In every society, there are people whose voice matter and who also call the shots. There are some Ghanaians who have extended their influence beyond their immediate families and friends and are bringing about great changes in their communities and the nation as a whole. ¿Do you want to know 15 most influential people from Ghana?
These are people whose utterances and actions affect millions if not thousands of people and Green Views Apartments brings to you profiles of these must-know Ghanaians since their names pop up a lot in the Ghanaian News space and they tend to be powerful with their influence.
15 Most influential Ghanaians
These people have distinguished themselves in whatever careers they have chosen to pursue and are inspiring causing positive change in society. These people are well-known individuals who have a proven track record of great work and hence many of them have been awarded by several bodies of national and international repute. Our listing is in no particular order.
1 – Nana Addo Dankwa Akuffo-Addo, President of the Republic Ghana
He needs no introduction as he is the current serving President of the Republic Ghana and the current African Union’s Champion for Gender and Development. Throughout his life, Akuffo Addo has influenced a lot of change as he worked hard to help the oppressed in society and also been a role model for many people through his Law Firm as he was a trained lawyer.
He has organized a number of demonstrations to protest against ideals and practices that he felt were not in the best interest of Ghanaians. So sterling were his achievements and influence that he was branded by his supporters as an incorrigible personality.
One major reason why he was also listed here is that he singularly declared the year 2019 as “The Year of Return” and this has seen many people but predominantly Black Americans like Senator Nancy Pelosi, Steve Harvey among others to come back to Ghana to connect with their roots.
Last time, it was reported that the brand has brought about 1.9 billion of revenue to Ghana , 200,000 increase above average annual arrivals, 100% hotel occupancy since late November. What will you call this if not influence?
2 – Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia
This Economic scholar is a much respected fellow and amassed himself massive following after he decided to quit his job as the Deputy Bank of Ghana Governor and run as the running mate of Nana Akuffo Addo in 2008.
He quickly rose to prominence as an astute public speaker as he frequently offered public lectures, often debunking statements by national bodies and challenging the then finance ministers to accountability. His fame and influence shot over the clouds when he appeared as the Star Witness in the 2012 election Petition which was widely broadcasted on which he displayed his intelligence even when being grilled by the legendary lawyer, Tsatsu Tsikata.
With a twitter following of more than 739K, the Vice President commands a lot of respect and admiration from Ghanaians mainly from his oratory prowess and of course, his beautiful wife has generated several headlines because of her looks and her brains.
3 – Nana Aba Anamoah, journalist
She is one of Manchester United Football Club’s biggest fans in Ghana and she does not mince words about that. Very assertive, composed, eloquent are some qualities people talk about when referring to Nana Aba Anamoah. Her hard work, sense of duty made her the darling Journalist of the nation and this has won her several accolades and jobs.
She has a degree in banking and finance but has been applying the knowledge in the journalism in probing facts and figures that make news. During her days at TV3 (a local TV Station), she made the morning show (New Day) the most watched in the country at the time due to the innovative displays and content provided. She has had several gigs which include hosting various programs and shows and has performed creditably.
Her most recent achievement that once earned her a place in the hearts of Ghanaians is her role in the reconciliation of two feuding musicians who had massive following each which made national news headlines. Nana Aba Anamoah has about 613.6K followers on twitter and she has become a role for many ladies who want to aspire to become journalists, public speakers and whatever they can be. She has been consistent in how she continues to inspire young people particularly women.
4 – Nana Ama McBrown, actress
The bubbly actress can get anyone fired up when she is in her element. By dint of hardwork, dedication and perseverance, Nana Ama McBrown has become a household name in Ghana. Nana Ama is best known as a Kumawood (Local movie in tv industry) actress and a very good one who has proven to be able to easily take on the challenges and rigors of any role even with the English speaking ones as well. This has made her a much loved personality in Ghana’s media space.
She also engages in philanthropy work quite often and has gathered some following because of how good-natured she is. She has starred in some commercials that have become very successful; a typical example is that of Hisense’ where she smartly advertised their discount services.
