Betty Mould-Iddrisu: Ghana’s first female Attorney General

Betty Mould-Iddrisu is a Ghanaian lawyer and politician born 22 March, 1953. She was the Minister for Education in Ghana. Her first direct involvement in the Ghana government was as the Attorney General and Minister for Justice of Ghana since 2009. Prior to that, she had been the Head of Legal and Constitutional Affairs of the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. She is the first woman to serve in this capacity in Ghana.


Auntie Betty, as she is affectionately called, attended Accra Academy for her secondary education. Later she obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Law (L.L.B) from the University of Ghana, Legon, between 1973 and 1976. Her academic qualifications include a Master’s Degree gained in 1978 from the London School of Economics. Between 1990 and 2000, at the same time as fulfilling her duties at the London-based Commonwealth Secretariat, she taught at the law faculty of Ghana University, also publishing various papers and articles on intellectual property.


In 2009, she was appointed as Ghana’s first female Attorney General and Minister for Justice. In January 2011, she was appointed the Minister of Education and she resigned her position in January 2012.


Betty worked at Ghana’s Ministry of Justice from 1978 till 2003 in several capacities rising to the rank of Chief State Attorney. In view of her expertise in Intellectual Property Law, she headed the administration of Intellectual Property Rights (Copyright) in Ghana and the administration of authors’ rights at the African regional level between1999 – 2000.


From 2000-2003, she was in charge of the Ministry’s International Law Division where she spearheaded several cutting-edge legal initiatives. These included the implementation of Ghana’s international legal obligations, some of which involved handling both national and regional responses to global human rights issues and issues involving the rights of women and children, trafficking of persons (ECOWAS), Terrorism, (African Union), the implementation of the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, (Eminent persons panel for a global NGO) and international humanitarian law (International Committee of the Red Cross – ICRC).


In 2003, Betty Mould-Iddrisu was appointed the Director of the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Division of the Commonwealth Secretariat, an intergovernmental organisation comprising 53 member states based in London, U.K. In that connection, she managed the implementation of wide ranging mandates by the Legal Division from the Commonwealth’s Heads of State, Law Ministers and Chief Justices.


Some of the highlights of her time at the Secretariat included overseeing implementation of mandates in the area of transnational crime, counter terrorism and international humanitarian law. She was responsible for overseeing the Secretariat’s programmes on anti-corruption, asset recovery and judicial ethics.


In this capacity, she implemented programmes aimed at promoting good governance in member states.


She was also frequently called upon to give high level advice to heads of state, ministers, governments and high ranking officials, politicians and civil society.


Betty resigned from the government in January 2012, however, the reasons were not made public.


Betty Mould-Iddrisu has written several articles and acted as a resource person, chair and expert at numerous national, regional and global fora on a wide array of legal and human rights issues. She worked as a consultant for over 20 years to several international and regional bodies in the areas of International law, Intellectual Property law (traditional knowledge and community rights issues) and multilateral trade issues for the United Nations, its specialised bodies and other international and regional based organisations.


In this capacity, she traveled extensively both in Africa and globally.
Betty is currently the Principal and Managing Partner of Gsell Consultancy Group an Accra, Ghana based consultancy firm with US affiliates which specialises in issues of development law and spearheads cutting edge leadership and gender initiatives in Africa.


She is married to Alhaji Iddrisu and together they have with three adult children.

Her hobbies are reading, entertaining, traveling and the youth.


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