These are highlights of heady days and heydays of experiences in a life and its living. It is a riveting and captivating account of extraordinary happenings to an individual of complex character and disposition with luck and lots of luck. The story is a journey of unmasking the masked. It’s a person’s recollections of life’s vicissitudes as lived by him from earliest experiences, along with insights into student leadership, workings of a military government, chieftaincy, tinges of Akan feminism and writing a newspaper column.
This autobiography should be a best seller. It is a lucid, engaging, fascinating account of a very complex man with an eclectic life that the author has managed to masterfully present as a mainstream Ghanaian. It is so enjoyable to read.
Dr. Ing Kwame Boakye
Former President, Ghana Institution of Engineers
Former Vice Chairman, AT&T Paradyne, Florida, USA
With this autobiography, “My Life – A Historical Narrative”- Professor Emeritus- Ivan Addae-Mensah, the highly reputable and respected scientist and academic, has established his credentials as a writer par excellence and a master storyteller by every definition. . It is a well –written, riveting book, easy to read and absolutely interesting . I highly recommend this inspirational book.
Ambassador Kabral Blay-Amihere
Author, Former Chairman of the Ghana Media Commission,
Former Ghana High Commissioner to Sierra Leone and Ambassador to Côte d’Ivoire
During our university days we conferred the accolades “Versatile” and “Walking Encyclopaedia” on Emeritus Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah. Reading his book “My Life, a Historical Narrative” has confirmed that we were right. Ivan’s experiences in life, especially in the Ghana Public Service and in the political arena confirm the notion that serving one’s nation with honesty and integrity could be hazardous, but it pays. I highly recommend the book to all and sundry.
Ambassador Sir James K. Bebaako-Mensah
Former Secretary to the Cabinet, Former Secretary to President J.E.A Mills and Former Ghana Ambassador to the Holy See (Vatican)
In this absorbing autobiography, Emeritus Professor Ivan Addae-Mensah takes the reader on a journey through an extraordinary life that provides insights into his own life as well as Ghana’s social and political history from the 1940s till today; Written in an accessible and humorous style, this captivating chronicle is a must-read for anyone seeking to learn about Ghana’s contemporary history.
Professor Akosua Adomako Ampofo,Institute of African Studies, University of Ghana
“The Pen at Risk is more than a memoir. It is a piece of authentic, ungarnished history by a writer and public intellectual who is too modest to accept the title of a historian, but who witnessed and chronicled the most intriguing epochs of Ghana’s national life. Laced with the innate Fante humour, this book is a piece of deep but entertaining non-fiction that is told with the demystified simplicity of one of Ghana’s greatest academics and writers. Kwesi Yankah is a gift to humanity, and this memoir is a greater gift to an unfortunate generation like mine that did not live in the era of the incisive writings of the great Kwatriot.” – Manasseh Azure Awuni, Editor-in-Chief, The Fourth Estate
“When a citizen who has spent his whole life scrutinising society, turns the spotlight on himself, the risks include this epic engagement that spares no one, him included. In this bare-it-all memoir, the Yankah enigma is fully bared, warts and all. As it turns out, Yankah has had more than his fair share of privileged roles, ultimately impacting the national narrative. The richness of ethnography here, is as riveting as his urban-savvy accounts of the intrigues of university and national politics. While we watch him weave his wizardry of words, we are also awed by the totality of his humanity. The Pen at Risk is a hilarious package of eruditions. It is about the exalted gossips of our Motherland. The narratives are so sweet they hurt. If this isn’t the best book you have read in years, call me illiterate.” – Kofi Akpabli, Scholar, Author, Journalist
“In this memoir, Kwesi Yankah delivers a sparkling tableau of key aspects of his life, tabling his charmed childhood and amazing trajectory as an academic. He then rolls out his long stint as an audacious social commentator and columnist for leading papers (which may have put his pen at risk). With a penmanship characterized by a keen eye for detail, this autobiography is an entertaining and captivating book that should be read by all interested in media and social history as well as autobiography as a literary genre.” – Professor Mansah Prah, University of Cape Coast
“Intriguing, revealing, and brilliant. The Pen at Risk is unvarnished introspection beautifully strung together with anecdotes in a way that is vibrant and colorful. Kwesi Yankah’s work is a refreshingly modest invitation to see life through a different lens, even for a fleeting moment.” – Dr Obeng Amoako Edmonds, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California
The Military, My Life: 43 Years – 5 Months – 25 Days: Autobiography is General Frimpong’s fifth book.
