New Speaker pledges level playing field (Ghana)

By Andualm Sisay | Business & Financial Times, Ghana January 10, 2017

The Speaker of Parliament, Rt Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye, has emphasised the need to give equal opportunity to both members of Parliament and also urged the experienced ones to mentor the upcoming ones.

In his acceptance address after taking the oath of office administered by Chief Justice Georgina Theodora Wood on January 7,2017, Prof Oquaye said.

“It is a unique opportunity to serve our dear nation. I look forward to maximizing the opportunities for every member to contribute. I trust the experienced ones will mentor the up-coming. Those who sit in front should please learn to look behind them to allow others to contribute and remember that whereas they cannot normally see from the back of their heads I have been placed on this platform so that everyone can catch my eye. I intend to be fair to all and therefore seek your understanding in advance.”

According to him the current conditions of service of Members of Parliament was not the best, and is calling on the public to seriously consider improving it.

He said the salaries of the Members of Parliament must be reviewed and he will help to achieve that.

Prof Mike Oquaye added that, Parliament needed a new chamber as well as a good library to facilitate its work.

“I want to use this opportunity to convey to our country men and women – we should seriously better the lot of our MPs. Why can’t MPs be given official vehicles for their work as pertains in other places? Then they can get loans for other vehicles for other uses.”he added.

Profile of Hon. Professor Aaron Michael Oquaye

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 Ph.D 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) 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 was a diplomat, legislator, and politician. 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).

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