She now runs her own cook-show on TV where she invites celebrities and also not-too-well-known people as guests and interviews them on their life stories and their philosophies and outlook in life. This show has been a success, and Nana Ama McBrown has become a very successful woman as well as a great role model for many youth – more particularly, young women.
5 – Shatta Wale, artist
This controversial artiste, known in private life as Charles Nii Armah Mensah Jnr. has gathered a massive following; among that is a whopping 1.5 million twitter followership. As a man who is not afraid to let the world know what he is thinking, Shatta Wale has vocally fought one of the biggest event houses in Ghana, CharterHouse for being unfair him and some artistes with regards to awards and that catapulted him to fame real quick.
He has also had feuds with some of his colleague artistes and that has gained national attention. He has grown to be arguably the biggest artiste in Ghana with the largest fan base. So many event organizers put him on their bill so that they can make a lot of ticket sales by attracting his numerous fans. Shatta Wale engages in a lot of philanthropy works and occasionally gives away gifts to most loyal fans and sympathizers.
He was recently featured on the singer Beyoncé’s Lion King 2019 album, and that expanded his reach and his fan base. Since he is all for youth empowerment, he has many young people who call themselves SM Militants and literally follow him on convoys of motorbikes and cars blaring sirens to programs, interviews and outreaches. Truly, Shatta Wale has become one of the most influential men in Ghana now.
6 – Ameyaw Debrah, blogger
This celebrity blogger is the biggest blogger, freelance journalist and reporter and has become a household name in Ghana. Ameyaw Debrah’s rise to fame has been gradual and exponential and since he joined ghanaweb.com in 2008 as an entertainment editor. In that same year, he launched his website ameyawdebrah.com which has at one time had over 5000 visitors in a day and is still doing very well.
Ameyaw Debrah typically writes entertainment news and sometimes shares his experiences at events, analyses occurrences and writes his opinion on issues arising. With his opinions, he has shaped the opinions of many others as well and hence has become really influential in the entertainment industry. Ameyaw has gained so much influence that many bloggers and entertainment pundits look up to him for inspiration. He has really helped shaped up the entertainment industry and also been a role model to many.
7 – Bernard Avle, journalist
Many people love to listen to what is happening in and around the world when they wake from a goodnight’s sleep. Either for the love of it or due to necessity, many people love to listen to the radio in the morning for current news and analyses of the news. Many people love to listen to Bernard Avle and his team on Citi 97.3 fm on the morning show: “Citi CBS”.
Bernard has grown to become a media celebrity because of his sharp analyses and smart interviewing skills, his great sense of humor and his seriousness when he really gets passionate about something. One of the factors of his influence is that he sometimes calls Ghanaians to action when he realizes the government is being really sluggish and reluctant about any problem. Not only does he call to action but he actually gets the support of Citi Fm to carry out the call for action and usually it comes out as a success because it gets government to intervene to save face and also draws in other media houses to report.
Notable among these call to actions were the “Stop Galamsey Now” a protest and sensitization on the effects of illegal small scale mining, and “War on Indiscipline” a project where Citi Fm collaborates with the police to film, arrest and prosecute road traffic rules offenders and telecast proceedings on both the television and on social media.
8 – Elsie Effah Kaufmann, biomedical engineer
Well known as the Quiz mistress of the famous National Math and Science Quiz Dr. Elsie Kaufmann has risen to national prominence and gone ahead to inspire thousands of girls. She is a senior lecturer at the University Of Ghana School Of Engineering’s biomedical department and has gone ahead to head the department for a number of years (2006-2012, 2014-2016).
Even though she had all of her tertiary education in Pennsylvania, she came back to help develop the biomedical engineering field here and she was the founding Head of the University of Ghana Department of Biomedical Engineering.
Her teaching and research focuses on Tissue engineering, biomaterials and application of biomedical engineering concepts to the solution of problems in the Ghanaian context. She researches on ways to treat bone diseases and scientifically cultures human bones for research purposes. Since 2006 she has been the host of the flagship Senior High School Quiz Program, the National Math and Science Quiz that has encouraged the interest of math and science education and healthy school rivalry. Since 2016, the quiz show blew up on social media and truly became a national event with so many sponsors and being backed by government.