Starting from his primary school days across Ghana, his secondary education and enlistment into the Ghana Armed Forces in 1970, he discusses his long career in the military, community service, diplomatic life, incursions into academia, retirement in 2014 after over forty-three years’ service, and life after retirement.
He also discusses his sojourns in Nigeria, Kenya, Uganda, Canada and the USA.
Maj Don-Chebe states in the Foreword:
“For the officers who have schooled peacefully and smoothly in the Ghana Armed Forces, spare a thought for officers like Brig Gen Dan Frimpong, who blazed the trail and suffered all kinds of indignities to his person and unholy twists in his career path. His numerous runs-in with the Military High Command is a subject that should inform commanders at various levels that, a knowledge-based and future-focused Armed Forces needs a certain kind of officer hungry for knowledge and determined to compete with the best inside and outside.
“The autobiography of Brig Gen Dan Frimpong should give hope and confidence to young persons, inside and outside the Military to continue to pursue their dreams and aspirations. Any setback can only be temporary; persistence, perseverance, determination and grit should drive you forward.”
This book makes a strong case for the promotion of technical and vocational education and training (TVET) in Africa. It is a collection of selected journal articles on TVET and public lectures delivered by the author in several African countries, including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria and South Africa.
In a simple and clear language, the book explains the role of TVET in producing the skilled workforce that African countries need for industrialisation and transformation of their economies. It spells out strategies and policy actions that need to be implemented by key stakeholders in government and industry to derive the full socioeconomic benefits of investing in TVET, which include decent livelihoods for the youth, community wellbeing, sustainable economic growth, and protection of the environment.
The topics treated in the book range from modernising traditional apprenticeships in the informal economy to higher level TVET education in polytechnics and technical universities in Africa. The book will therefore be useful reading and reference material for policy and decision makers in education and training systems, TVET system managers, students, TVET researchers, and parents, as well as persons interested in understanding TVET provision and its critical role in national socioeconomic development.
Seven Stories is a memoir by Azanne Kofi Akainyah broken into interwoven stories that constitute a life defined by a combination of grit, determination, hope and adversity all ground together into a most memorable tale. It is a book full of dramatic turns and twists. As with all good biographies, Seven Stories enlightens the reader about the context and milieu of the time and times in which the actions take place and their ramifications. Some of the passages in the book have a dramatic and cinematic quality. The reader is transported into the story. Many of the characters mentioned are drawn with such skill that the reader is left with the feeling that he also knows them. This is writing of the highest quality and distinction.
Nana Kwasi Gyan-Appenteng
Former Chairman of National Media Commission, Ghana
The ability of the author to keep the reader immersed in the narration is impressive. Lawyers should find his insights relating to the interplay between law and politics especially beneficial.
Bobby Banson Esq., FCIArb. Lecturer,
Ghana School of Law
A fascinating set of stories, providing unique insights into life during the transition from the Gold Coast, one of the British Empire’s West African gems, to the modern Republic of Ghana, and the extensive interactions with the UK and the rest of the world. They are based on a wealth of well referenced contemporaneous material. These memoirs chronicle the forces at play in the complex and multi-layered process of self-determination and emerging nationhood, which wrought a dreadful toll on the lives of individuals as cultures and ideologies, egos and aspirations collided. Refreshingly candid, humorous and witty in parts, Azanne Akainyah shares recollections of his life, warts and all, laced with provocative and challenging reflections on universal issues. A must read!
Christiana Hyde MA (Cantab), Retired Employment Judge, England and Wales
A must-read book for those interested in “the African story”. It brings to life important aspects of this story from a unique and personal angle that grips the reader from beginning to end. It covers significant events in Ghana before and after the overthrow of Nkrumah and also the unfortunate happenings in Liberia, Sierra Leone and the Gambia. It portrays how familial, ethnic and parochial interests have played major roles in these events. Akainyah sets the pace in revealing another side of the African story.
Ivan Addae-Mensah PhD (Cantab.) FGA
(Emeritus Professor of Chemistry, Former Vice Chancellor
of the University of Ghana and former General Secretary of the
Peoples National Party under President Dr Hilla Limann)
The authors have detailed a comprehensive history of GAEC, its mission and its impact so far on the peaceful applications of nuclear techniques in Ghana. The book has also attempted to explain reactor engineering in layman’s language, such that the average reader could comprehend how a nuclear reactor works – the structure and functions of the various buildings comprising a reactor, the controls, the fuel assemblies, and how the reactor goes critical for power to be produced and harnessed in the form of steam that is used to turn turbines to produce electricity.
