Prof Ivan Addae-Mensah’s biography of Dr. Hilla Limann is a masterpiece. It comprehensively fills a gap in a period of our history that not much has been written on. For those scholars, students, politicians, researchers, interested in the governance, political history, economic development and international relations of Ghana, this is a must read. — His Excellency D.K. Osei (Former Ghana Ambassador to Denmark and the Scandinavian Countries, Former Secretary to Ex- President J.A. Kufuor and Diplomat in Residence, Legon Centre for International Affairs and Diplomacy)
The greatest value of this biography lies in the fact that this is a contribution by a person who was first and foremost a friend, and also worked closely with him before, during and after his presidency. Addae-Mensah’s Hilla Limann validates the ancestral saying that: “life is lived but understood backwards.” It contributes toward finding leadership and governance in Africa. To be African is to derive pain from this biography. It shocks and traumatizes. Who are we? Was independence worth it? What was the struggle about and for? Reading this biography shows the urgent need for an energizing vision to get rid of the demons of despair and redeem the worth of Africa for Africans. — Nana Kobina Nketsia V (Senior Lecturer in History, University of Cape Coast and Omanhen of Essikado Traditional Area)
We should honour those who have laboured hard for Ghana and not for self. It is no use preaching against corruption when those who are not corrupt have nothing but penury to show when they leave office. The example of Dr Limann would be of no avail unless it strengthens our will to establish an appropriate pension for retired presidents. — Ambassador K.B. Asante (Public Servant, Diplomat, Educationist, Politician)
In the late 1970s, Joe de Graft-Johnson appeared on the national political scene as an Association of Recognized Professional Bodies executive, overlapping with his tenure as president of the Ghana Institution of Engineers. During this time, Joe actively demonstrated against the socioeconomic decline and lack of regard for professional guidance by the military regime. Joe subsequently won the People’s National Party’s nomination and became the Republic’s Vice President in 1979. Before this, he had transformed the Building and Road Research Institute into a prominent voice in using natural resources to address developmental needs, imbued as he was, with nation-building.
Joe grew up within a family tradition of service to the country, instructed by lessons such as his grandfather’s contributions through the Aborigines’ Rights Protection Society. The Mfantsipim School and the historical significance of Cape Coast had also left their mark on him.
Later, in exile, still focused on national development, he fought for the transition to democracy.
The First Vice President chronicles the extraordinary life of Joe, spent in dedication to his country.