Dr. Owusu Afriyie Akoto, an old student of Opoku Ware School, graduated from the University of Ghana (Legon) with a Bachelor’s Degree in Agriculture. He also holds M.Sc. and PhD degrees in Agricultural Economics from the University of Cambridge, England.
He worked as an Economist, Senior Economist, Principal Economist, and Chief Economic Advisor over a period of 18 years at the International Coffee Organization (ICO) in London, England. He has also worked as a consultant to the World Bank and the United Nations on Soft Commodities (Cocoa, Coffee, Sugar).
Between 1995 and 2007, he was the CEO of two international commodity companies, Goldcrest Commodities Limited and Plantation Resources Limited both based in Ghana.
In 2008 he was elected to the Parliament of the Republic of Ghana. He spent two terms as Member of Parliament for Kwadaso Constituency in Kumasi, Ashanti Region. In Parliament, he held the positions of Deputy Ranking Member and subsequently the substantive Ranking Member for the Committee on Food, Agriculture and Cocoa Affairs until 2017.
In 2017 he was appointed the Minister for Food and Agriculture. In this role, he has spearheaded the design and implementation of the Government of Ghana’s popular and transformational agricultural flagship programme, Planting for Food and Jobs (PFJ).
Under the leadership of Hon. Dr Owusu Afriyie Akoto, Ghana has been transformed into the breadbasket of West Africa – moving from “not being on track” in 2017 to “being on track” in 2019 on the African Agriculture Transformation Scorecard (AATS). In that same year (2019), Ghana was ranked fourth on the African continent by the Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) in its Global Food Security Index (GFSI).
In February 2019, Africa Seeds which is the intergovernmental Seed Agency of the African Union, conferred on Dr Akoto the title of SEED CHAMPION OF AFRICA.
Later the same year, he was appointed Chairman of the Board of the Inter African Coffee Organisation (IACO), a pan-African organisation promoting the interest of coffee producers on the continent; a term he finished serving in December 2020.
He is the current Chairman of the ECOWAS Specialised Ministerial Technical Council for Agriculture (CTMS Agric) and in June, this year was unanimously appointed Chairman of the Steering Committee for the newly established Côte d’Ivoire-Ghana Cocoa Initiative.