Mercy Debrah-Karikari: Profile of Ghana’s 1st Female Cabinet Secretary

History has been made in Ghana, following the appointment of the first female Cabinet Secretary – Mercy Debrah-Karikari.

Pursuant to article 76(3) of the Constitution, the President of the Republic, Nana Akufo-Addo, has appointed Ambassador Mercy Yvonne Debrah-Karikari as Secretary to the Cabinet. Her appointment took effect from February 14, 2017.

She becomes the first woman in Ghana’s history to hold this position, a statement signed by Director of Communications at the Presidency Eugene Arhin said.

Mercy Debrah-Karikari

Mercy Debrah-Karikari’s Profile

Mercy Debrah-Karikari, Ghana’s first female cabinet secretary, had her secondary education at Wesley Girls High School, Cape Coast, from 1971 to 1976, and the Tema Secondary School from 1976 to 1978.

She studied at the University of Cape Coast from 1979 to 1984 from where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Diploma in Education; and at the University of Ghana from 1988 to 1989 for her Masters degree in International Affairs (LECIA).

Since joining the Foreign Ministry in 1987, Mrs. Debrah-Karikari has also served in the Africa and Policy Planning Bureaux of the Ministry.

From 2000 to 2002, Mrs. Debrah-Karikari served at the Ghana Embassy in Bonn as Minister-Consular, and continued at the Ghana Embassy in Berlin from 2002 to 2004, following the relocation of the Embassy to Berlin. This was as a result of the change of the German capital city.

Also See: Full List of Nana Addo’s Regional Ministers

Prior to that, she was acting Director of the International Organizations and Conferences Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs from 1998 to 2000, having returned from the Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations in New York, where she had been posted from 1995 to 1998 as Consular and Ghana’s delegate on the Second Committee of the United Nations.

Before serving in New York, she had served as the Head of Chancery at the Ghana Embassy in Luanda, Angola from 1994 to 1995.

Until her appointment, the career diplomat was Ghana’s High Commissioner to Australia, with concurrent accreditation to New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and other countries in the Pacific region. She was appointed by former President John Mahama, and commissioned in July 2014 together with 11 other ambassadors and high commissioners. On 20 August, 2014, she presented her credentials to Governor -General Sir Peter Cosgrove AK MC (Retd).

Mercy Debrah-Karikari served from 2004 to 2007 as the Director of the Office of the Minister of Foreign Affairs where she was responsible, among others, for the administration and management of the offices of the Minister and Deputy Minister. She subsequently worked at the Ghana Permanent Mission to the United Nations Office in Geneva as Minister and Deputy Permanent Representative from 2007 to 2011.

Ghana’s first female Cabinet Secretary, is married to Dr. Paul Debrah-Karikari, a consultant Neuroradiologist. Her interests include sports, gospel music, movies and charity work.