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Opinions of Friday, 1 January 2021

Columnist: Kwaku Tinyase

Frema Osei-Opare, the trailblazer female Chief of Staff

Chief of Staff Frema Osei-Opare Chief of Staff Frema Osei-Opare

Meet the evergreen, elegant, affable, and hardworking first female chief of staff of the Republic of Ghana, Madam Akosua Frema Osei Opare. Auntie Frema, as she is affectionately called, has been the aide-de-camp of President Akufo Addo since January 2017 when he assumed the reins of power.

Auntie Frema brought to the presidency some 40 years of experiences from the field of academia, politics, development consultancy, labour and employment. In the field of development consultancy, Auntie Frema has once been a consultant for the United Nations in the ‘Women in Fisheries’ programme in countries such as Uganda, Ethiopia, Congo, Kenya and Namibia.

In the Academia, Auntie Frema has had stints with the University of Ghana from 1976 to 1982 where she lectured at the department of home science. She eventually rose to become the head of the department before departing the University in 1982.

In politics, Auntie Frema has been a long standing close confidant and ally of the then Candidate Nana Addo Akufo Addo.

She served as the director of conflict resolution of the 2012 NPP national campaign team. She also served as a two-term member of parliament for the Ayawaso West Wuguon constituency from January 2005 to January 2013.

With her expertise in labour and employment, President Kufour also appointed her a Deputy Minister of Manpower, Youth and Employment in his administration from the year 2005 to 2008.

With this level of experience in her bag, it was not out of place for His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo to have appointed her the chief of staff of the Republic of Ghana in January 2017.

Indeed, her creation of the Political Affairs Directorate at the presidency has helped bridge the hitherto gap between the Presidency and political party faithfuls.

This has ultimately eliminated the rancor and aggression that had existed between party faithfuls and the ruling class at the presidency. It is also interesting to note that under her tenure as Chief of Staff, the presidency never overspent its budget, a feat very hard to come by in the 4th Republic past Administrations.

For her excellent delivery as the Chief of Staff of the Republic, she has received a number of honours such as the Ghana Women of the Year Honours; governance category by Glitz Africa, and The Model African Woman of the Year 2019 Award, also given to her by the ExLA Group.

The Youth Wing of the NPP also recently honoured her with a citation for her outstanding performance at the presidency and also for her immense support for the youth wing of the party. Auntie Frema is poised and undaunted for the task ahead in the next term of the presidency of His Excellency Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo.