Mr. John Agyekum Kufuor was born on December 8, 1938, in Kumasi, Ghana. He had his Secondary Education at Prempeh College where he passed at the top of his class. He enrolled at Lincoln Inn, London, and was called to the Bar in 1961 at the age of 22. He then entered Oxford University where he passed his Honors BA degree in 1964 in economics, philosophy, and politics. He was subsequently confirmed, in accord with Oxford traditions, with the Master's degree by the University.
Both sides of Kufuor's parentage come from distinguished families whose members include chiefs, farmers, timber merchants, businessmen, university professors, doctors, engineers, accountants, teachers, nurses, lawyers, and politicians. J. A. Kufuor is happily married to Theresa (Nee Mensah). The marriage is blessed with five children, four of whom are university graduates with the youngest son still in the university. Mr. Kufuor and his family belong to the Roman Catholic Church.
Mr. Kufuor's public service spans over 30 years. In 1967, he was appointed chief legal officer and town clerk (city manager) of Kumasi, the second largest city of Ghana. He was a member of the 1968-69 and the 1979 Constituent Assemblies that drafted the Constitutions of the Second and Third Republics respectively. In addition, he was a founding member of the Progress Party (PP) in 1969, the Popular Front Party (PFP) in 1979 and is a founding member of the New Patriotic Party (NPP). He has twice been elected as a member of Parliament, during the Second and Third Republics. He has also been in political detention on two occasions as a result of military coups that overthrew the Second and Third Republics. He has been a deputy minister of foreign affairs and in this capacity, he represented Ghana on several occasions. From 1969 to December 1971, he led Ghana's delegation to the United Nations General Assembly in New York, the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Ministerial Meetings in Addis Ababa, and the Summit Conference of the Non-Aligned Movement in Lusaka, Zambia. In 1970, he led the Ghanaian delegation to Moscow in the former Soviet Union, Prague (Former Czechoslovakia), and Belgrade (Yugoslavia) to discuss Ghana's indebtedness to these Countries.
As the spokesman on foreign affairs and deputy opposition leader of the Popular Front Party (PFP) Parliamentary Group during the Third Republic, he was invited to accompany President Limann to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) Summit Conference in Freetown, Sierra Leone. He was also a member of the Parliamentary Delegation that Visited the United States of America (USA) in 1981 to talk to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank on Ghana's economic problems.
In January 1982, the leadership of the All People's Party (APP), which was an alliance of all the opposition parties, advised some leading members, including the Deputy Leader of the Alliance, Alhaji Iddrisu Mahama, the General Secretary, Dr. Obed Asamoah, and Mr. J. A. Kufuor. To accept an invitation from the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) to serve in what was purported to be a National Government. Mr. Kufuor was appointed the Secretary for Local Government in this new Government. As a Secretary for Local Government, he authored the Local Government Policy Guidelines that were to be the foundation of the current decentralized District Assemblies. He, however, resigned within seven months of acceptance of the position after having satisfied himself that the PNDC Government was not the national Government that it promised to be. Indeed he found that it had a hidden agenda which he could not be a Party to. He also could not be a party to the intolerance, the brutality, abuse, and corruption of that Government.
On April 20, 1996, Mr. J. A. Kufuor was nominated by 1034 out of 2000 delegates of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) drawn from all the 200 Constituencies of the Country to run for the President of Ghana on December 10, 1996. After campaigning for less than nine months, Mr. Kufuor polled almost 40% of the popular votes. On October 23, 1998, he was re-nominated by the New Patriotic Party not only to run again for President but to officially assume the position of Leader of the Party. Kufuor won the presidential elections in Dec. 2000 and was sworn in as president on January 9, 2001.
Source: University Programs and Events Planning Resources, September 2003