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H.E Ekwow Spio-Garbrah: A respected global figure known for his integrity



H.E Ekwow Spio-Garbrah: A respected global figure known for his integrity

Ghana’s Opposition Leader and former President John Dramani Mahama’s recent comment that the “NDC possesses capable individuals of fixing challenges facing the Ghanaian economy” is indeed accurate and among those is H.E Ekwow Spio-Garbrah who is a highly regarded global figure recognized for his integrity.

Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is a Ghanaian politician and diplomat who has held various high-level positions in both the public and private sectors. He has served as Minister of Communications, Minister of Education, and Minister of Trade and Industry in Ghana.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah is known for his integrity and commitment to public service. He has a reputation for being honest, transparent, and dedicated to improving the lives of the people of Ghana.

In addition to his political career, Dr. Spio-Garbrah has also worked in the private sector, holding leadership positions in companies such as the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organization and the African Business Roundtable.

Overall, Dr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is a respected figure in Ghanaian politics and business, known for his integrity, dedication, and expertise in economics and public policy.

Dr. Spio-Garbrah was recently appointed to five different committees working on the opposition NDC 2024 manifesto. The launch and swearing-in of these committees occurred swiftly on February 19, 2024 at the NDC party Headquarters. The committees he has been appointed to include Manifesto, Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Trade and Industry, Communications, and Business Development. Supporters and loyalists of Spio-Garbrah are excited about the potential benefits his expertise in good governance could bring to the business community in Ghana. They see his strategic positions within these committees as a clear indication of his significant role in the future Administration of the NDC.


Profile of H.E Ekwow Spio-Garbrah

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah (born 1953) is a Ghanaian politician who was the Minister for Trade and Industry from 2014 to 2017 in the Mahama administration. He was formerly the Minister of Communications, Minister of Education and Acting Minister of Mines & Energy in the Rawlings administration. He also previously served as Ghana’s ambassador to the United States and Mexico. He is a former CEO of the Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.


Early career

Ekwow Spio-Garbrah’s early business experience included working as a mortgage banker in New Jersey, as a sales executive with Southwestern Bell, and as chairman of the Middle East Africa Group within the international public relations firm of Hill and Knowlton in New York. In that capacity, from 1979 to 1985, he provided investment, export and tourism promotion counsel to the governments of Indonesia, Turkey, the Netherlands and Austria; financial relations advice to the Hong Kong and Shanghai Bank, Crédit Agricole of France, UBAF-Arab American Bank, and energy sector intelligence to OPEC.

From 1988 to 1991, Spio-Garbrah was a Corporate Relations Officer at the International Finance Corporation, the World Bank affiliate, in Washington, DC. From 1991 to 1994 he was Head of Communication at the African Development Bank, directing the bank’s global corporate and marketing communications and acting as institutional spokesman.

Ambassador to the United States

As Ambassador to the United States from 1994 to 1997, Spio-Garbrah was noted for his success in rebuilding Ghana’s image across the United States, including organising an unprecedented eight-city investment promotion programme for Ghana’s then-President H.E. Flt Lt. Jerry John Rawlings in the U.S. As a result, partly of the successful bilateral programmes he executed, Ghana became the first country to be visited by U.S. President Bill Clinton during his famous five-country Africa visit in 1998 and is now a recipient of the Millennium Challenge Account. President Clinton’s visit to Ghana was also followed by visits from President George Bush and Barack Obama, making it the only sub-Saharan African country to receive all three Presidents.


Minister of Communication

As a Minister of Communication of Ghana, from 1997 to 1998,[9] Spio-Garbrah initiated, developed and implemented policies and programmes that supported the increasing convergence of telecommunications, broadcasting, the internet, publishing, news media and postal services, all of which were under his supervision. Concurrently, as chairman of the National Communication Authority (NCA), he had responsibility for regulating all aspects of the telecom, Internet and broadcasting sectors. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah was also in charge of the Public Education Committee which successfully re-introduced the VAT to Ghana after a disastrous first attempt in the early 1990s had left several protesters dead. The VAT has since mobilized USD billions for Ghana’s socio-economic and infrastructure development in Ghana.

Education Minister

While Education Minister from 1998 to 2001, Spio-Garbrah was credited with the creation of the Ghana Education Trust Fund (GETFund), which has since mobilized over USD Billions for educational sector infrastructure, transportation, equipment and scholarships. The GETFund law has been widely praised as one of the most transformative pieces of legislation in Africa relating to the education sector.

Minister for Trade and Industry

From 2014 to January 2017 Ekwow Spio-Grabrah served as Minister for Trade and Industry for the Republic of Ghana. In this position, he led in all aspects of national policy making and initiation of legislation for various aspects of domestic and international trade as well as promoting industry and private sector/business dialogue, and collaboration for Ghana’s competitiveness. He supervised agencies such as the Ghana Free Zones Board, the Ghana Export Promotion Authority, the National Standards Authority, the National Board for Small Scale Industries and the Rural Enterprises Programme.

It is important to anchor the point that Spio-Garbrah is currently the Chairman of the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE), based in Ghana. He has also been a Chairman/CEO of several Pan-African non-governmental organizations, CEO of a church, and has held senior positions in the world of banking and financial services. He serves as chairman for Solarfi, a renewable energy company.


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