The book also discusses issues of nuclear reactor safety, management, and the eventual safe return of spent nuclear fuel and waste generated to the supplier country. Most importantly, the authors have described a new reactor concept – the Small Modular Reactors (SMRs). SMRs have greater simplicity of design, economy of series production largely in factories, short construction times, and reduced siting costs. SMRs are proliferation resistant, affordable, mobile, may be built independently or as modules in a larger complex, with capacity added incrementally as more financing is secured. Furthermore, they can be designed to be placed below ground level, giving high resistance to terrorist threats.
The authors are thus recommending these modern nuclear power plants for consideration by Ghana and other African countries. Hence, Osagyefo Dr. Kwame Nkrumah’s vision of utilising nuclear power in our energy mix to consolidate our industrial take-off will finally be realised.
The rise in population of the aged (also known as elderly, older persons, old adults, senior citizens) across the universe has become a global concern given the associated demographic, social and economic implications for the well-being of the aged. This increase has implications for future generations as well as the social and economic development of the country.
This book, being the first from the Centre for Ageing Studies at the University of Ghana advocates for the study of ageing in many facets from health, science, and socioeconomic perspectives.
It is our hope that the book provokes dialogue and serves as the beginning of many more avenues for academic discourse to embrace diverse views and science as the way forward. At the very least, this should motivate others to focus on ageing issues than ever before.
Given the numerous challenges associated with ageing and the neglect of the welfare of the aged in Ghana, it is imperative that we pay attention to the plight of the elderly in our African societies. There is an argument to extend ageing issues to the larger population. It is hoped that Ghana would once again be the beacon of hope for research in ageing in sub–Saharan Africa with the Centre for Ageing Studies at the University of Ghana leading the way.
The ‘Kaya’ Diplomat: Diary Notes of a Ghanaian Diplomat is an account of event and episodes that I encountered in my forty-one years of service as a Foreign Service Officer.
Inevitably, such a story coincides with the life and service of other high-ranking personalities who played a role or directed Foreign Policy of the Republic of Ghana, as our lives crossed. These interactions played a major role in developments in my career and fashioned the Diplomat that I became.
This is my story.
Central Banking in Ghana and the Governors: Institutional Growth and Economic Development (Hardcover)
A charge of chariots of fire, this is not just a book about the financial history of Ghana in spite of its formative challenges but a centenary work of West Africa – regional monetary evolution and global multilateralism. For devout bankers, intelligentsia, historians and aspirants, this is the one. Elegantly written, it establishes Agyeman-Duah as an unavoidable historian of the Bank of Ghana. — Jewel Howard-Taylor, Vice-President of the Republic of Liberia
The Bank of Ghana is technically a better institution than it was thirty years ago. Even governments are less inclined towards interventions in its work. It is different from other captured public institutions where economic decision-making is with a political lens. — Prof. Ernest Aryeetey, Former Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ghana and Co-editor of The Economy of Ghana-Analytical Perspectives on Stability, Growth and Poverty
The Bank of Ghana is leading central banks in the sub-region with regards to the use of technology in the finance service industry … countries in Africa are now learning from Ghana’s digital payment regulations. — Mohammed Sanusi Lamido, Former Governor, Central Bank of Nigeria and the 14th Emir of Kano
Ghana has in recent years been one of Africa’s more successful economies – from its colonial journey through Heavily Indebted Poor Country (HIPC) to stable modern democracy. Agyeman-Duah has a sound appreciation of the difficulties of transforming a producer of commodities of raw materials into a prosperous mixed economy. Now an oil economy, the test ahead is, will Ghana at last be able to control its own economic destiny; free of obligations to donors and the storms from world commodity markets? — Frances Cairncross, Rector Emeritus, Exeter College, University of Oxford and Former Managing Editor, The Economist
This book recounts my upbringing, narrating the role my father played in inculcating in me the values of honesty, integrity and hard work. The book describes my life from secondary school through University and the twist and turns of my career. The main object in writing the book is to inspire public officials to discharge their functions “without fear or favour, ill will or affection.” It also seeks to encourage the youth to pursue hard work and do the right thing at all times. It hopes to discourage the youth from engaging in unethical practices like 419, sakawa, satanic or occultic practices to get rich quickly. Honesty does pay in the long run. The idea of sitting down to write about myself especially at age 70 was not an attractive proposition. However, I received encouragement from a number of persons who impressed upon me the need to describe how I navigated the journey as Ghana’s first Commissioner for the Commission on Human Rights and Administrative Justice and the challenges I encountered. My faith in Christ and how it has shaped my career are well articulated in the book.
