Chief of the Defence Staff (Ghana)

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the Ghana Armed Forces. He is thus responsible for the administration and the operational control and command of the Ghana military.[1] The CDS is a member of the Armed Forces Council.[2] This council advice the President of Ghana on matters of policy relating to defence and also regulates the administration of the Armed Forces. It also advises the President on the promotion of all officers above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel or its equivalent.[3] The CDS has also been known as the General Officer Commanding (GOC) Ghana Armed Forces.[citation needed]

Chief of the Defence Staff
GAF – Ghana Armed Forces.png
Armed forces coat of arms
Vice Adm. Seth Amoama gives speech, 2021 (210319-N-TI693-1296) (cropped).jpg
Vice Admiral Seth Amoama

since 5 February 2021
Ministry of Defence
Member ofthe Defence Staff
Reports toMinister of Defence
ResidenceBurma Camp
AppointerPresident of Ghana
in consultation with the Council of State of Ghana
Term lengthNo fixed length
Constituting instrumentGhana constitution - Article 214
First holderAlexander G. V. Paley
WebsiteOfficial website

The CDS is appointed by the President, in consultation with the Council of State of Ghana.[4]

The current CDS is Vice Admiral Seth Amoama. He was appointed by President Akuffo-Addo in January 2021.

History of the postEdit

The Ghana Army was formed after World War II out of the Gold Coast Regiment of the Royal West African Frontier Force. The officer corps then was entirely European. It was modeled on the British Army. At independence in 1957, the highest ranking Ghanaian officer was a major.[5] Major General A. G. V. Paley served as the General Officer Commanding the Ghana Regiment of Infantry which had succeeded the Gold Coast Regiment between 1957 and 1959. This position was effectively equivalent to Army commander as there was no Air Force or Navy.

The position of Chief of Defence Staff was first created in 1959 after the formation of the Ghana Navy and the Ghana Air Force. Major-General Henry Alexander was appointed as the first CDS though he effectively doubled as the Ghana Army commander as well. Since 1961, the position of army commander and CDS have been separate.[6] The first native Ghanaian CDS was Major General S. J. A. Otu.[7]

Chiefs of the Defence Staff (1954–present)Edit

The former heads of the Ghana Armed Forces were referred to while in office as either General Officers Commanding or Chiefs of the Defence Staff.[8]

