Nana Konadu Agyemang Rawlings— Ghana’s longest serving First Lady

 

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was born on November 17, 1948 to J.O.T. Agyeman and Mrs. Felicia Agyeman in Cape Coast, Central Region.

 

Nana Konadu’s education background started at Achimota School; she continued at the University of Science and Technology where she read Art, specialising in textiles. She has a Bachelor degree in Graphic Design. She earned an Interior Design diploma from the London College of Arts.

 

She also acquired a Diploma in Advanced Personnel Management from Ghana’s Management Development and Productivity Institute in 1979, and a Certificate in Development from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA) in 1991.

 

In 1994, she enrolled at Johns Hopkins University Maryland, USA Senior Fellow Diploma in Policy Studies and Non-Profit Sector of Economic Development among others.

 

Nana Konadu got married to Mr Jerry John Rawlings, an Air Force Officer in 1977, and they both have four children: Dr Ezenator Rawlings, (Member of Parliament for Korle Klottey), Yaa Asantewaa, Amina and Kimathi.

 

Nana Konadu worked at Ghana Tourist Board Accra, Ghana 1973. From 1974 – 1980, she worked at Union Trading Company Accra, Ghana. She proceeded to Nanali Africarts Accra where she worked from1980-1984. Within this period, she set up 31st December Women’s Movement, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), focusing on women empowerment.

 

Nana Konadu’s, political life began at the university level. She was a member of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) Students Representative Council (SRC) for two years (1969-71). Mrs. Rawlings (then Miss Nana Konadu Agyeman of 53 Africa Hall, Art 11, KNUST), was elected Africa Hall Junior Common Room Committee (JCRC) Secretary on Wednesday, 5th November, 1969. In that capacity, she served as a member of the 1969/70 SRC administration with the late Mr. P.V. Obeng, a former PNDC senior member. In 1970/71, Nana Konadu was again elected to serve on the KNUST SRC, this time, as the Assistant SRC Secretary.

 

Nana Konadu Agyeman-Rawlings was the First Lady of Ghana from 4 June, 1979 to 24 September 1979 and 31 December, 1981 to 7 January, 2001, both under President Rawlings regime.

She was elected First Vice Chairperson of her party in 2009 during the second term of her National Democratic Congress (NDC) party’s tenure in office under President John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills. She challenged Atta Mills for the party’s flag-bearership position at the party’s congress which took place at Sunyani in the Brong Ahafo Region from 8–10 July 2011 and lost to him.

 

As a result she broke out of the NDC and formed the National Democratic Party (NDP) which she is now the founder. Nana Konadu was the flag-bearer of the party in the 2016 general election.

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