Owusu Afriyie Akoto (born 19 October 1949) is a Ghanaian agricultural economist and politician. He is a member of the New Patriotic Party and served as the Minister for Food and Agriculture of Ghana from 2017 to 2023. He resigned on 10 January 2023 to focus on his presidential ambition.
Akoto was born in Kwadaso, Kumasi, Ghana. He attended the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture in 1975. He then went on to the University of Cambridge, England, where he obtained a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Economics in 1977 and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Agricultural Economics in 1980.
After completing his education, Akoto worked as an economist, senior economist, principal economist, and chief economic advisor at the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London, England, for over a decade. He also worked as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations on soft commodities (cocoa, coffee, and sugar).
In 1995, Akoto returned to Ghana and founded Goldcrest Commodities Limited and Plantation Resources Limited, two international commodity companies. He served as the CEO of both companies until 2007.
In 2008, Akoto was elected to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. He spent two terms as Member of Parliament for the Kwadaso Constituency in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. In Parliament, he held the positions of Deputy Ranking Member and subsequently the substantive Ranking Member for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs until 2017.
In 2017, Akoto was appointed the Minister for Food and Agriculture by President Nana Akufo-Addo. As Minister, he oversaw the implementation of a number of policies and programs aimed at transforming Ghana’s agricultural sector. These included the Planting for Food and Jobs program, which provided subsidized inputs and extension services to farmers; the Rearing for Food and Jobs program, which supported livestock farmers; and the One District, One Warehouse program, which constructed warehouses to store agricultural produce.
Akoto’s tenure as Minister for Food and Agriculture was marked by a number of successes. Ghana achieved food self-sufficiency in a number of crops, including maize, rice, and cassava. The agricultural sector also grew at a faster rate than the overall economy.
In January 2023, Akoto resigned as Minister for Food and Agriculture to focus on his presidential ambition. He is one of the leading contenders to be the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party in the 2024 presidential election.
Akoto is a highly respected figure in Ghana’s agricultural sector. He is known for his expertise in agricultural economics and his commitment to transforming Ghana’s agriculture. He is also known for his outspokenness and his willingness to challenge the status quo.
Owusu Afriyie Akoto campaign promises
Owusu Afriyie Akoto, the Minister for Food and Agriculture from 2017 to 2023, is one of the leading contenders to be the flagbearer of the New Patriotic Party in the 2024 presidential election. He has made a number of campaign promises, including:
To transform Ghana’s agriculture into a modern, profitable, and sustainable sector. This would involve investing in research and development, improving infrastructure, and providing farmers with access to credit and markets.
To ensure food security for all Ghanaians. This would involve increasing domestic production, reducing food imports, and promoting healthy eating habits.
To create jobs in the agricultural sector. This would involve supporting small-scale farmers, investing in agro-processing, and promoting tourism.
Akoto has also pledged to improve the living conditions of Ghanaian farmers. He has promised to provide farmers with access to subsidized inputs, extension services, and insurance. He has also promised to reduce the cost of doing business for farmers.
Here are some specific promises that Akoto has made:
He has promised to increase the production of maize, rice, and cassava by 50% by 2027.
He has promised to increase the production of cocoa by 20% by 2027.
He has promised to create 1 million jobs in the agricultural sector by 2027.
He has promised to reduce the cost of doing business for farmers by 20% by 2027.
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