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Dr. Kwadwo Afari Djan

Dr. Kwadwo Afari Djan




Dr. Kwadwo Afari-Gyan stands as a towering figure in Ghanaian academia, political science, and election administration. Born on June 18, 1945, in Anyimon, Ghana, his journey from the classrooms of Achimota School and Adisadel College to becoming a distinguished academic and election administrator is marked by excellence and dedication.

Afari-Gyan's educational journey culminated in a Ph.D. in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 1974, following earlier studies at the University of Ghana, where he obtained both his BA and MA degrees. His academic prowess was evident throughout his career, as he served as a lecturer and professor in Political Science at the University of Ghana, imparting knowledge and shaping the minds of future leaders.

However, it was his pivotal role as the Chairman of the Electoral Commission of Ghana from 1993 to 2015 that truly showcased his commitment to democracy and governance. Appointed as deputy chairman of the Interim National Electoral Commission in 1992, Afari-Gyan played a crucial role in overseeing Ghana's transition from military rule to civilian governance, ensuring that the presidential and parliamentary elections of 1992 were free and fair.

Under his leadership, the Electoral Commission successfully conducted several presidential and parliamentary elections, including those in 1996, 2000, 2004, and 2008. Despite challenges and disputes, Afari-Gyan remained steadfast in his dedication to upholding the integrity of the electoral process, earning both national and international acclaim for his competence and leadership.

However, his tenure was not without criticism, particularly in the aftermath of the 2012 presidential election, which resulted in an 8-month election petition trial at the Supreme Court. Despite the court's ruling in favor of the validity of the election, criticisms surfaced regarding the oversight and supervision of the electoral process, with some questioning Afari-Gyan's effectiveness in ensuring accountability at all levels.

Nevertheless, Afari-Gyan's contributions to democracy extended beyond Ghana's borders. As the Executive Secretary of the Association of African Election Authorities and a member of expert committees advising other African nations on elections, he played a significant role in promoting democratic governance across the continent.

In recognition of his outstanding service, Afari-Gyan was awarded the Order of the Star of Ghana, the highest national award, by President John Mahama in July 2015, marking the culmination of a remarkable career dedicated to the advancement of democracy and good governance.


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Date of Birth: January 29, 1924

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