Justice Emile Francis Short
Justice Emile Short’s memoir contains a powerful account of the life of a man whose local and international standing has generally beclouded a rich and fulfilling life history immersed in family, friends, community, and faith. Adopting a fluent narrative tinged with humor and transitional pauses and asides, this memoir presents a profound excursion into his life marked by detailed narrative of his experiences growing up in Ghana and abroad, education, love life, and professional development, and these will afford any reader a rare insight into the life of one of Africa’s, and certainly Ghana’s greatest sons. While many will find the chronology of his life’s story easy to identify with, his meticulous narration is truly a testament to the memoire’s overall richness and the depth of the author’s encounters and world views. Few memoirs open a window into an author’s life like this piece and the brazen frankness of his accounts illuminates the author and his lived experiences in the many episodes and phases of his years. The reader will find the book a lively and highly engaging read–one which piqued my own interest till the very end. I have hardly read any autobiography this revealing!
Prof. E. Kofi Abotsi
Dean, UPSA Law School
A very well told life story. Lovely in its brevity, but that seems to come at the expense of some of the important episodes narrated in the book, particularly the “Damascan” transformation from being a successful conventional elite professional Cape Coast lawyer and hustling in the UK (on the one hand); to becoming a “born again”/charismatic Christian, occupying high level state positions/public office, “speaking truth” to powerful politicians/slaying political tigers, and liberating the enslaved.
Prof. Gyimah Boadi
October 10th 1963, a Dutch teenage girl is sent away to Ghana by her resentful mother to marry a man she has met only once and who is more than twice her age. Arriving at the airport in Accra, a whole new world unfolds for this young girl. At first, she is shocked and disappointed by the things she sees in this new country she is to call her home. To her Ghana is hot, humid and dirty but then she meets the warm and welcoming people of Ghana and starts to open up to the country, culture and its people.
Her new husbands job takes her to some of the most remote areas in Ghana from Accra to the Northern, Upper East and Volta Regions where she repeatedly has to build a home with the meagre resources her husband and herself have available. Whilst building her homes and family, she encounters the most fascinating, emotional, funny, unbelievable and sometimes scary experiences.
This is a story about a young girl coming of age and finding love and happiness under the most unusual circumstances. The story will take the reader on a very vivid and colourful tour of life in post-colonial Ghana and gives the reader a history lesson about one of the most interesting periods Ghana has gone through after gaining independence from Britain and trying to build a strong and independent nation.
Critical and Biographical Essays of Nana Dr. S.K.B. Asante: From an African Village to the Global Village and Back (Hardcover)
Few Ghanaians of any generation have had a career as long, as varied, and as consequential as Nana S.K.B. Asante’s: government attorney; law teacher; international public servant; constitution framer; adviser to sovereign parties; commercial arbitrator; public intellectual; traditional monarch. Just as impressive is the fact that, in each of these substantial roles, Nana has left a trail of writings. My own first encounter with Nana’s scholarship happened during my time at Yale Law School, his alma mater. As an editor on the law review, I was curious to know whether any Ghanaian had been published by the prestigious journal. My search led me to a fascinating article on Ghanaian property and customary law written by Samuel K.B. Asante in the 1965 volume of the journal. At the time of my discovery, his was the only article by a Ghanaian published in the 100-year history of the journal. I would later discover many more of his academic writings, some of which I assigned to my class in my years as a law teacher.
This book collects in one volume some of Nana’s mostly “non-academic” writings. The essays tell, in characteristically fine prose rich in biography and history, the story of an intellectual-technocrat keen to use his wealth of knowledge to address contemporary problems of development and to put that expertise in the service of his country–and of the developing world at large. The publication of this selection of Nana S.K.B. Asante’s writings, in the 90th year of his life, is a monumental accomplishment and a befitting capstone of a long and distinguished career.