Dr. Kaufmann has gone ahead to encourage more girls to take up science and math and this is bearing many fruits.
9 – Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Asantehene
This very popular Asantehene (Ashanti Chief) is very popular and wields enormous influence here in Ghana and is the most respected and revered traditional ruler. His birth name is Nana Barima Kwaku Duah and he was the third son and youngest of five children.
He has a degree in Human Resources Management and Public Administration from the London Meteropolitan University and in 2006; he was awarded an honorary doctorate. He has influenced a lot of positive change as he headed a delegation of traditional rulers to mediate and bring Peace in one of the northern territories of Ghana (Dagbon Kingdom) where there were chieftancy clashes and wars, where he successfully completed his mission and was later recognized and due homage was paid him.
He is a Paramount Chief who takes frowns on insubordination and disregard of rules. At least, 5 traditional sub chiefs have been destooled by the Otumfuo for various offences of complete disregard of the laws and customs of the land as well as fraudulent sale of stool lands and insubordination. This has sent a clear message to other chiefs who feel tempted to abuse their power.
The Otumfuo also in July 2019, announced his commitment to the protection of the water bodies of the Ashanti Kingdom and this has led to plans to plant 2.5 million trees around the only natural 49km2 Lake Bosomtwe. He is the Chancellor of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
10 – Manasseh Azure Awuni, journalist
This popular freelance journalist formerly with a top media company in Ghana which is a subsidiary of Multimedia group Limited – a leading media house in Ghana who strive to play by international standards.
Manasseh started to get national attention when he was interning with the Ghana Broadcasting Corporation and he got an offer from Multimedia to work with them and he continued with his outstanding performance and fearless demeanor to win the hearts of many by exposing rot in the society and also massive corruptions in governments even to the point of putting some people in jail because they were engaging in various shocking illegalities.
He openly criticized governments, government officials, and opposition party members whose acts and utterances he thought was not in the nation’s best interest. Manasseh expressed his personal opinions and sentiments on issues that arise through his website Manassehazure.com which had massive viewership because of the quality of content whiles a lot of his professional journalistic work was on myjoyonline.com.
His biggest work was a video documentary which aimed to expose an alleged secret militia the government was training. After the airing of this documentary, the government came out to explain and clarify that the alleged militia were actually a private security company. It is alleged that after the airing of the documentary, government decided to descend quite heavily on the media house, causing them to render an apology to government. A few days later Manasseh resigned from the Multimedia Group. He has risen to become a very influential man in Ghana.
11 – Anas Aremeyaw Anas, journalist
Famed for his often shocking, revelatory and daring undercover documentaries, Anas Aremeyaw Anas has made his brand really popular and has impacted on the lives of many Ghanaians because he has brought a lot of changes to institutions.
As a leading investigative journalist in Ghana, Anas uses his anonymity as his greatest tool as he publicly wears masks when making public appearances as comparatively, a few people have seen the face behind the mask. Anas is passionate about uncovering and addressing Human Right abuses and corruption. His human right investigations deal with creating a better life and providing equal opportunities for children and adults, whilst his corruption investigations focus on Government employees and executives who instead of working for the people rather loot the national kitty and thus deprive citizens of essential amenities that would create a better standard of living for them.
He has done undercover investigations on prostitution brothels, orphanage abuses, factories which work with contaminated raw products, Ghana’s Judiciary corrupt practices, Ghana’s football Association corrupt practices among many others. Often Tiger Eye Private Investigations the organization founded by Anas often owns these projects. Sometimes other agencies and even governments commission them with projects and notable among them are the BBC and Aljazeera. These investigations involve the investigators risking their very lives to uncover crime, human right abuses and corruption.
Anas has said that the investigation where he actually feared he was surely going to die was one they undertook in Malawi, when they were investigation the bizarre Human Harvest where local residents mistook them for human harvesters. You can see some of his videos on Youtube.