No. Portrait Chief of the Defence Staff Took office Left office Time in office Defence branch
1Paley, AlexanderMajor General
Alexander G. V. Paley
195411 January 19605–6 years  Ghana Army
2Alexander, Henry TemplerMajor General
Henry Templer Alexander CB, CBE, DSO
11 January 1960September 19611 year, 7 months  Ghana Army
3Otu, StephenMajor General
Stephen J. A. Otu[10]
(First Ghanaian to be appointed CDS)
September 196124 July 19653 years  Ghana Army
4Aferi, NathanMajor General
Nathan A. Aferi[10]
24 July 196524 February 19660 years  Ghana Army
5Kotoka, EmmanuelLieutenant General
Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka
24 February 196617 April 1967 †1 year, 52 days  Ghana Army
6Ankrah, JosephLieutenant General
Joseph Arthur Ankrah
17 April 1967March 196810 months  Ghana Army
7Otu, MichaelAir Marshal
Michael Akuoko Otu OSG
March 1968November 19688 months  Ghana Air Force
8Ocran, AlbertLieutenant General
Albert Kwesi Ocran
(born 1929)
November 1968November 19691 year  Ghana Army
(7)Otu, MichaelAir Marshal
Michael Akuoko Otu OSG
November 1969June 19711 year, 7 months  Ghana Air Force
9Addo, DanielMajor General
Daniel K. Addo
June 1971January 19727 months  Ghana Army
10Ashley-Lassen, NapoleonAir Vice-Marshal
Napoleon Yaovi R. Ashley-Lassen
(born 1934)
January 1972December 19742 years, 11 months  Ghana Air Force
11Okai, LawrenceMajor General
Lawrence A. Okai
(born 1934)
December 1974November 19761 year, 11 months  Ghana Army
12Akuffo, FredLieutenant General
Fred Akuffo
November 19765 July 19781 year, 8 months  Ghana Army
13Kotei, RobertMajor General
Robert Kotei
5 July 197823 July 197818 days  Ghana Army
14Hamidu, JoshuaLieutenant General
Joshua Hamidu
(born 1936)
23 July 19784 June 1979316 days  Ghana Army
15Prah, E.Colonel
E. D. F. Prah
4 June 19797 July 197933 days  Ghana Army
16Nunoo-Mensah, JosephBrigadier
Joseph Nunoo-Mensah
(born 1939)
7 July 197927 November 1979143 days  Ghana Army
17Sam, EdwinMajor General
Edwin Kwamina Sam
(born 1940)
27 November 19796 December 19799 days  Ghana Army
18Odaate-Barnor, JohnAir Vice-Marshal
John E. Odaate-Barnor
7 December 197931 December 19812 years, 24 days  Ghana Air Force
(16)Nunoo-Mensah, JosephBrigadier
Joseph Nunoo-Mensah
(born 1939)
1 January 198223 November 1982326 days  Ghana Army
19Rawlings, JerryFlight Lieutenant
Jerry Rawlings
(born 1939)
28 November 198225 August 1983270 days  Ghana Air Force
20Quainoo, ArnoldLieutenant General
Arnold Quainoo
25 August 198322 September 19896 years, 28 days  Ghana Army
21Mensa-Wood, WinstonLieutenant General
Winston Mensa-Wood
4 June 199021 March 19921 year, 291 days  Ghana Army
22Dumashie, AchillesAir Marshal
Achilles Harry Kwami Dumashie
22 March 19921 October 19964 years, 193 days  Ghana Air Force
23Akafia, BenLieutenant General
Ben K. Akafia
(born 1940)
1 October 1996February 20014 years, 4 months  Ghana Army
24Obeng, SethLieutenant General
Seth Kofi Obeng
(born 1945)
February 200128 February 20054 years  Ghana Army
25Danquah, JosephLieutenant General
Joseph Boateng Danquah
(born 1947)
20 February 200528 January 20093 years, 343 days  Ghana Army
Nunoo, A.Rear Admiral
A. R. S. Nunoo
28 January 200931 March 200962 days  Ghana Navy
26Blay, PeterLieutenant General
Peter A. Blay
31 March 200928 March 20133 years, 362 days  Ghana Army
27Quashie, MatthewVice Admiral
Matthew Quashie
28 March 20135 January 20162 years, 283 days  Ghana Navy
28Samson-Oje, MichaelAir Marshal
Michael Samson-Oje
(born 1954)
5 January 20169 February 20171 year, 35 days  Ghana Air Force
29Akwa, ObedLieutenant General
Obed Akwa
(born 1955)
9 February 20175 February 20213 years, 362 days  Ghana Army
30Amoama, SethVice Admiral
Seth Amoama
(born 1959)
5 February 2021Incumbent1 year, 131 days  Ghana Navy

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 213
  2. ^ 1992 Ghana Constitution - Article 211.
  3. ^ 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 214
  4. ^ 1992 Ghana constitution - Article 212 (1)(a)
  5. ^ "The Historical Context" (PDF). National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 1 Chapter 3. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 30–31. Archived from the original (pdf) on October 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  6. ^ "The Security Services" (PDF). National Reconciliation Commission Report Volume 4 Chapter 1. Ghana government. October 2004. pp. 30–31. Archived from the original (pdf) on October 16, 2006. Retrieved 2007-06-06.
  7. ^ Kraus, Jon (April 1966). "Ghana Without Nkrumah - The Men In Charge". Africa Report. pp. 30–31. Retrieved 2007-06-07.
  8. ^ "Past General Officers Commanding /chiefs of the Defence Staff". Official website. Ghana Armed Forces. 2008-02-06. Archived from the original on 2008-10-16. Retrieved 2008-11-01.
  9. ^ "No. 41949". The London Gazette (Supplement). 5 February 1960. p. 1005.
  10. ^ a b Jubilee Ghana: A 50-year news journey thro' Graphic. Accra: Graphic Communications Group Ltd. 2006. p. 94. ISBN 9988809786.
  11. ^ "Farewell Service Held For Ex-Chief Of Defence Staff". General News of Friday, 31 January 2003. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  12. ^ "New Military Chiefs Take Over Command". General News of Monday, 26 March 2001. Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2007-06-19.
  13. ^ "Shake-up in Ghana Armed Forces". Ghana Home Page. Retrieved 2009-04-02.
  14. ^ "Profile of Vice Admiral Mathew Quashie, Chief of Defence Staff". Archived from the original on 15 December 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  15. ^ Online, Myjoy. "President appoints new Chief of Army Staff". Multimedia Group. Retrieved 2 June 2017.

External linksEdit