Professor Kwamena Ahwoi

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi


Professor Ahwoi was a member of the Transition Team that implemented Ghana’s transition from the military regime of the PNDC to the civilian, democratic government of the Fourth Republic in 1993. He was a member of the 2001 and 2009 Transition Teams that oversaw the transfer of political power from the NDC Government to the NPP Government and from the NPP Government to the NDC Government respectively. He was also a consultant to the outgoing NDC Government side of the 2016 Transition Team.

He was a member of the 5-member Presidential Committee set up in 2015-2016 under Article 71 of Ghana’s Constitution by the President to determine the salaries and other emoluments of the President and members of the Executive arm of Government; the Speaker of Parliament and members of the Legislature; and the Chief Justice and Justices of the Superior Courts of Judicature.

In 2004, Professor Ahwoi was one of two resource counselors (the other being Nana Ato Dadzie) who facilitated a 3-day closed door session with the Chairpersons of the four political parties with representation in Parliament in Ghana at the Royal Senchi Hotel in the Eastern Region of Ghana. The session, which was organized by The IEA-Ghana, was to dialogue on critical political issues facing the country in the build-up to the elections of that year and in particular on the then nascent Presidential Transition Bill.

He was a member of a delegation from The IEA to Freetown, Sierra Leone to deliver public lectures on Political Transitions to key national political leadership to reduce tension after the elections of 2004 had resulted in a political shift of power from President Ahmad Tejan Kabba to Opposition Leader Ernest Bai Koroma and the resultant violence was threatening to degenerate into chaos and anarchy. He was also a member of a 3-member IEA Team that was invited to Zimbabwe in 2007 to try and break the political ice after constitutional talks between the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front (ZANU)-PF and the opposition Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) had become deadlocked and the ensuing stalemate was threatening to rock the Zimbabwean political boat.

At the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) (2005-2016) where he was Professor in Governance, Professor Ahwoi was responsible for developing programmes for Orientation Seminars for Members of Parliament, Ministers of State and Deputy Ministers of State after the 2008 and 2012 Parliamentary and Presidential Elections. At those Seminars, Professor Ahwoi delivered lectures on “Policy Making and Legislation”, “The Political Environment for Public Administration in Ghana” and “Code of Conduct for Political Office Holders”.

Professor Ahwoi was also responsible for developing programmes for Orientation Seminars for newly-appointed Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executives of the 216 Metropolises, Municipalities and Districts of Ghana between 2009 and 2016 at which he delivered lectures on “The Public Policy Making Process at the Local Level”, “ The Metropolitan, Municipal and District Chief Executive as Leader, Manager and Policy Maker at the Local Level”, “Code of Ethics for Local Level Political Office Holders and Guidelines for Conflict of Interest Situations” and “Local Governance and Decentralization: Political, Administrative, Planning and Fiscal”.

In 2007, Professor Ahwoi was very prominent among a Team of GIMPA Resource Persons which designed and delivered lectures to the most senior Ghanaian civil servants under a UNDP-sponsored programme themed: “Accelerated Training Programme for the Top Management Personnel of the Ghana Civil Service”. Professor Ahwoi was also assigned by GIMPA to design a customised public administration programme for Her Ladyship Georgina Theodora Wood when she was appointed as Ghana’s first female Chief Justice.

A Lecturer in Law at the Faculty of Law of the University of Ghana, Legon, Ghana before joining the Government of the Provisional National Defence Council in 1982, Professor Ahwoi was first appointed PNDC Secretary for Local Government and Rural Development in 1988, a position that was converted into Minister of Local Government and Rural Development under constitutional rule in 1993. In all, he served in that Ministry as Minister for 12 years (1988-2000). Before then, he had served variously as Acting Minister for Information, Lands and Natural Resources, Trade, Youth and Sports, Interior and Environment, Science and Technology.

His last position in Government was as Minister for Planning, Regional Economic Cooperation and Integration (2000) where he had responsibility for the ECOWAS and OAU (now AU) schedules, inter alia. In that position he served assiduously with his counterpart from Nigeria, Professor Jerry Gana, to ensure the establishment of the ECOWAS Parliament and the ECOWAS Court of Justice by the Authority of the Heads of State of ECOWAS.

Professor Ahwoi has considerable international experience in the area of Local Government and Decentralization as well as Foreign Affairs. He was a Founding Member of the Board of Directors of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum (CLGF) based in London, UK and remained a member for a very long time.  He was President of the Afro-Asia Rural Reconstruction Organisation (AARRO) (now the Afro-Asia Rural Development Organisation (AARDO) based in New Delhi, India; and a Founding Member of the Commonwealth Ministerial Action Group (CMAG) based at the Commonwealth Secretariat in London, UK.

He has addressed Conferences of the United Nations, the International Union of Local Authorities (IULA) (now United Cities and Local Governments Association (UCLGA)), the European Parliament, HABITAT and AFROCITIES and participated in scores of international conferences, seminars, workshops and roundtables on Local Government and Decentralization and advised on Decentralization Programmes in several Sub-Saharan African countries.

Professor Ahwoi is a consultant of no mean repute. His key consultancy areas are Political Transitions; Policy Making and Planning; Converting Policy into Legislation; Legislative Drafting; Design of Decentralization Frameworks; and Governance and Leadership. He was the Lead Consultant of the 3-member Team of Consultants responsible for the preparation of Ghana’s Decentralization Policy Framework I/National Decentralization Action Plan I (DPF 1/NDAP 1) (2010-2014) and the Decentralization Policy Framework II/National Decentralization Action Plan II (DPF II/NDAP II) (2015-2019) which is currently being implemented. He is also an international and national trainer on Decentralization and Local Governance.

