Born on 4th April, 1944 to Mr. E.G.N. Oquaye of Osu, Accra and Mrs. Felicia Oquaye (née Azu) of Odumase-Krobo, Professor Mike Oquaye was brought up at Asamankese in the Eastern Region where he attended the Roman Catholic Primary School and Presbyterian Middle School before proceeding to Presec., Odumase Krobo (0-Level) and Apam Secondary School (A-Level), the University of Ghana, University of London and Lincoln's Inn, London. He holds B.A. Hons (Political Science) LL. Hons B.L. and Ph.D. degrees.
Professor Oquaye's working life has been mainly at combination of private legal practice and lecturing in political science and has attained distinction in both spheres. A Barrister of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he is also a senior member of the Ghana Bar and Solicitor for many leading companies in Ghana. As an academic, Prof. Oquaye has achieved the singular distinction of winning within four years, the coveted Rockefeller Senior Scholar Award (1993) and the Senior Fulbright Scholar Award (1997), an enviable record, even in the highest academic circles. He has been British Council Scholar, Visiting Scholar in SOAS, University of London and George Mason University, Virginia, USA.
Till he became Ghana's High Commissioner in India in January 2002, he was Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Legon and member of the University's Academic Board. His areas of interest and on which he has researched and written extensively, include good governance, conflict, political education, decentralization and development, human rights, military intervention in politics, NGOs, rural development, and gender.
He is a keen advocate of the rights of women including affirmative action. Prof. Oquaye is the author of the award winning book Politics in Ghana 1972-79, published in 1980. The book was adjudged the best work in politics by the Ghana Book Development Council in 1982. The Ghana Association of Writers in 1983 honoured him for an outstanding contribution to the understanding of Ghanaian politics for that same work. A number of Prof. Oquaye's works have been published in international journals including Human Rights Quarterly (US), Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (UK), African Affairs (UK), Review of Human Factor Studies (Canada) etc. He has contributed chapters in books published in Canada, UK, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Ghana etc. and edited or co-edited useful books on Ghanaian politics, including Democracy and Conflict Resolution in Ghana, Civil Society in Ghana, and NGO - Government Relations in Ghana.
The several awards he has won include the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Silver Award in recognition of his contribution to the social sciences in Ghana. He was Vice-President of the African Association of Political Science (AAP1S) 1997 - 1999. Prof. Oquaye plays an advocacy role in Ghana and makes frequent appearances on radio and television where he participates in a wide variety of discussions on politics, law, development, human rights and society. He also writes articles for publication in Ghanaian newspapers on vital national issues. His rich understanding of Ghanaian and African politics has been tapped by many institutions in Ghana, local NGOs, international organizations working in Ghana, the Ghana Bar Association, the Trade Union Congress (TUC), the Ghana National Association of Teachers (GNAT), the Workers College External Degree Centre, the Military Academy and the Staff College for senior military officers. Other institutions and organizations abroad, including Conciliation Resources, UK and the Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution in Virginia, USA, have used is expertise, especially in understanding conflict in Africa. He has recently delivered a number of lectures in the University of Delhi, J. Nehru University, University of Bombay, The Military Staff College in India and the War College of India.
A Baptist minister, Prof. Oquaye is married to Mrs. (Major-rtd.) Alberta Oquaye (née Asafu-Adjaye), with children. His hobbies include soccer, table tennis, reading and music.