President John Dramani Mahama today honoured Dr Kwadwo Afari Gyan, immediate past Chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) for his valour and commitment to duty.
Dr Afari Gyan received: “The Companion of the Order of the Star of Ghana Honorary Division.”
He was accredited with a number of electoral reforms that has raised the democratic status of the country to higher levels. Some of the reforms include; the replacement of opaque ballot boxes with transparent ones, substitution of black and white photographs on the national voter ID cards to coloured pictures and the introduction of biometric registration to replace the manual process.
President Mahama decorated Dr Afari Gyan at a ceremony, which was also attended by Vice President Paa Kwesi Bekoe Amissah-Arthur, Madam Cecilia Johnson, Chairperson of the Council of State and Mr Julius Debrah, Chief of Staff. Others were; Ministers of State, representatives from various political parties and members of the EC and Ghana Health Service.
During the ceremony 41 Ghanaians and one Cuban Health worker who were posted to Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone, during the outbreak of the Ebola viral disease were decorated with the “State of the Honour of Grand Medal, Honorary Division.” The health workers were acclaimed for the courage they exhibited in helping the affected West African States, which lost a number of people through the viral disease.
Dr Afari-Gyan was born June 18, 1945. He is an academic and political scientist. He hails from Anyimon in the Brong Ahafo Region. He attended Achimota School and Adisadel College for his Advanced Level and also graduated from the University of Ghana in 1967 with a BA degree in philosophy. He went on to attain a MA degree in African politics in 1969 from the same university.
He also studied in the United States where he was awarded a Ph. D. in Political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974. Dr Afari-Gyan worked as a lecturer and professor in political science at the University of Ghana. He has also lectured in the United States and Nigeria, and was a member of the Committee of Experts that drafted the Fourth Republican 1992 Constitution.
In 1992, he was appointed Deputy Chairman of the Interim National Electoral Commission by the erstwhile PNDC. His job was to ensure that the November 1992 presidential election and the December 1992 parliamentary elections were free and fair. With the coming into force of the Fourth Republican Constitution, a new EC was set up and Dr Afari-Gyan became its first substantive chairman.
He has successfully supervised all the Ghanaian elections held under the 1992 Constitution so far spanning presidential and parliamentary elections in 1992, 1996, 2000, 2004, 2008 and 2012.
In 1998, he became the Executive Secretary of the Association of African Election Authorities. He was also member of a committee of experts to advice Nigeria on elections. He has also worked in many African countries, and has written a number of books.
Dr Afari-Gyan has published many books including; “The Political Ideas of Kwame Nkrumah; Nkrumah’s Ideology; Public Tribunals and Justice in Ghana; Understanding Politics; The Making of the Fourth Republican Constitution of Ghana and the Ghanaian Constitution: An introduction.”
Source: Government of Ghana.