Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen (born 3 October 1955) is a Ghanaian politician.[1] He served as Ghana’s Minister for Trade and Industry from 2017 to 2023.[2][3] Kyerematen was Ghana's Ambassador to the United States and later Minister of Trade and Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD), and Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI) during President John Kufuor's administration. Kyerematen has served as a trade advisor at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where he coordinated the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC).

Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen
Minister of Trade and Industry
In office
28 January 2017 – 16 January 2023
PresidentNana Akufo-Addo
Preceded byEkwow Spio-Garbrah
Succeeded byKen Ofori-Atta (acting)
Minister of Trade, Industry, Private Sector Development (PSD) and the Presidential Special Initiatives (PSI)
In office
2003–2007
PresidentJohn Agyekum Kufuor
Ambassador of Ghana to the United States of America
In office
7 January 2001 – 2003
PresidentJohn Agyekum Kufuor
Preceded byKoby Arthur Koomson
Succeeded byFritz Kwabena Poku
Personal details
Born (1955-10-03) 3 October 1955 (age 68)
Kumasi, Ghana
Political partyNew Patriotic Party
SpousePatricia Christabel Kyeremanten
RelationsAlex A. Y. Kyerematen (father)
Children2
Alma materAdisadel College
Achimota School
University of Ghana
Ghana School of Law
University of Minnesota
OccupationCorporate executive
lawyer

Kyerematen made an attempt at the leadership of the New Patriotic Party in 2007, capturing 32.3% of votes cast. He was the first runner-up to Nana Akufo-Addo who gained 47.96% of votes cast.[4] Kyerematen made other attempts at the party's leadership in 2010 and 2014 but placed second to Akufo-Addo, who won the primaries. In 2012, Ghana nominated Kyerematen for the post of WTO director-general to succeed out-going director-general Pascal Lamy, and his candidature received the backing of the African Union (AU).[5][6] However, he did not make the shortlist for the final selection process in 2013.[7][8][9][10]


Early life edit

Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen was born on Monday, 3 October 1955, to Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen, a social anthropologist from Patasse, Kumasi, and Victoria Kyerematen (née Welsing) from Elmina and Ejisu. He was named after an archbishop in the Church of England, Alan John Knight who was the headmaster of the all-boys Anglican boarding school, Adisadel College in Cape Coast[11] in the 1930s, and a mentor to his father, Alexander A. Y. Kyerematen who was then a student there and later, a head boy in his final year.[12]

In 1951, his father was the founder and first director of the Centre for National Culture located in Kumasi of the Ashanti Region[13][14][15][16] and later on, he was appointed the mayor of Kumasi and then Commissioner for local government between 1966 and 1969 during the National Liberation Council regime.[17][18]

Like his father before him, Alan Kyerematen attended Adisadel College for his secondary education, entering the institution at the record age of nine years after starting at then Asokore Mampong Secondary School now Kumasi Academy.[19][20] He attended Achimota School afterward for his sixth form education.[20]

He proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon for a bachelor's degree in Economics. He also holds a law degree, LLB from the Ghana Law School at the same university where he qualified as a barrister-at-Law. He was called to the bar in Ghana and is a practicing attorney-at-law in Ghana. In addition, he is a Hubert Humphrey fellow of the School of Management at the University of Minnesota, U.S., having completed one year of management studies under the Fulbright Fellowship program at that institution.[19][20]

Corporate career edit

Alan John Kyerematen has had an extensive career in both the private and public sectors spanning over twenty-four years. He was a senior corporate executive with a subsidiary of Unilever International in Ghana where he became a junior manager at the age of twenty-two years becoming the youngest manager at Unilever.[21] He also worked for several years as a principal consultant and head of Public Systems Management with one of the leading management development institutions in Ghana, the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI).[7]

In 1998, Kyerematen was appointed by the UNDP as the first regional director of Enterprise Africa, which was an Africa-wide, flagship initiative for the development and promotion of small and medium enterprises. Under that framework, he established enterprise support institutions and programmes in 13 Sub-Saharan Africa countries - Botswana, Benin, Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Senegal, South Africa and Uganda. Over 4,000 African entrepreneurs and small businesses have benefited from these programmes.[7]

