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Osafo-Maafo bows out of politics? 2/25/2008

Mr Yaw Osafo Maafo, the Member of Parliament (MP) for Akyem Oda, has decided not to seek re-election during the 2008 general election. The Akyem Oda MP, who has served three terms representing his constituency, explained that he took the decision to step down in view of the heavy load of work that awaited him in the national campaign of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) and its flag bearer, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, to retain power.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Mr Osafo-Maafo, who held two ministerial portfolios in this government, predicted that this year’s elections would be hot for the main reason that at the end of the year, the NPP would have been in government for two terms, just like the National Democratic Congress (NDC), adding, “The forthcoming elections are, therefore, like a champion of champions contest.”

“We need a lot of hands at the centre to assist the party and the flag bearer to retain power and thus hand over to the NPP, which no other party had done before,” he added.

He said with a rejuvenated Convention People’s Party (CPP), it was important for the NPP to win ‘one touch’ in order to avoid a second round ballot and indicated, “I need to play a key role for my party in the whole process.”

Asked if he was not quitting politics in his constituency because his backyard was boiling, he said: “Far from it. We’re interested in total victory for the NPP during the general election in December and I’m ready to support any credible candidate who comes up for the Akyem Oda seat.”

The engineer-turned-financial mogul, who has represented his people since 1997, was the Finance Minister from 2001 to 2004 and Minister of Education, Youth and Sports from 2005 to 2006. As Finance Minister, Mr Osafo Maafo administered the Highly Poor Indebted Countries (HIPC) process from decision point to completion point.

In 2004, the MP for Akyem Oda qualified Ghana for the Millennium Challenge Account (MCA). He was also adjudged the best Finance Minister in Africa in 2002 and the second best in the whole world.

In 2005, Mr Osafo Maafo, then Minister of Sports, supervised the processes that enabled the Black Stars to qualify for the FIFA World Cup in Germany in 2006, the first time in the history of the country. He also introduced the Capitation Grant to enable children to go to school at the basic level without paying fees.

Before entering politics, he was the Managing Director of the National Investment Bank (NIB) and the now defunct Bank for Housing and Construction (BHC).
Source: Daily Graphic

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