Prof. Mike Ocquaye is new Speaker
Professor Mike Aaron Oquaye was in the early hours of Saturday sworn-in as Speaker of the Seventh Parliament under the Fourth Republic.
He was sworn into office by the Chief Justice Theodora Georgina Wood.
Prof. Oquaye, in his acceptance speech, described his return to the House as “home coming” and called on the experienced MPs to assist the new ones. He promised “to be fair to all” in order to succeed in office.
He will be assisted by Joe Osei Owusu (1st Deputy Speaker) and Alban Bagbin (2nd Deputy Speaker).
The former two-term Dome-Kwabenya constituency MP was accepted by the National Democratic Congress minority in parliament without any difficulty.
The motion for the election of Professor Oquaye was moved by the new Majority leader Osei Kyei Mensa-Bonsu, who gave a brief profile of the new speaker, and implored the House to approve him in the interest of the country.
Mike Oquaye served as the Second Deputy Speaker of Ghana’s Parliament between 2009 and 2013.
He also was Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya constituency, a stronghold of the NPP, from 2005 to 2013.
Professor Michael Aaron Oquaye was born on 4th April 1944 to Mr. E.G.N. Oquaye of Osu, Accra (a cocoa merchant) and Mrs. Felicia Awusiki Oquaye, (nee Azu) of Odumase-Krobo – the third of 7 children.
He was brought up at Asamankese in the Eastern Region where he attended the Catholic and Presbyterian Schools before proceeding to Presec., Odumase-Krobo (O’Level ) and Apam Secondary School (A’ Level), the University of Ghana, University of London and Lincoln ’s Inn, London. He holds B.A. Hons. (Political Science); LL.B. Hons., B.L. and PhD degrees.
His working life has been mainly a combination of private legal practice, lecturing in political science, doing active politics and pastoral work.
A barrister of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, he is also a senior member of the Ghana Bar. As an academic, Prof. Michael Aaron Oquaye achieved the singular distinction of winning within four years, the coveted International Rockefeller Senior Scholar Award (1993) and the Senior Fulbright Scholar Award (1997). The Fulbright is considered the highest award in Academia.
He was a Visiting Scholar in connection with these in London (SOAS), and Virginia (George Mason), USA, respectively. He was Head of the Department of Political Science, University of Ghana, Legon (Oct. 1999-Jan. 2002.).
He was Vice-President of the African Association of Political Science (AAPS), with headquarters in Zimbabwe (1997-1999). He won the Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Silver Award for his published doctoral thesis, among several awards.
He has researched and written extensively, on good governance, conflict, political education, decentralization and development, human rights, military intervention in politics, NGOs, rural development and gender issues.
He is a keen advocate of the rights of women including affirmative action. He is one man who has regularly featured in conferences on gender in this country. Above all, he has researched widely on parliamentary democracy.
His books and articles have been published in England, Canada, USA, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Ghana.
Prof. Oquaye’s rich experience in African politics has been tapped by many institutions in Ghana and abroad.
Hon. Prof. Oquaye attained renown as a diplomat, legislator, politician etc. He served as Ghana ’s High Commissioner to India (2002-04); Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya (2005 to 2013); Minister of Energy (2005-06); Minister of Communications (2006-07); The Second Deputy Speaker of the Parliament of Ghana (2009-2013).
In February 2005 he became Minister of Energy, and later he was moved to the post of Minister of Communications.
Mike Oquaye is a professor of Political science at the University of Ghana, (Legon), and was previously the Head of the Department of Political Science and member of the University’s Academic Board, the highest authority at the level of the faculties.
He received his Ph.D from School of Oriental and African Studies in London, as well as winning the Rockefeller Senior Scholar Award in 1993 and the Senior Fulbright Scholar Award in 1997.