He was the Chairman of the High Level Strategic Committee on Decentralization Reforms in Ghana (2010-2011) and Chairman of the Inter-Ministerial Task Force responsible for the Review of Ghana’s Decentralization Programme (2009-2016). He was also the Chairman of the Legislative Review Task Force on Local Government and Decentralization Legislations of the Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development (2011-2016). A key outcome of that review process is the current consolidated legislation on local government and decentralization in Ghana, the Local Governance Act, 2016, Act 936

From August 2016, Professor Ahwoi was the Chairman of the University of Ghana Governing Council, a position he held until he resigned with effect from 7th January 2017 when the Government of the NDC gave way to the Government of the NPP.

In 1997, Professor Ahwoi was awarded the Order of the Volta (OV), the second highest State Honour, for his trail-blazing efforts in the area of Local Government and Decentralization and public sector reforms generally.

Professor Ahwoi has a large number of books and peer-reviewed and refereed articles to his credit, among which the following are most significant and relevant to the work of the CDT-Ghana:

  • Local Government and Decentralization in Ghana (published by Unimax Macmillan, 2010)
  • In the Service of Democracy: Biography of Right Honourable Justice Daniel Francis Annan, Speaker of the First and Second Parliaments of the Fourth Republic of Ghana (with Nana Ato Dadzie, published by IDEG and printed by Sub-Saharan Publishers, Legon-Accra, 2010). [It is worth mentioning that Justice Annan was also a member of the PNDC and its de facto Vice Chairman and had been a Justice of the Superior Courts of Judicature in the Court of Appeal (when it was the highest court in Ghana)].
  • Functions, Functionaries and Funds: Is there an Alternative Decentralization Implementation Strategy? (GIMPA Professorial Inaugural Lecture, published by GIMPA, 2011)
  • Political Polarization in Ghana: Causes and Consequences – The Need for a Presidential Transition Act for Ghana (published by The IEA, 2002)
  • Decentralization: All You Need To Know-A Handbook for Citizens and the Electorate (with Dr. Callistus Mahama and the late Dr. Felicia Owusu-Fofie, publication sponsored by SfDR/GIZ, 2012)
  • Ghana’s Engagement with Decentralization and Citizen Engagement since 1982 (with Professor Stephen Adei, A Publication of the AAPAM and printed by RAMCO Printing Works Limited, Nairobi, Kenya, 2013)
  • Challenges to Effective Decentralization in Africa, A Publication of the AAPAM and printed by RAMCO Printing Works Limited, Nairobi, Kenya (2013)
  • Overview of the Local Government System in Ghana: Prospects and Challenges (Published in Dr. Munawar Alam & Dr. Roger Koranteng (Editors): ‘Decentralization in Ghana’ – A Commonwealth Secretariat Publication, 2011)
  • Participatory Governance in Ghana’s Decentralization Process and the Retrogression of Legislative Encroachment (Published in GIMPA Journal of Leadership, Management and Administration, Volume 5 Number 1, June 2007)
  • Ghana’s Public Sector Reforms: De-concentration, Delegation, Devolution or Decentralization? (Published in GIMPA Journal of Leadership, Management and Administration, Volume 4 Number 2, December 2006)
  • Registration of Overseas Ghanaians: Right or Privilege? An Analysis of the ‘Registration of the People (Amendment) Bill’(published in Policy Analysis, A Publication of The IEA, May 2005)
  • Re-centralization within Decentralization: A Review of the Local Government Service Act, 2003, Act 656 (published in Policy Analysis, A Publication of The IEA, May 2005)
  • Challenges Facing Local Governments in Africa in the 21st Century (published in Local Government Perspective, A Publication of the Municipal Development Programme, May 2000)
  • The Future of African Local Governments (published by the LGMB/LGIB/IULA (AS) under the auspices of the CLGF, May 1994).


Professor Ahwoi has also undertaken numerous consultancy assignments with the following reports as some of the outputs:

  • Capacity Development Needs Assessment for the National Association of Local Authorities of Ghana (NALAG), December 2016 (A Consultancy Report commissioned by the United Cities and Local Governments-Africa (UCLG-A), Rabat, Morocco
  • Review of the Management and Administrative Structure of the Metropolitan and Municipal Assemblies and Options for the Management and Administration of the Metropolises and Municipalities to ensure Effective Infrastructure Provision, Municipal Services Delivery and Sustainable Development, September 2016 (A Consultancy Report prepared under the Local Government Capacity Support Project (IDA CR. NO: 4878-GH of the World Bank and the Government of Ghana (Ministry of Local Government and Rural Development))
  • Sector Fiscal Decentralization of Health and Education Financing (with Professor Jerome Djangmah, Professor Agyeman Badu Akosa, Dr. Komla Deku and Mrs. Estelle Appiah), October 2015 (A Consultancy Report commissioned by the World Bank and the Government of Ghana (Ministry of Finance))
  • Framework and Systems for Inter-Service/Inter-Sectoral Collaboration and Cooperation between the Local Government Service and the Other Services to Harmonise Local Government Programmes and avoid Duplication, April 2014 (A Consultancy Report commissioned by the Local Government Service Secretariat)
  • Review of Decentralization Reforms in Ghana, April 2013 (with the late Mr. Joe Issacher and Mr. Komla Deku) (An Aide Memoire of the Joint Decentralization Review Mission commissioned by the Government of Ghana and the Development Partners)
  • Institutional and Management Framework for the Implementation of the Decentralization Reforms in Ghana, December 2011 (Consultancy Report No. FWC BENEF 2009 Lot 11 2011/265779 prepared for Pohl Consulting & Associates of Germany with Nordic Consulting Group as the Implementing Partner and funded by the European Union)

Professor Kwamena Ahwoi is married and has 4 children.