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Thu, 12.08.1938

John Kufuor, Lawyer and Politician born

John Kufuor

*John Kufuor was born on this date in 1938. He is a Black African lawyer and politician.

From a royal, aristocratic maternal lineage, John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor was born in the Ashanti Region of Ghana and started his primary and elementary school at the Kumasi Government School. 1951 he continued his primary education at Osei Tutu Boarding School (Osei Tutu Senior High School) from 1951 to 1953 and Prempeh College from 1954 to 1958. He attended Lincoln's Inn, London (1959–61) to study law, becoming qualified as a barrister in one year and eight months.

He passed the London bar in 1961. The following year, he passed to the bar in Ghana before attending Oxford University and graduating from Exeter College in 1964. He was a Manager and Legal Officer at the Ghana Commercial Bank in London. He returned to Ghana in 1965 at the behest of his mother, who wished him to practice in Africa. He practiced in the Chambers of Victor Owusu with another lawyer, Owusu Yaw. In 1966, he was the town clerk of Kumasi City Council and was once the Chairman of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Football Club.

Kufuor's career has been spent on the liberal-democratic side of Ghanaian politics, in the parties descended from the United Gold Coast Convention and the United Party. A lawyer and businessman, he served as a Member of Parliament in the Second (1969–72) and Third (1979–81) Republics. He is a founding member of the Progress Party. In 1996, Kufuor was nominated to run for the President of Ghana and lost. He eventually won and served as the President of Ghana from 2001 to 2009. He was also Chairperson of the African Union from 2007 to 2008. Having served two terms in power, he retired from politics in 2008.

He is popularly known as the Gentle Giant. In 2009, Kufuor became an S.N.V. Netherlands Development Organization International Advisory Board member. Kufuor spoke in the Netherlands at a Dutch government event to mark 60 years of development aid' at the invitation of Dutch Minister Bert Koenders. During his visit to the Netherlands, he argued for the importance of practical development assistance, pointing out that development aid helped Ghana enter the international capital market. 2009 he delivered the Legatum Pericles Lecture at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Kufuor is the Governing Council Chairman of Interpeace, an international peacebuilding organization based in Geneva. Also, in 2009, he served on the Commission on the Modernization of World Bank Group Governance, which conducted an external review of the World Bank Group's governance. In 2011, Kufuor inaugurated the John Agyekum Kufuor (J.A.K.) Foundation with a groundbreaking ceremony for the J.A.K. Centre for Leadership, Governance and Development at the University of Ghana, Legon.

The ex-presidents also unveiled a plaque on September 22, 2011, for the Kufuor Presidential Library and Museum at Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST), Kumasi, which formed part of the John A. Kufuor Foundation. In September 2018, the foundation set up the Kufuor Young Entrepreneurs Network (K-YEN). This initiative supports and develops young entrepreneurs to excel in their endeavors. In October 2011, Kufuor received the 2011 World Food Prize, along with President Luiz Lula da Silva of Brazil, for his personal commitment and visionary leadership while serving as the president of Ghana and creating and implementing government policies to alleviate hunger and poverty in his country.

In September 2017, the George Grant University of Mines and Technology (UMaT) appointed Kufour as the University's first Chancellor. The Investiture was held in January 2018. In the Second Republic's Parliamentary register, Kufuor lists his hobbies and interests as table tennis, reading, football, and film shows.

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