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Race to Castle: Hackman Hacks Through 4/10/2007
As he unveils trump card to victory
THE SUCCESSION race to President Agyekum Kufuor within the ruling NPP has gotten to its pinnacle, with most of the hopefuls in some hot nationwide campaigns though the date for the election of a party flagbearer may be far away.

Friends of Hackman (ForHACK), a group supporting the candidature of Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang, Minister of Housing Water Resources, says if the history of the ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) came to be written, few people in the party would equal his contributions, dedication and commitment.

The powerful loyalist group is therefore urging delegates to assess the works and performance of Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyemang and support him for his deeds to benefit the entire nation.

Chronicling his profile as a credible candidate, the group argued that the Minister is not only an inspiration, but has also been an indomitable financial pillar whose efforts and contributions in bringing the party this far couldn’t be easily discounted.

“He has been the financial backbone of the NPP since the Friday Club days through the Danquah-Busia Club to the NPP”, a frontline member of the group, lawyer Mustapha Zakaria Cisse insisted.

Hackman Owusu-Agyemang has served the NPP in various capacities, starting as the founding National Treasurer. He is also National Executive Member and National Council member.

According to the Mr Cisse, such has been his commitment and contribution to the cause of the NPP that he at one point had to sell one of his houses to support it.

A tried and tested stalwart of the Danquah-Busia tradition, he noted that the Ministers’ indefatigable role in the conception and mid-wifing of the NPP is eloquently testified by the fact that he was part of the two committees that wrote the party’s constitution and the manifesto for the 1992 constitution.

ForHACK maintained that at a time when very few people desired to show their hands as part of the opposition because of the vicious and vindictive PNDC regime, Mr Hackman Owusu-Agyeman solely financed the Friday Club, which is the genesis of the NPP.

“Perhaps one tangible monument that exemplifies the tirelessness, dedication and sacrifice he displayed was his unyielding decision and determination to buy a building for use as the headquarters of the party”, he noted, adding that the culmination of the hassle he went through and the perseverance he displayed is the National Headquarters of the NPP at Kokomlemle in Accra.

They also noted that the success of the pace-setting and historic National Congress of the party in 1992 also owes a lot to the efforts and contributions of this committed descendant of Danquah-Busia.

Born some 65 years ago at Koforidua to a goldsmith, Mr Osei-Agyemang and Madam Grace Amah Taah, Hackman Owusu Agyeman had it quite tough, starting life as an apprentice goldsmith to his father.

As he put it himself: “I never had an easy childhood life. Poverty was always a part of the family and we had to work hard to contribute our quota to the family budget”.

After going through the Anglican Primary School at Begoro and Sarkodie Memorial School in Koforidua all in the Eastern Region, he studied at the St Augustine’s College, Cape Coast and continued to the University of Science and Technology, Kumasi where he obtained a Bachelors degree in Tropical Agriculture.

His interest in politics with emphasis on democracy was developed and early in life too.

The Minister, who is also the Member of Parliament for the New Juaben North Constituency, was an active member of the United Nations Students’ Association and was a member of the Ghana delegation to the first West African UNSA Conference at Fourah Bay College, Sierra Leone in 1964 when a resolution was passed criticizing the Preventive Detention Act of Dr Kwame Nkrumah’s government.

He said of the time: “We passed a resolution at that conference against the 90 day detention Act of South Africa and rightly so, it was most natural that the same conference should pronounce itself on happenings within the sub-region. Nkrumah’s PDA was more obnoxious (without time limit) than the South African Law. At least, at that meting we had the courage of our convictions and pronounced ourselves, even then, that was wrong whether in South Africa or in Ghana”.

Mr Owusu Agyemang joined the Ministry of Agriculture after graduation and worked at the Economic Division in Accra and subsequently as the Regional Officer for the Division in the Eastern Region based at Koforidua.

He received postgraduate training in Sudan and at the Institute of Social Studies at The Hague in the Netherlands after which he was transferred to the Planning and Coordination Unit of the Ministry’s Headquarters in Accra.

He had his Masters degree in Agricultural Economics at Wye College, University of London, upon which he was appointed as Economist in 1970 at the UN/FAO headquarters in Rome Italy, with responsibilities for English speaking West African countries. He was later assigned to cover East African countries.

In 1977, he was appointed the Regional Cooperation and Liaison Officer for the UN/FAO Regional Office for Africa in charge of cooperation with OAU, ECA and other Regional/Sub-regional organisational bodies.

In 1978, this outstanding UN Official was appointed Secretary of the UN/FAO Regional Conference of African Ministers of Agriculture in Arusha, Tanzania.

Following what he described as very successful conference, Hackman Owusu-Agyemang was appointed UN/FAO Representative to Zambia, where he transformed the office into a multilateral assistance programme.

“I was rather overwhelmed by my appointment as I was not expecting to be honoured that way and that time”, he remarked.

In 1984, he was appointed the UN/FAO Representative to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and Suriname in South America.

“It was an interesting assignment which was most satisfying in all respects, professionally and culturally. As an African, I had the unofficial role of explaining or articulating the African point of view on very pertinent issues to Ministers of State and the public.”

According to the NPP Presidential contender, all the three countries all sizeable populations of African origin and that it was common to meet friends in these countries with names like Aryee, Osei, Kofi, Akoto etc.

At the time he was leaving the FAO in 1989, he was in charge of Africa for FAO’s Agricultural programme activities and Political Liaison.

On the current political situation in the country, Hackman “thank God the odious policy of live and let die has given way to the refreshing system of live and let live.

The freedom and justice that have been engendered by Positive change so far have created the environment conducive enough for free and fair elections. I only hope that political parties will take seriously the challenge that His Excellency the President (John Kufuor) has thrown and which he has been preaching all this while”.

As a Business Executive, Owusu-Agyemang was the Chairman of Sikele Group of companies and Managing Director of Natal Developers Ltd.

A devoted Catholic, his vision, among others, is to commit himself to the massive success of President Kufuor’s tenure of office “so that the macro-economic gains that have been chalked so far would be consolidated to ensure that Positive Change is delivered to the people of New Juabeng North particularly and the people of Ghana as a whole.”


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