12 – Franklin Cudjoe, economist
It is rare to not see or hear a statement from him or the Think Tank which he heads when there is big news in the airwaves usually concerning the way the Ghanaian government is handling the economic issues. Franklin Cudjoe has become a household name in Ghana following his critiques and commendations of the policies of the government of the day most of which are true reflections of the actual economic situations and also his recommendations of solutions have been praised by experts.
He is the founding President and Chief Executive Officer of IMANI Centre for Policy and Education, a Think Tank of global repute dedicated to the promotion of the institutions of free society across Africa. In 2010, he was named a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In the same year, he was consulted by U.K.’s Prime Minister’s office on how to make effective use of British aid in Africa.
Franklin has also made numerous appearances in both print and broadcast media. He has shared insightful perspectives about Africa development issues on the BBC, CBC, Swiss and Swedish National TV, Australian National Radio and varied local Ghanaian media.
13 – John Dramani Mahama, politician
With a twitter following of over 1.4 million, it hard to rule out the fact that former President of Ghana, John Dramani Mahama is a very influential personality in Ghana. In fact, his has served as a member of parliament, a Minister of State, a Vice President, a President and a former President of State; and you can say that he has seen it all. Through all these stages he has passed he has amassed followership and has influenced so many people.
When he was a Vice President, the then President, John Evans Atta Mills passed away during his last year of his term; and so Mahama became the President as the constitution stipulates. When that term ended, he contested the 2012 general elections and he was declared winner by the Electoral Commission. That declaration however, did not go down well with the opposition Akuffo-Addo who contested the decision at the Supreme Court. After months of back and forth, the Supreme Court ruled in favour of Mahama and adjudged him as duly elected President. Later, Mahama lost his bid for a second term to President Akuffo-Addo and became the first incumbent President to lose in first term. Meanwhile, he undertook many developmental projects that have affected the lives of many people.
The refurbishment of the Ridge Hospital into a state-of-the-art hospital, The Kwame Nkrumah Circle Interchange and Kotoka International Airport’s terminal 3 among many others are evidence of his work that makes him influential.
14 – Ace Ankomah, lawyer
This legal luminary has also gained influential heights mainly through his advocacy work and philanthropy works. He has also gained notoriety with journalists for being bold about his assertions and comments on issues of national interest.
Ace is the Managing Partner of the law firm Bentsi-Enchill Letsa &Ankomah as well as the Head of the Litigation and dispute resolution Practice Group. Aside of his role and work as a lawyer defending individuals and institutions, Ace manages the affairs of the firm by making use of his skills as an administrator and a manager.
As a Member of the Ghana Bar Association, Ace has served on the International Court of Arbitration of the International Chamber of Comerce, chamber of commerce and as the regional vice-Chair for Europe/Middle East/Africa of the Lex Mundi Managing Partners committee.
He has also worked as the General Manager of the Data Centa Limited. He influences many others through his teaching as a lecturer at the University of Ghana School of law. The Global Legal Journal (The Chambers Global, 2013) commented “Ace Ankomah is very convincing when he stands in court”.
15 – Asamoah Gyan, footballer
The Ghanaian professional footballer has become very influential over the years and has a number of kids all over the world who look up to him as role model and has changed a lot of lives.
He currently plays as a striker for NorthEast United and is the former captain of the Ghanaian National Team (Black Stars). Through his sterling displays at the various FIFA World Cups, he has gained recognition worldwide as a great footballer and has also projected the image of Ghana far and wide.
He has undertaken a lot of philanthropy works at home in Ghana and doesn’t miss moments to inspire younger people who see him as role model. Asamoah Gyan went back to his Alma Mata; Accra Academy (Senior High School) and took up the cost of refurbishing the football field, making it into a State-of-the-art field with Astro Turf and all.
He also started an airline company “Baby Jet Airlines” which has obtained an air operator’s license from the government of Ghana but has not commenced despite the commencement date being long overdue. This airline will employ hundreds of people if it commences operations. He turned his attention to boxing promotion and has so far hosted two boxing events. He still is part of Ghana’s National football team and continues to win laurels for the country