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General News of Wednesday, 7 February 2001

Source: GNA

Kojo Botsio is Dead

The death is announced in Accra of Mr Kojo Botsio, a key player in Ghana's independence struggle.

Mr Botsio, 85, a close associate of first President, Dr Kwame Nkrumah, died at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital on February 5, a family spokesman told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) on Wednesday.

Born in 1916, he attended Adisadel College in Cape Coast and Achimota College.

He obtained his first degree at Fourah Bay University College in Sierra Leone, the only University in West Africa at the time.

In 1945, a year after his degree, he went to Brasenose College, Oxford University, where he obtained a post-graduate degree in Geography and Education.

He played a key role in the organisation of the Convention People's Party (CPP) as political organisation under Dr Nkrumah and became the first Minister of Education at independence.

A biography by the family in Accra said as minister, he introduced the Accelerated Education Development Plan (AEDP) in 1954 by which primary education was made fee-free and compulsory.

"During his tenure of office, the Ghana Education Trust built approximately 50 secondary schools all over the country."

Mr Botsio also headed the Commission on Higher Education that was instrumental in the establishment of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology and Cape Coast University.

Described as one of Dr Nkrumah's closest associates Mr Botsio was with him when he declared independence and held a number of ministerial appointments. These included Foreign Affairs, Social Welfare, Transport and Communications, Agriculture, Trade and Development.

As an educationist Mr Botsio taught in a number of schools including St. Augustine's College and London City Council Secondary School in the United Kingdom.

Among his students were Mr Kofi Baako and Mr P.K.K Quaidoo, who were ministers in the first government, Mr H.P. Benyah, first Chief Inspector of Mines of Ghana, Mr H.P. Nelson, a retired Principal Secretary and Mr J.J. Mensah-Kane, a well-known educationist.

Mr Botsio was also Vice-Principal of the Abuakwa State College, Kibi.

He was survived by a wife, Ruth Botsio (nee Whittaker) and two children, Kojo Botsio Jnr. and Mrs Merene Botsio-Philips both barristers-at-law.