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Gen A. A. Afrifa

Gen A. A. Afrifa



Lt Gen Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa (24 April 1936 – 26 June 1979) was a Ghanaian soldier, farmer, traditional ruler and a politician. He was the head of state of Ghana and leader of the military government in 1969 and then chairman of the Presidential Commission between 1969 and 1970. He continued as a farmer and political activist. He was elected a member of Parliament in 1979, but he was executed before he could take his seat. He was executed together with two other former heads of state, Gen. Kutu Acheampong and General Fred Akuffo, and five other generals (Utuka, Felli, Boakye, Robert Kotei and Amedume), in June 1979. He was also popularly referred to by his title OkatakyieAkwasi Amankwaa Afrifa and was in addition the abakomahene of Krobo in the Asante-Mampong Traditional Area of the Ashanti Region of Ghana.-- Wikipedia,



Lieutenant General Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa (24 April 1936 – 26 June 1979) was a multifaceted figure in Ghana, serving as a soldier, farmer, traditional ruler, and politician. He held various leadership roles, including head of state and leader of the military government in 1969, as well as chairman of the Presidential Commission from 1969 to 1970. Beyond his military and political career, he engaged in farming and activism. Afrifa was elected as a Member of Parliament in 1979, but tragically, he was executed before assuming his seat. His execution, alongside two other former heads of state and five other generals, occurred in June 1979. Afrifa, also known as Okatakyie Akwasi Amankwaa Afrifa, held the title of abakomahene of Krobo in the Asante-Mampong Traditional Area of the Ashanti Region of Ghana. After completing his secondary education at Adisadel College, he enlisted in the Ghana Army in 1957. He underwent training at the Regular Officer's Special Training School and later attended the Mons Officer Cadet School in Aldershot, England, in 1958. Following this, he received officer training at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, England. In 1961, he furthered his military education at the School of Infantry in Hythe, United Kingdom. Additionally, Afrifa attended the Defence College in Teshie, Accra.In 1960, Afrifa was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the Ghana Armed Forces. Over the following years, from 1962 to 1964, he served as a general staff officer in the army. Afrifa continued his military education at the Defence College in Accra. He was part of the Ghana contingent of the United Nations Operation in the Congo during this period. Rising through the ranks, he attained the rank of major and assumed the role of staff officer in charge of army training and operations by 1965. He was stationed in Kumasi, serving at the headquarters of the Second Infantry Brigade, now known as the Central Command, of the Ghana Army.While stationed in Kumasi, Afrifa developed a close friendship with Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka, who was then a colonel and the commander of the Second Infantry Brigade. During this period, Ghana experienced significant political and economic challenges. The country had become a one-party state under Kwame Nkrumah's rule, with political opposition effectively suppressed by the Preventive Detention Act of 1958. Nkrumah declared himself president for life in 1964. Meanwhile, Ghana's main foreign exchange earner, cocoa, faced a sharp decline in export prices. This, coupled with excessive domestic spending on social infrastructure and unproductive projects, led to Ghana's bankruptcy. Widespread discontent arose among the population due to skyrocketing prices of basic goods and shortages. In the military, there was also growing dissatisfaction.

Nkrumah's alignment with communist states, including the Soviet Union and China, further fueled unrest among certain factions. The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) of the United States, dissatisfied with Nkrumah's communist ties, reportedly supported the coup plotters by providing information and creating obstacles for the Nkrumah government. Kotoka, under the guise of a training exercise, strategically moved his troops from Kumasi to Accra for the coup. Afrifa played a pivotal role as Kotoka's right-hand man in the coup preparations.

The coup unfolded while Nkrumah was away on a trip to Hanoi, then the capital of North Vietnam. Afrifa's specific task was to seize the Broadcasting House, the nerve center of the national radio station. Despite encountering heavy resistance, the operation succeeded, allowing Kotoka to broadcast the coup announcement to the entire nation.


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Place of Birth: Ashanti Mampong



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Date of Birth: April 24, 1936

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