In 1990, Kyerematen established and managed the EMPRETEC Programme in Ghana, a business development programme sponsored by the United Nations and Barclays Bank. EMPRETEC turned from a UN project into an independent foundation, with him as its founding chief executive. Between 1984 and 1990, he participated in and managed several major private and public sectors consulting assignments in Ghana, as a principal consultant and head of Public Systems Management with the Management Development and Productivity Institute (MDPI), a leading management development institution in Ghana. Before this, he was a senior corporate executive with UAC Ghana Ltd, a subsidiary of Unilever International, where he worked in various managerial positions with distinction until 1984.[7]

Kyerematen is a member of the Council of Governors of the British Executive Service Overseas (BESO) in the UK and also a board member of other organizations in Ghana.[7]

In 1994, Kyerematen was listed by the Time magazine as one of the 100 global leaders for sector millennium, alongside Bill Gates, John F. Kennedy Jr., and others.[22]

Diplomacy and international public service edit

Kyerematen was appointed Ghana's ambassador to the U.S. when the NPP came into office from 2001 to 2003.[19] He served as a trade advisor at the UN Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He headed the African Trade Policy Centre (ATPC); a centre created by the ECA with the main objective of strengthening the human and institutional capacities of African governments to formulate and implement sound trade policies and participate in trade negotiations at the bilateral, regional and multilateral levels.

Kyerematen is one of the leading members of the technical team that provided strategic guidance and support to the African Union Commission in developing and elaborating an Action Plan for Boosting intra-African Trade and preparing a framework for the establishment of a Continental Free Trade Area. As part of this effort, he was designated as a Special Envoy of the African Union to hold consultations with selected African Heads of State prior to the 18th African Union Summit of Heads of State and Government in January 2012.[7]

Ghana, on 17 December 2012, nominated Kyerematen for the post of WTO Director-General to succeed Pascal Lamy, whose term of office expired on 31 August 2013. His candidature received the backing of the Africa Union (AU) but he did not make the final shortlist for the position.[7][8][9][23]

Politics edit

Party advocacy edit

Kyerematen has been one of the key strategists of the NPP since its inception in 1992. He is a founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and has also served on the highest decision-making bodies of the NPP both in opposition and in Government.

He served on the NPP National Executive Committee, serving as a Member from 1992 to 2001 as well as on the Economic Management Team and Finance Committee of the NPP. He is also a Founding Member of the Young Executive Forum (YEF), a youth advocacy and lobby group within the Party.As Chairman of YEF from 1992 to 2001, he symbolized the essence and spirit of the new generation of party leaders.[22][24][25]

Kyerematen has been one of few to have held membership of the National Executive Committee for over a decade, under the successive Chairmanships of B.J. DaRocha, Peter Ala Adjetey, Samuel Odoi-Sykes and Haruna Esseku. As a result of his contribution to strategy development within the Party, he was appointed a Member of the NPP/CPP Great Alliance Negotiating Team.[22]

Kyerematen made an attempt at the leadership of the New Patriotic Party in 2007, capturing 32.30% of votes cast. He was first runner-up to Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo who gained 47.96% of votes cast. He made another attempt in 2010 where he placed second with 20.40% of total valid votes cast to Nana Akufo-Addo's 77.92%.[26] In 2014, he once again came second to Akufo-Addo in the presidential primaries to elect a flag-bearer to lead the NPP in the 2016 general elections. At the congress organised to shortlist the number of prospective candidates from 7 to 5, Kyerematen polled 7.97% of the valid votes cast compared to Akufo-Addo's 80.81%.[27] In the final presidential primary to select the flagbearer, Kyerematen was first runner-up with 4.75% of the votes while archrival Akufo-Addo received 94.35% of the votes to win the contest.[28]

He has been nicknamed as Alan Cash.[29] Once asked by a journalist how he became known in the Ghanaian media as "Alan Cash," Kyerematen said it happened because in political campaigns he stressed the importance of creating jobs and "real cash" for the people.[9][30][31] On September 25, 2023 Alan Kyeremanten quit NPP and decided to contest 2024 general election as an independent candidate.[2]

Another major achievement of the Hon. Minister has been to develop the Trade Ministry into a professional service organization with the Ministry being restructured into strategic business units with an efficient programme coordination and management system.

