Kwadwo Owusu Afriyie, popularly known as Sir John was a Ghanaian Politician and Lawyer. He held several political positions in the New Patriotic Party. He was serving as the Chief Executive Officer of the Forestry Commission before his Sudden demise. Born into an Adventist family, the astute politician combined church with work in a professional way.
Early life and education
Kojo Afriyie was born in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. He attended Seventh Day Adventist Secondary School in Bekwai from where he obtained his GCE Ordinary level certificate. He proceeded to obtain his GCE Advanced level certificate from Konongo Odumase Secondary School in Konongo. He was admitted to study political science at the University of Ghana. He then enrolled at the Ghana School of Law where he graduated with Bachelor of Law. After this he was admitted as a solicitor and counsel for the Supreme Court of Ghana.
Afriyie entered into private law practice in 1981. During the John Agyekum Kufour administration, he was appointed head of legal services at the Ghana National Petroleum Corporation. He was later made to act as the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the corporation.
CEO of Forestry Commission
In March 2017, President Nana Akuffo-Addo appointed Afriyie as CEO of the Forestry Commission. He replaced Samuel Afari Dartey, whose term as the CEO had ended. His appointment was surprising to many Ghanaians because of many rumours that he was linked to the position of head of the Ghana Ports and Harbours Authority. That position was given to Paul Asare Ansah. Afriyie later revealed that the rumours were true but he had rejected the appointment due to his fear of the sea. He thanked the president for the Forestry Commission appointment and believed that since he hailed from the forest zone of Ghana, he would be able to have a greater impact in that area.
As CEO of the Forestry Commission, Afriyie’s job was to oversee the various public agencies that form the divisions of the Commission. His first assignment as head of the commission was to supervise the celebration of World Forest Day which fell on 21 March 2017.