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Kwabena Duffour


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Dr. Kwabena Duffuor is a native of Kumawu in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He had his secondary education at Prempeh College in Kumasi, In 1958, Duffuor entered Prempeh College on a Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board scholarship, where he obtained both his O-Level and A-Level certificates in 1962 and 1964 respectively.

He proceeded to the University of Ghana where he graduated in 1968 with a B. Sc. degree in economics, after which he worked briefly with V.R.A. He then started his career with the Ghana Commercial Bank in 1969, Between the years 1973 and 1979, while working with GCB Bank, Dr. Duffuor obtained a USAID and African Graduate Fellowship Awards to pursue further studies at Syracuse University in New York, United States where he obtained a Masters in Business Administration degree in Finance and Banking and Master of Arts in Economics in 1975. He was also awarded a Doctorate of Philosophy in International Finance in 1979 at the same university.

After working briefly as an economist at the IMF in Washington, Dr. Duffuor returned to Ghana and continue his banking work at Ghana Commercial Bank as a full time banker where he rose to become chief economist and head of research department, also a part-time lecturer Lecturing in Economics and Finance at the University of Ghana between 1980 and 1991. In 1991, he rose through the ranks, becoming General Manager of Bank of Ghana and head of London Branch in. Under his tenureship the GCB London Branch registered very impressive growth with the bank's profits soaring from £1.5 million in 1991 to £3.6 million in 1994. Consequently, the Income/Expense ratio dropped from 75per cent in 1991 to 55 percent by the end of 1994.

During the same period Duffuor led a group of international banks including chemical bank (London), standard chartered bank (London) in arranging a syndicated loan of $140 million for Ghana Cocoa Board and $65 million for Ghana National Petroleum Corporation (GNPC). By 1994 the GCB London had become so visible in the city of London that he was invited to the prestigious Annual Dinner of the Lord Mayor of London at the Mansion House on 14 June 1994. The invitation was to give Dr Duffuor opportunity to meet notable personalities including the Chancellor of the Exchequer, governor of the Bank of England, head of Lloyd's of London and the lord mayor of London as well as captains of industry and finance in the United Kingdom.

In July 1995, Dr. Duffuor was appointed the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Ghana, and therefore came back home. As deputy governor he focused on the restructuring of Government Accounts, Human Capital Development, Commercial Banking Services and Treasury Services and Foreign Exchange Market Development of the bank. He again initiated the introduction of two-way quotation system (offer/bid rates in the Foreign Exchange transaction in the bank and thereby removed the subsidy to users of foreign exchange. In 1996, he arranged US$100 million Syndicated Facility with Societe Generale Bank (London) Branch for the Government of Ghana through the Ministry of Finance. In July 1997, he was appointed governor of the bank; driving a range of reforms in the bank, including the conversion of Ghana Commercial Bank London Branch into a UK incorporated Bank – Ghana International Bank plc in March 1998. In November 1997, an honorary fellowship was conferred on Dr Duffuor by the Institute of Bankers in Ghana for his loyal and meritorious service to the banking industry. He was nominated Ghana's man of the year by the readers of The Independent newspaper.

In March 2003, Dr. Duffuor was appointed chairman of the Presidential Committee on Promotion and Revitalization of the Industrial Sector on Sustainable Basis. Again in December 2003, the governments of Ghana and Denmark jointly appointed him to the chairmanship of the Programme Committee for the Business Sector Programme Support (BSPS) which the Danish Government sponsored for the Ghanaian Private Sector Development for the period 2003–08. Duffuor is currently the chairman of Ghana Heart Foundation and Kumawuman Rural Bank. He has also served in a number of directorship positions in various companies, including Accra Brewery Limited, Shell Ghana Limited, Ecobank Cote d'lvoire, State Gold Mining Corporation. Ghana Cocoa Board, Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited, and, Ghana International Bank Plc. London where he was the board chairman between 1998 and 2001. He is also a Fellow of the Akuafo Hall, University of Ghana, and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Bankers.

In 1998, Duffuor was voted "Personality of the Year" by the independent newspaper in Ghana. In this same year, he was again voted "Marketing Man of the Year" by the Chartered Institute of Marketing, Ghana (CIMG). For his loyal and meritorious service to the banking industry in Ghana the Institute of Bankers – Ghana, conferred an Honorary Fellowship on Dr. Duffuor in November 1997. In September 1999, he was commended for being one of the best four Central Bank Governors in the World by Euromoney Publications at the IMF/World Bank meeting held in Washington, DC. In May 2002, Duffuor was honoured by the GCB Bank in recognition of his 26 years of loyal and dedicated service to the bank as well as the honour done to the bank in his appointment to the high office of the governor of the Bank of Ghana. In February 2002, the Rural Bankers’ Association of Ghana honoured Dr. Duffuor for his immense contribution to the development of the Rural Banking sector in the country. In September 2002, The Ashanti Regional chapter of the Rural Banker's Association's appreciated and honoured Dr. Duffuor for being founder and first president of the association who also made very significant contribution to the development of a vibrant rural banking industry in the Ashanti Region. In July 2010, Duffuor was awarded the International Distinguished Merit Award by the West African Insurance Institute, in recognition for his outstanding contribution to the development of Insurance in Africa and specifically for his unreserved support for the promotion of insurance education in the region and especially to the West African Insurance Institute. Kwabena Duffuor was a member of the Convention People's Party, but was appointed as finance minister in John Atta Mills's National Democratic Congress government in February 2009.

In 2011 he was named by The Banker as Africa's finance minister of the Year 2011. Also in October 2011, Africa investor (Ai), a leading international investment research and communication group awarded Duffuor the African Finance Minister of the Year 2011 Award during the prestigious Africa investor (Ai) Investment and Business Leader Awards held in Washington during the World Bank Annual Meetings.

Duffuor received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Banking and Finance from Corporate Initiative Ghana, organizers of Ghana Banking Awards, at a ceremony held in December 2014. In January 2015, TV station Viasat 1 named Dr Duffuor "Man of the Year 2014" in Ghana, for his outstanding success in business. This was the second time this ‘‘Man of the Year ’’ award has been given to the same person in his lifetime in Ghana. In July 2015, Duffuor received an Exceptional Achievement Award from GUBA at an event that took place at the Hilton Metropole Hotel, London. In September 2015, he was awarded a Special Music Pillar Honour award by MUSIGA at an event which took place at the Banquet Hall, State House. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the development of this country, the Republic of Ghana conferred on Dr Kwabena Duffuor the State honour of Companion of the Order of the Volta (CV) in December 2015