Cabinet minister edit

In 2003, Alan Kyerematen was appointed as the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Trade, Industry and the President's Special Initiatives (PSI) with additional responsibility for Private Sector Development (PSD).[7] In that capacity, he spearheaded the development and implementation of innovative programmes which have become new strategic pillars of growth for the transformation of the Ghanaian economy. Concrete manifestations of these special initiatives [7] are:

  • An $8.5 million state-of-the-art factory, which produces high grade industrial starch from cassava for export to key markets in Europe, Africa and Asia. The starch initiative created over 10,000 jobs and piloted a new innovative approach to rural industry development based on the concept of Corporate Village Enterprises. In addition, it was considered as a model in linking developing countries into the global supply chain through industrial agro-processing. The first industrial starch company was certified as a global supplier of high grade starch to Nestle operations worldwide.
  • The construction of a multimillion-dollar enclave within the Tema Free Zone, dedicated to garments manufacturing for the export market by Ghanaian entrepreneurs. The enclave is also being extended and converted to accommodate similar facilities for Furniture Manufacturing and an ICT Park, thus converting part of the Free Zones into a multi-purpose Industrial Park.
  • The major component activities implemented include the establishment of Export Trade Houses, the establishment of a "Furniture City" at Tema - an enclave for manufacturers of wood export products, the establishment of product galleries to promote Made-in-Ghana goods and the establishment of a Technology Innovation Center for Capital Goods Manufacturing.
  • The revival of the Oil Palm industry in Ghana achieved growth in seedlings: supply rose from 250,000 seedlings per annum in 2001 to 4 million as at the end of 2004, from twelve nursery sites. Programme initiated under which over 102,000 hectares of Oil palm plantation is being cultivated.
  • Mobilizing new investments to expand Salt mining operations in Ghana and provide a stable raw material base for the development of a caustic soda industry to feed other manufacturing industries. Ghana's non-traditional export sector has grown from $400 million in 2000 to the level of $800 million in 2005.
  • The roll-out and implementation of the Districts Industrialisation Programme, a comprehensive programme for rural industrialization involving the setting up of at least one medium-sized factory in each administrative district in Ghana.

As Minister for Trade and industry, he has coordinated the Government of Ghana's trade policy agenda in respect of multilateral trade negotiations, including WTO, EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement and ECOWAS. He played lead roles in both the regional preparatory process towards the WTO Cancun and Hong Kong Ministerial Meetings, particularly during the latter, in which he was one of the privileged few amongst Trade Ministers in the World, to have been appointed as a member of the Chairman's Consultative Group.[7] He was also the only Trade Minister from Africa to have been selected as a panelist on Trade during the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos.[7] He was one of the lead negotiators for Africa in the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun in 2003, and also participated in the high-level “Green Room” consultations during the Hong Kong WTO Conference in December 2005.

He led the negotiation and development of bilateral trade and economic relations between the Government of Ghana and its major trading partners, including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China, Denmark, South Africa, Nigeria, etc. He had been a leading member of the NPP Government team promoting Ghana abroad and attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into the country and has also been responsible for developing a comprehensive internal trade and import management portfolio aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of local products, promoting fair trade and protecting consumer interests as well as promoting Made-in-Ghana products through campaigns such as the highly successful "National Friday Wear" programme.[7]

Under his direction, a comprehensive Ghana Trade Policy was launched as a major plank in the government's strategy for accelerating and sustaining economic growth and increasing incomes and employment. He led the process of preparing a $200-million implementation blueprint, called the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP), which was launched in October 2005.[7]

He also negotiated a $45 million facility with the World Bank to promote small and medium enterprise development in Ghana. Another major achievement of Kyerematen was to develop the Trade Ministry into a professional service organization with the Ministry being restructured into strategic business units with an efficient programme coordination and management system.[7]

Additionally, as part of a government investment delegation, Alan Kyerematen was instrumental in the negotiation of the contract that led to the arrival of US start-up company, Kosmos Energy, to Ghana to explore and discover oil in commercial quantities.[32][33] In May 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo named Alan Kyerematen as part of the nineteen ministers who would form his cabinet.[34] The names of the 19 ministers were submitted the Parliament of Ghana and announced by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye.[34]

Another major achievement of the Hon. Minister has been to develop the Trade Ministry into a professional service organization with the Ministry being restructured into strategic business units with an efficient programme coordination and management system.[35]

Resignation as a Cabinet Minister edit

On Saturday, 7 January 2023, Alan Kyeremanten took to Twitter now X to announce his resignation as cabinet minister responsible for trade and industry effective 16 January.[36] Sources indicate that he wrote to the presidency indicating his intention to resign effective from 16 January 2023 and this was accepted by President Akufo-Addo.[37][38]

Flagbearership edit

On Wednesday, 11 January 2023, Alan John Kyerematen officially announced his intention to contest the NPP’s flagbearership and underwent a successful vetting process on Monday, July 3.[39][40] On August 26, 2023, the former Trade Minister placed third with 95 votes, representing 10.29% of total votes cast qualifying him for the New Patriotic Party presidential primaries in November.[41] However, he took to social media on the 5th of September to announce his decision to resign from contesting his party's national delegate congress which was slated for November 4, 2023.[42][43]

Resignation From New Patriotic Party (NPP) edit

On Monday, 25 September 2023, Alan John Kyerematen resigned from New Patriotic Party (NPP), after resigning from NPP's flagbearership with immediate effect to contest as an independent presidential candidate (Movement For Change) for the presidential race in the 2024 Ghanaian general election to be held in December.[44][45][46] As he said: "My intention to contest as an independent presidential candidate will not affect NPP."[47]

Movement for Change edit

The movement for change came as a result of Alan John Kyerematen resignation from the New Patriotric Party (NPP) to contest as an independent candidate for the 2024 General Election.[48] The brand logo for the MOVEMENT is the Monarch Butterfly, which politically symbolizes change and transformation, hope, and positivity.[49] It also communicates strength, endurance, spirituality, and trust, which are key traits that I cherish as a Political Leader. In Akan, it is known as Afrafranto.[50] The brand motto of the MOVEMENT is “Ghana Will Rise Again,” which symbolizes hope for the future of Ghana.[51] The four dominant themes for the change agenda that will be pursued by the MOVEMENT are as follows:

  • Change the political status quo by moving Ghana beyond the duopoly of the two main political parties in Ghana; the NPP and NDC.
  • Promote the establishment of a Government of National Unity
  • Build consensus on a National Development Agenda
  • Inspire behavioral and attitudinal change in the people of Ghana[52][53]

Personal life edit

Coming from a mixed Akan ancestry of the Asante and Fante ethnic subgroups, he speaks Twi and Fante fluently. In addition, he speaks Ga and is proficient in French.[7] He is married to Patricia Christabel Kyerematen (née Kingsley-Nyinah), the daughter of Joseph Kingsley-Nyinah who was an Appeal Court Judge and the Electoral Commissioner for Ghana between 1978 and 1981, including 1979 presidential election.[20] They have two children - Alexander and Victor.[20] Alan Kyerematen's sister Bridget Kyerematen – Darko died in a gas explosion in January 2017.[54] Alan Kyerematen along with his elder brother Stephen Kyerematen[55][56] are managing directors of A Wealth of Women Ghana BKD (Bridget Kyerematen Darko), led by Dr. Sandi Williams, PhD[57] a foundation formed to support their late sister's work and legacy. The foundation is affiliated to A Wealth of Women.[58]

Controversy edit

In April 2024, Kyerematen sparked public outrage for advocating for the exclusive leadership of Ghana by only Christians.[59][60] He was widely condemned for that inflammatory rhetoric as it undermined the principles of religious pluralism. Alan exhiited a disturbing disregard for the secular foundations of Ghana's governance[61] and set a dangerous precedent for religious intolerance in the country.[62] He made this during his address at the Easter Sunday Convention held at the Thomas Wyatt Assembly of the Church of Pentecost.[59]

References edit

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  61. ^ "Ghana is a secular state where governments should not be building cathedrals or mosques!".
  62. ^ "Religion and the Secular State in Ghana" (PDF).