Sam E. Jonah

Samuel Esson Jonah (born 19 November 1949) is a Ghanaian businessman and the current chancellor of the University of Cape Coast.[1] He is the executive chairman of Jonah Capital, an equity fund based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Jonah was previously president of AngloGold Ashanti and shared the strategic leadership of the company with its CEO, Bobby Godsell.[2][3]

Samuel Kelvin Esson Jonah
Sam Jonah

(1949-11-19) 19 November 1949 (age 73)
EducationAdisadel College, Ghana
Alma materCamborne School of Mines and Imperial College
Years active1970 – present
Board member ofVodafone, Global Advisory Council of the Bank of America, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation

Early life and educationEdit

Sam Jonah is a Fante Royal but born in Obuasi and had his high-school education at Adisadel College then earned an Associateship in Mining Engineering at the Camborne School of Mines and subsequently a MSc in Mine Management at the Imperial College of Science and Technology.[4]


He joined Ashanti Goldfields Corporation in 1979,[5] working in various capacities, including underground operations. At the age of 36 he became the chief executive officer, and supervised the transformation of Ashanti Goldfields into a mining multinational,[6][7] increased gold production from 240,000 ounces per annum to over 1.6 million ounces in over ten years, and oversaw the company's listing as the first operating African company on the New York Stock Exchange.

In 2009, he became a non-executive director of Vodafone.[8][9]

Jonah was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2019 for leadership and technical contributions in advancing the mineral industry in Africa.

Currently, the chancellor of the University of Cape Coast, Jonah chairs the boards of Equator Exploration Limited, Scharrig Mining, Equinox Minerals, Uramin, Moto Goldmines Ltd and Range Resources Limited. He also serves or has served on various boards,[10] including Transnet, Mittal Steel SA, Ashesi University, Standard Bank of South Africa, Lonmin, the Commonwealth African Investment Fund (Comafin), the advisory council of the UN Secretary General's Global Compact, President Olusegun Obasanjo's International Investment Advisory Council on Nigeria, President Thabo Mbeki's International Investment Advisory Council of South Africa, and President John Kufuor's Ghana Investors' Advisory Council. As well as his directorships, Jonah is a member of the advisory board of the London Business School. He is also a board member of the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation.[11]

Honours and recognitionEdit

Jonah's honours include an honorary Doctor of Science (D.Sc.) degree awarded jointly by the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter (UK) in 1996. Jonah House in Adisadel College has been named after his father, Thomas Jonah.[12] In June 2003, Jonah became the first Ghanaian to be knighted in the 21st century[13] when he was presented with an honorary knighthood (KBE) by the Prince of Wales, in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure.[14][3] Jonah has listed among the richest people in Ghana.[15] On 5 December 2019, he was appreciated by the Ghana Mine workers union with a platinum award for his contribution to developing the mining industry in Ghana.[16] In January 2023, he was listed among the 100 most reputable Africans in the field of business.[17][18]


  1. ^ "Curbing Executive Powers : Sam Jonah rekindles debate". Graphic Online.
  2. ^ "Sir Samuel E. Jonah". NAE Website. Retrieved 25 April 2021.
  3. ^ a b "Samuel Esson Jonah KBE, ACSM, OSG, MSc, DIC, DSc: Executive Profile & Biography". Bloomberg. Retrieved 3 October 2017.
  4. ^ "Celebrating Ghana’s Sam Jonah", Joy Online, via Modern Ghana, 19 June 2007.
  5. ^ "Sam Jonah – Africa's business legend", 23 September 2007.
  6. ^ Wachman, Richard, "Sam Jonah: The Man With the Midas Touch", The Observer, 9 August 2003.
  7. ^ Chris McGreal, "Gold Crisis Exposes Seam of Suspicion", The Guardian, 4 November 1999.
  8. ^ Ian King, "Vodafone puts noted African businessman on the board", The Times, 28 March 2009
  9. ^ "Samuel Jonah", About Vodafone.
  10. ^ "Samuel Jonah", Who's Who Southern Africa.
  11. ^ "New Board of Otumfuo Osei Tutu II Foundation outdoored". Graphic Online. Retrieved 8 January 2022.
  12. ^ "Sam Jonah Builds Domitory Block For Adisadel", GhanaWeb, 18 September 1997.
  13. ^ "Sam Jonah — Ex-CEO of Ashanti Goldfields" Archived 18 August 2014 at the Wayback Machine, Ghana Nation.
  14. ^ Henry Louis Gates, Dictionary of African Biography, Oxford University Press, 2012, p. 218.
  15. ^ Samuel K. Obour, "Sir Sam Jonah named in 'Ghana Richest People' list", Graphic Online, 23 July 2015.
  16. ^ Koomson, Joshua Bediako (11 December 2019). "Four industry players in the mining sector honoured". Graphic Online. Retrieved 16 December 2019.
  17. ^ "'100 Most Reputable Africans' in 2023 announced". AfricaNews. 3 January 2023. Retrieved 17 January 2023.
  18. ^ "2023 100 Most Reputable Africans: Naana Jane, Heward-Mills, Sam Jonah, others listed". GhanaWeb. 3 January 2023. Retrieved 17 January 2023.

Further readingEdit

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