PROF. H. KWASI PREMPEH
Executive Director of Ghana Center for Democratic Development
The incredibly rich collection of writings by the eminent international lawyer, scholar, respected global development expert and prominent traditional ruler, Nana S.K.B Asante, takes the reader on a remarkable journey of nearly seven decades of illumination. His vivid experiences, enormous achievements and witty recollections reveal the remarkable growth of a curious mind and a disciplined intellectual dedicated ultimately to the service of humanity from his native village to the global village. In characteristic modesty, Nana claims not to be a historian, but this book is a historical gold mine filled with nuggets of analysis on the evolution of education, law, science, social policy, public service, constitutional development, nation building and chieftaincy in Ghana, enriched with valuable insights into the solid contributions of illustrious men and women. His penetrating and critical analyses of international development cooperation in the fields of investments, energy, water and natural resources in Asia and Africa must be lessons for all developing countries. This rich resource book is highly recommended.
DR. AGNES AKOSUA AIDOO
Former Social Policy Adviser, UN Economic Commission for Africa
This masterpiece by Nana SKB Asante which narrates his life journey from his hometown at Asokore to Achimota, academia, diplomacy and finally back home is unique, inspiring and educative. The Book covers a broad spectrum of academic disciplines including constitutional law, commercial law, criminal law, international law, chieftaincy, leadership and governance, sociology, history and religions. It provides a vivid account of the constitutional history of Ghana from the author’s personal knowledge. The author who had the singular honour to chair the Committee of Experts which gave birth to Ghana’s 1992 Constitution also held the positions of Solicitor-General and Deputy Attorney-General under different democratic and military governments. Nana SKB Asante has used simple diction to convey his wealth of knowledge, experience and wisdom, acquired from both local and international levels in different capacities to inculcate in his audience the spirit of patriotism. The book is a must read!
JUSTICE DENNIS DOMINIC ADJEI, FGA
Justice of The Court of Appeal
Baba Chibsah: Inspirational Story of an Illustrious Migrant is one of those books that take the reader on a journey of illumination. At the core of the story is the life of Baba Chibsah, who was both a visionary and practical man who was driven by his own idealism and belief in God and community to achieve goals he could not have comprehended when he set out from his home in the Upper Volta (now Burkina Faso), to work in the Gold Coast (Ghana) in 1922. His immediate aim was to earn enough money to buy a bicycle. Taking every opportunity that came his way, the acclaimed founder of Tafo Zongo never went back but created a community and values worth celebrating.
His adventures read like a story out of a thriller movie. However, the story breaks free of its boundaries and becomes the history of a whole generation. This book teaches more about life in pre-independence times, not only in Ghana but in our West African sub-region than most textbooks. Here the story of migration, impact of European colonial policy, social interaction, Islamic movements and trends, and indeed the development of the Tafo-Suame enclave in Kumasi are all laid out here in cinematic detail.
Alhaji Seidu Kibsa Sawadogo aka Alhaji Seidu Chibsah has not only honoured his father and his generation but also produced a history masterpiece.
The book is a thrilling – albeit incomplete – life story, elegantly written. Starting from the author’s elementary school days at his birthplace, Winneba, where he obtained a distinction certificate at the Standard 7 school leaving Examinations, the Book takes the reader through the author’s sojourn at Mfantsipim Secondary School where he became Senior Prefect in his final year through Achimota College, where he became President of the Students’ Christian Movement (SCM), through Exeter College Oxford University where he served as President of the West African Students’ Union (WASU) through his years as a Labour officer in Ghana, his training as a pioneer career diplomat followed by a two-year stint as Head of Chancery in the Ghana High Commission in London up to his appointment as Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the United Nations where he created history by becoming the First Black African to assume the Presidency of the UN General Assembly. A discerning factor in this historical account is obviously the author’s natural leadership endowment which was manifested again later in his accession to the lay Presidency of the Methodist Church of Ghana (not recorded in the Book).
The greater part of the Book gives an exciting and insightful bird’s eye view of the author’s exertions at the UN during his tenure as Ambassador and Permanent Representative on such then burning issues as decolonisation, the Congo Crisis, Apartheid in South Africa, Cuban Missile Crisis, Arab-Israeli Conflict and the UN Financial Crisis of 1964 which nearly paralysed the Organisation. These are all issues of historical interest, particularly for research students in international affairs.
The book ends with the author’s post-UN appointment as Foreign Minister of Ghana, his later incarceration, and subsequent release which enabled him to proceed to London to complete his law studies. Altogether a very interesting and instructive personal history that makes compelling and absorbing reading.