Fact-check: President Akufo-Addo’s claim that women make up 30 percent of his cabinet is false

Promoting gender equality

Checks by iWatch Africa has revealed that President Akufo-Addo misrepresented the percentage of women in his cabinet when he spoke at the recent International Women’s Conference (Women Deliver) in Vancova, Canada.

President Akufo-Addo during his presentation argued that his cabinet is made up of 30 percent women reiterating his commitment to promoting gender-equality in Ghana.

iWatch Africa checks revealed that out of his nineteen (19) Cabinet Ministers, only five (5) of them are women, which represents 26% of Cabinet, and not 30% as the president claimed.

The president also said he is yet to see “enough dynamism” in gender activism by Ghanaian women, a comment which received some heavy backlash from activists all over the world.

“We are not seeing enough dynamism and activism on the part of those who are seeking. I am talking about dynamism where it matters…electing people to parliament, controlling political parties because they are the instruments by which our societies make decisions.

“We are talking about decisions, not wishes and hopes, we are talking about decisions that are going to make the difference,” the President said.

The comments attracted heavy criticisms from some leading activists in Ghana despite the open challenge that was given the president by Dr Alaa Murabit, the UN’s High Commissioner on Health Employment and Economic Growth at the conference.

A prominent gender activist and former Gender Minister, Oye Lithur said the President’s comments “made her cry” as a Ghanaian woman.

Read Also: Nearly 40% of the world’s girls and women live in countries failing on gender equality

“President Akufo-Addo made me cry, I cried when I watched the video. To have a human rights lawyer speak and address gender issues in the way he addressed, very regrettable. He couldn’t even get his data right. Even the representation of women in his cabinet, he couldn’t get that right,” she stated.

Below is a list of Akufo-Addo’s Cabinet Ministers (Source: Ministry of Information)
M/F Portfolio Incumbent Term
No image.svg Ministry of Trade and Industry Alan Kyeremanten 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Finance Ken Ofori-Atta 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Defence Dominic Nitiwul 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of The Interior Ambrose Dery 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Energy Mr John-Peter Amewu 2018 –
F Office of Attorney General and Ministry of Justice Gloria Akuffo 2017 –
F Ministry of Foreign Affairs Shirley Ayorkor Botchway 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Food and Agriculture Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Education Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Health Kwaku Agyemang-Manu 2017 –
No image.svg Minister of Monitoring and Evaluation Dr. Anthony Akoto Osei 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Regional Reorganization and Development Dan Kweku Botwe 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Lands and Natural Resources Kweku Asomah Cheremeh 2018 –
No image.svg Ministry of Sanitation and Water Resources Joseph Kofi Adda 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Railway Development Joe Ghartey 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Employment and Labour Relations Ignatius Bafuor Awuah 2017 –
No image.svg Ministry of Transport Kweku Ofori Asiamah 2017 –
F Ministry of Tourism, Arts and Culture Barbara Oteng Gyasi 2019 –
F Ministry of Special Development Initiative Mavis Hawa Koomson 2017 –
F Ministry of Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (Ghana) Elizabeth Afoley Quaye 2017 –
No image.svg

By Gideon Sarpong | | iWatch Africa

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Gideon Sarpong

Gideon Sarpong is a policy analyst and media practitioner with close to a decade of experience in policy, data and investigative journalism. Gideon is a co-founder of iWatch Africa. He is an author; a fellow of the Young African Leaders Initiative (YALI), Thomson Reuters Foundation, Commonwealth Youth Program ,Free Press Unlimited and Bloomberg Data for Health Initiative. Gideon is the founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance Ghana. He was a 2021 Policy Leader Fellow at the European University Institute, School of Trans-national Governance in Florence, Italy and 2020/21 Open Internet For Democracy Leader. Gideon was also a 2022 Visiting Scholar/Reuters Fellow at the University of Oxford, UK and was selected as a 2022 TRF/Trust Conference Changemaker. He is currently the Africa Regional Cordinator for Environmental Justice Foundation and a 2023 Pulitzer ORN Fellow. Email: gideonsarpong@iwatchafrica.org.
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