
6 Interesting Facts about Boakye Agyarko
1. Boakye’s Origin Dilemma – He Has No Specific Hometown!
Have you ever seen, or heard of a man without a place to call his home of origin? If you’ve not, then meet Mr. Boakye Kyeremateng Agyako who was born in 1956 in Kumasi. You may be wondering how possible?
Boakye’s father; Mr. Kwasi Agyarko, a Merchant and a United Party activist hails from Jamasi in the Ashanti region while his mother; Jane Ladze Padi, a teacher comes from Krobo-Odumase in the Eastern region. Since the Akans (that is, the Ashantis) are matrilineal, Boakye is left with no right of inheritance at his father’s hometown. On the other hand, the Krobos are patrilineal and therefore, also leaves him with no inheritance! So any day you meet Mr. Agyarko ask him where he hails from and he’ll tell you he’s “hanging on the balance” between the Eastern and Western Regions.
2. He was one of the most colourful students in school
Boakye Agyarko had his elementary school education at the K.O. Methodist Primary School (Ashanti New Town) and the University of Science and Technology (UST) Primary School. He proceeded to Mfantsipim School in Cape Coast on September 18, 1969. The Mfanstipim School Year Book for the class of 1974 described Boakye Agyarko as, “one of the most colourful students to climb the Kwabotwe Hills from 1969-1974”.
Boakye went on to the University of Ghana, Legon in 1976 where grabbed a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Political Science in 1979.
In his school days, he was Secretary of the Voluntary Work Camps association (VOLU) and the Ghana United Nation Students and Youth Association’s National President, and National Coordinator of (GUNSA). He later became the National Secretary, National President, and National Coordinator of GUNSA in 1978, 1979 and 1980 respectively.
3. Mr. Agyarko had a face-to-face encounter with death
While answering questions before the PAC, Mr. Agyako recounted a touching story of how he nearly lost his life during the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) era. It happened that during the mutiny led by lance corporal Halidu Giwa in June 1983, he was picked up by the Military and sent to the Airforce Station and put against the wall and shot. He almost lost his life if not for the intervention of Monsieur Le Veloire and his two sisters who helped him to leave Ghana through London to France, and then settled in the United States as a political refugee under very difficult living conditions.
4. He almost became an invalid
The above incident made Boakye to lose his employment with Management and Investment Consultants who took him in 1980 after his national service. It took a period of two good years for him to recover from the injuries and series of surgeries he went through as a result of the gory incident. And for that period, he stayed without doing any work. This explains the two-year gap (1984-1986) in Boakye Agyarko’s CV.
5. Even as a Political Refugee, he succeeded and lived in the US for 25 years
After his recovery, Mr.Agyarko worked very hard to upgrade himself and live a meaningful life in the United States. He was able to earn an Advanced Professional Certificate in Banking from the American Institute of Banking and an MBA in Financial Economics from the Pace University, New York.
Subsequently, he was employed as a Professional Banker at the bank of New York, the oldest bank in America where he rose to the position of Vice President and Head of Global Network Management for the Americans in the Investment Management and Services Division.
Throughout the over 20 years he was at the Bank, he worked at senior levels in various departments including; Operations Management and Analysis, Product Development, International Banking and Asset Management and the Y2K Management Group. His responsibilities in these various departments and positions included international trade finance, loan syndications, asset securitization and structured finance. He is a member of the American Economic Association, and an Associate of the American Institute of Bankers. He is also a Consultant to Capital Economics and Investments, a start-up economic analysis and investments group in Accra, Ghana.
It will also surprise you that, for the 25 years Boakye Agyarko spent in the US, he never became an American citizen; he only held a residence permit!
6. He has been playing significant roles in Ghana government and politics
Although Boakye Agyarko’s name has not really been ringing the bells in the ears of Ghanaians as a whole; many are well aware that he has been making a lot of influence from behind the scenes; always having the credit for his contributions go to ministers and other government officials.
On Ghana’s political scene, Boakye Agyarko is a personality you can count on. He was a founding member of NPP and his loyalty and allegiance to the party is unequivocal. With his obviously limited resources, he has always demonstrated resourcefulness, generosity and loyalty to meet both administrative or financial needs since party’s inception.
Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko dropped his comfortable Vice-President of Bank of New York position to stake a claim to the NPP presidential aspirants’ slot ahead of the 2007 elections. He served as the National Campaign Manager of the New Patriotic Party for the 2012 Elections, and was the Policy Advisor/Chairman of the New Patriotic Party Manifesto Committee ahead of the 2016 elections. While in the US, he chaired the North American branches of the NPP, tackling the challenge of coordinating the party’s activities within the Ghanaian community in America, and at the same time liaising with the party back home in Ghana. . As part of his political contributions, he wrote a weekly column in the Ghanaian newspaper, “The Statesman” titled “Letter from America” from 1993 through 1998.
Mr. Boakye Agyarko also played significant roles in global financial agencies to write off Ghana’s debts in the noisy and highly publicized HIPIC case.
Now equipped with these revelations and insights, we leave you to judge if Boakye Kyeremateng Agyarko is eligible to be Ghana’s Energy Minister.