Six fun facts about Kwadwo Afari-Gyan

Six fun facts about Kwadwo Afari-Gyan

Kwadwo Afari-Gyan was chairman of the Electoral Commission (EC) from 1992 to 2015.

Six fun facts about Kwadwo Afari-Gyan
Dr Kwadwo Afari-Gyan

He is credited with overseeing five peaceful and free and fair elections, which on two occasions saw the incumbent government transfer power to the opposition.

Afari-Gyan was born at Anyimon in the Brong-Ahafo Region of Ghana. He attended Achimota School and Adisadel College for his A 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.

Here are six fun facts about the 71-year-old:

1. Afari-Gyan is a chain-smoker.

He picked up the habit as a student of the University of Ghana.

He told Power FM in a 2014 interview that he was finding it hard to get rid of the habit.

"It was peer pressure that got me into it. It was in the univer­sity. And I was with a group and they would say 'Oh I would have a smoke' and so on. And so eventually I got into it.

"In fact when it was diffi­cult to get cigarettes in Ghana, somebody I knew who worked in the tobacco industry used to bring me cartons and I would distribute them to people without smoking any.

"But because I was getting them for free and I was around a company that was smoking, I just became hooked on it and once you get used to the nicotine, it becomes difficult to ermmm..."

He said at a point he quit for nine months but went back to smoking.

2. He is a farmer.

Afari-Gyan is a farmer. In 2013, two men who allegedly stole tilapia in large quantities from his farm were arrested by the Nsawam police. When interrogated, the men said they had stolen only 28 pieces of fish for preparing fufu and light soup.

3. He inspires gamblers

There is a belief among many gamblers and 'lotto stakers' in Ghana that Afari-Gyan is a successful gambler who has built a lot of houses with monies he earned from staking lotto.

The gamblers believe that the former EC boss is so good at winning that the National Lottery Authority (NLA) owes him money.

4. He loves high life music.

Afari-Gyan enjoys high life music. His favourite artiste is Amakye Dede.

5. He and Akufo-Addo were roommates 

Afari-Gyan was accused, after the 2012 elections, of colluding with the National Democratic Congress to rob New Patriotic Party candidate, Nana Akufo-Addo, of victory in the elections. He is said to have retorted that if he had wanted to rig the poll, he would have done so in favour of his buddy Akufo-Addo, with whom he shared a room as a student at the University of Ghana in the 60s.

6. He is an author: Prior to becoming EC boss, Afari-Gyan taught in the political science department of the University of Ghana for about 20 years. He also had teaching stints in Nigeria and the USA.

He wrote several books, including Nkrumah's Ideology (1985) and Public Tribunals and Justice in Ghana (1988).

Does Afari-Gyan's success as EC boss inspire you?


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Samuel Obour (Managing Director and Editior-in-Chief) Samuel Obour has 12 years of experience in print and digital journalism. He graduated from the Ghana Institute of Journalism in 2010. He began his career at Graphic Communications Group Limited, where he worked with The Mirror, the Daily Graphic, and Samuel has been with since 2016. He can be reached via