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Yes, it is indeed true that there are leaders and there are leaders. Whereas some leaders were born, others were made, and whereas some leaders are respected because they occupy leadership positions, others are respected because they are deserving to be respected by reason of the great leadership acumen they exude and the inspiration they provide to their followers. There is no disputing the fact that leaders belonging to the second category are hard to come by, particularly in Africa.
It is also true that while in other justifications where women, just like their male counterparts, largely have it easy in climbing the leadership ladder, in this part of our world (i.e. Africa and Ghana in particular), the situation is completely different. Our women have to be exceptionally good and defiant of the many sociocultural inhibitions of society in order to get to the top. And even when they get there, they are still not spared the shackles of name-calling, suspicions and character assassinations.
In view of this, you will find out that there are very few women who have been able to muster the testicular fortitude to defy the odds of society in order to get to the top echelon and more importantly, to remain there. One of such few women in this part of our world, undoubtedly, is Hon Lawyer Sarah Adwoa Safo, whom can, rightly so, be best described as the greatest sensation of Dome Kwabenya.
She is the current Member of Parliament of Parliament of the Dome Kwabenya Constituency in the Greater Accra Region of Ghana, and the Chairperson/Leader of the NPP Women Caucus in Parliament, as well as the Women Caucus in general. Her journey to the House of Legislature and for that matter political stardom had not been smooth at all. It had been characterized by a lot tumultuous occurrences, but she persevered and she is still persevering because the obstacles will just not go away.
This woman, though had been very active and supportive of the party’s activities in the Constituency and beyond, it was not until the year 2007, when she first put herself up to contest the then incumbent MP for the constituency, Prof Mike Ocquaye, who is now the Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament. A lot of odds went against her in the party primaries which, of course, had absolutely nothing to do with her competence. And so, she was unsuccessful in unseating the ‘Dome-Kwabenya Mugabe’ at the time.
Notwithstanding the issues that characterized the said primaries to her disadvantage, Hon Adwoa Safo never gave up on the party, as she continued to lend her unalloyed support and immerse contribution to the party not only at the Constituency Level but also at the Regional and National Level. And so, as fate would have it, when she came back to contest in the Dome-Kwabenya primaries in 2011, she was successful, and got elected overwhelmingly as the party’s candidate and eventually as the MP for the constituency, a position she still occupies having had her mandate renewed in the 2015 NPP primaries and subsequently in the 2016 general elections.
You would also recall that it was Hon Adwoa Safo’s single act of extreme vigilance during the 2012 general elections that uncovered the NDC’s rigging enterprise which unfolded in Dome Kwabenya, one of the most populous constituencies in the country. This, of course, was what eventually set the stage for the NPP’s decision to challenge the outcome of the 2012 general elections in the famous Election Petition, where so many mindboggling revelations bothering on electoral improprieties were brought to the fore.
What is even more intriguing about her is that, owing to her exceptional qualities, throughout her life journey, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, has been breaking existing records and setting new records. First of all, she is the First Minister of State in Charge of Public Procurement in the history of Ghana. Also, in just her second term in Parliament (having spent less than 8 years in the august house), she rose up to become the 1st Female Deputy Majority Leader of the Parliament of Ghana, and also chairs both the NPP women caucus and the ‘bipartisan women group’ in Parliament.
On her enviable educational accomplishments, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo holds a law Degree from the University of Ghana, and is the youngest ever product of the Ghana School of Law, graduating in 2004 at age 22. Whilst pursuing her law programme at the nation’s premier University, she represented the University in a number of Moot Court Competitions including the ‘All Africa Law Competition (Kenya, 2001), the Commonwealth Competition (Australia, 2003) and Jessup (U.S.A., 2004).
Even though she is still in her thirtys (30s), the Dome-Kwabenya legislator has a lot of academic and professional qualifications to her credit including a Barrister at law Degree in UG; a Professional Certificate from the Ghana School of Law; a Masters of Law Degree in Government Procurement Law from the George Washington University, Washington DC, USA as well as a number of certificates in Governance, Gender and Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She also holds an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership from the Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University USA, as well as some professional certificates in Public Procurement from the International Law Institute, Georgetown University, Washington DC, USA.
The Dome-Kwabenya sensation, Hon Sarah Adwoa Safo, is also extremely passionate about community service and meeting the needs of the vulnerable in society. And pursuant to this, she set up the Adwoa Safo Foundation (ASF), an NGO, primarily dedicated to providing livelihood support to vulnerable groups in society particularly women and children as well as persons with disability with the view to tackling inequality and promoting inclusiveness in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.
Again, in line with her age-long commitment to pushing the feminine agenda, she has become a leading member of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), African Parliamentarians Network Against Corruption (APNAC), African Women Leaders Network (AWLN), Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians, Ghana Bar Association, Commonwealth Lawyers Association and Member of the Women Political Leaders Forum.
Of course, she chairs the Women Caucus of Ghana’s Parliament from 2017 till date. She is also the chairperson of the Resolutions Committee of the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), (Africa Region), and also chairs the Management Committee of the Inter-Parliamentary Friendship Association of the Parliament of Ghana. You certainly cannot expect more from a Parliamentarian who is still less than 40 years old… And you can only get this from the sensation of Dome Kwabenya Constituency, Hon. Adwoa Safo.
To be continued…