John Kofi Agyekum Kuffuor

John Kofi Agyekum Kuffuor

John Kofi Agyekum Kuffuor is a Ghanaian politician who served as the President of Ghana from 7 January 2001 to 7 January 2009. He was also Chairperson of the African Union from 2007 to 2008


08 December 1938


John Kofi Agyekum Kuffuor was born on 8 December 1938


06 July 1950

Early life and schooling

John Kufuor, born in Daaban, Kumasi, Ghana, with a royal and aristocratic lineage, attended various schools including Kumasi Government School and Osei Tutu Boarding School before studying law at Lincoln's Inn in London, being called to the bar in both London and Ghana, and eventually graduating from Oxford University; he later served as a town clerk, practiced law, and was involved in sports as the Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club.


06 July 1969

Early political career

John Kufuor served as a Member of Parliament for Atwima Nwabiagya in the Second and Third Republics, represented Ghana in various international meetings as Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs, and later became Secretary for Local Government, where he developed the Local Government Policy Guidelines that form the basis of the current decentralized District Assemblies.


06 July 2000


John Kufuor, nominated by the New Patriotic Party, became the President of Ghana in December 2000 after winning a run-off election and was re-elected in 2004, marking the first peaceful transition of power from an incumbent government to the opposition in Ghana's history, while his party also secured more seats in the Parliament.


06 July 2000


During his presidency, Kufuor focused on stabilizing Ghana's declining economy through fiscal and monetary measures, while promoting entrepreneurship and innovation as a means to address social challenges; his administration received significant financial assistance due to the previous lack of trust in military governments, and he pursued a foreign policy centered around economic diplomacy, brokering peace in various African countries and advocating for a just international order. Additionally, he served as Chairman of ECOWAS and was elected as Chairperson of the African Union for the 2007-08 session.


06 July 2005


During his presidency, John Kufuor implemented significant healthcare reforms in Ghana, including the establishment of the National Health Insurance Scheme, registering 11 million Ghanaians, setting up the National Ambulance Service, constructing over 205 hospitals and clinics, and introducing free maternal health care in public hospitals for expectant mothers.


06 July 2005

Access to finance

Kufuor implemented the Microfinance and Small Loans Program (MASLOC) and the Livelihood Empowerment Against Poverty Program (LEAP), offering microloans and direct cash transfers to support the productive population and impoverished households, leading to increased accessibility and affordability of loans and encouraging entrepreneurship and financial inclusion.


06 July 2006


Kufuor implemented several educational reforms, including the introduction of the capitation grant and national school feeding program, extending the Senior Secondary School curriculum to four years and renaming it Senior High School, as well as upgrading disadvantaged schools to the level of top-tier institutions through the model school senior high school concept.


06 July 2008


During his presidency, Kufuor oversaw the renovation of the Accra Sports Stadium and the Baba Yara Stadium, construction of the Essipong and Tamale stadiums for the CAN 2008, and successfully led Ghana's qualification for the World Cup in 2006; his emphasis on good governance also resulted in Ghana receiving a significant $500 million grant from the U.S. Millennium Challenge Account, which was used for economic development, including the construction of the George Walker Bush Highway.


26 July 2009


In 2009, Kufuor joined the SNV Netherlands Development Organization International Advisory Board and delivered lectures, including the Legatum Pericles Lecture at MIT, while also serving as the Governing Council Chairman of Interpeace; in 2011, he received the World Food Prize alongside Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva for their efforts in combating hunger and poverty in their respective countries; he went on to inaugurate the John Agyekum Kufuor Foundation and received the appointment of first Chancellor of the George Grant University of Mines and Technology in 2017.


06 July 2023

Awards and accolades

Kufuor has received numerous awards, including the Face-of-Good-Governance Award, Chatham House Prize, Climate Change Award, and the World Food Program's Global Ambassador Against Hunger, along with several honorary doctorates, knighthoods, and state honors from various countries.


06 July 2023

Personal life

At the age of 23, Kufuor married Theresa Kufuor after meeting at a dance in London in 1961, and they have five children together; he is a practicing Roman Catholic and a Senior Grand Warden of the United Grand Lodge of England Freemasons, openly professing his membership since his early days as a lawyer; as an Asante, he speaks Twi fluently and often used the language during campaigns in his native Ashanti Region; currently, Kufuor and his family live in Accra, the capital of Ghana.

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