Veteran politician and elder statesman, Mr. Joseph Henry Mensah has died at age 89.
Mr. Mensah attended the University of the Gold Coast (now University of Ghana) between 1948 and 1954. He then headed to University of London and also attended Stanford University, where he earned his bachelor’s and master’s degree with a specialization in economic theory and development.
In 1954, Mr. Mensah became a Research Fellow in Economics at the University of Ghana, which lasted until 1958.
Mr. Mensah began working as an assistant inspector of taxes in 1953 while the Gold Coast was still under colonial rule. In 1958, Mensah joined the United Nations Secretariat at the Centre for Development Planning, Projections and Policies, in New York City, United States.
He returned to Ghana in 1961 as the Head of Agency at the National Planning commission. The National Planning commission drew and implemented the country’s Seven-Year Development Plan (1962–1969). In 1969, he was elected to parliament and became the Finance minister until 1972, when he was replaced by future head of state Ignatius Kutu Acheampong after the military coup
Mr. Mensah was imprisoned by the National Redemption Council from 1975 to 1978 and was banned from political activity in 1979, he was active for the Popular Front Party in the 1979 elections.
1983 he headed a group opposing the PNDC. He also served on the African Advisory Council of the African Development Bank from 1993 to 1997.
He was a founding member of the governing New Patriotic Party and served in three different ministerial positions under the John Agyekum Kufuor led administration.
He was a former Minority leader and a Majority leader and held his last top government position in 2005 when he was appointed Senior Minister by President Kufuor.
By: Joseph Nii Ankrah