Prof. Kwesi Botchwey, one of the many stalwarts of Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings’ Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) whose blood, toil and sweat, birthed the Fourth Republic dispensation, has also responded to the heavenly call.
He joins a long list of PNDC military junta and members of the opposition National Democratic Congress (NDC), who have passed away in recent years.
The list includes; J.J Rawlings, Ghana’s longest-serving head of state,Captain (rtd) Kojo Tsikata, Paul Victor Obeng popularly called PV Obeng and Prof Kofi Awoonor.
Other prominent individuals who also operated in the regime and have also passed are Mrs. Ama Benyiwaa Doe and Nuamah Donkor, who is yet to be buried.
Many other operatives of that system, are either aged, weak, sick or frail.
Prof. Botchwey, who is captured in Ghana’s history as the longest-serving Finance Minister, reportedly passed on Saturday, November 19, 2022, at the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital at age 78.
He has been at theKorle Bu Teaching Hospitalin the last few days seeking medical care for an unknown health condition.
Prof. Botchwey, first served as a finance minister in the military era from 1982 to 1991 and then in the constitutional period of the NDC from 1992 to 1995.
Born on September 3, 1944, Dr Botchwey was 78. Dr Botchwey, until his death, was a member of the Council of Elders of the opposition NDC.
He contested the party’s flagbearer slot in 2003, to be its presidential candidate in the 2004 general election.
At the death of the President John Evans Atta Mills in 2012, Prof. Botchwey’s name came up as Vice-President to replace ex-President John Dramani Mahama, who had been elevated to the position of President per constitutional provisions. Paa Kwesi Amissah Arthur was preferred.
Again, Prof. Botchwey’s name came up in 2020 general election as a running mate to the NDC’s presidential candidate, but he is reported to have turned down the offer from Mr Mahama, citing health issues, paving the way for Prof. Naana Jane Opoku-Agyemang, to be selected.
Many Ghanaians, who have reacted to his passing, have praised him for the role he played in the transformation of Ghana’s economy.
NPP’s Gabby Otchere-Darko, who is a friend of a daughter of Prof. Botchwey, said in a tweet that Prof. Botchwey’s role in transforming Ghana’s economy is still being felt today.
The Director of Strategy and Business Operations at Dalex Finance, Joe Jackson, said that Prof. Botchwey’s economic expertise, will be missed given that Ghana is currently facing an economic crisis.
The Director of Communications for the ruling NPP, Richard Ahiagbah, has also expressed his condolences for the death of the former NDC finance minister.
Prof Kwesi Botchwey was born on 3 September 1944. He had his secondary school education at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior High School in Ghana.
Later on, he earned a Bachelor of Laws degree at the University of Ghana and then a Master of Laws degree at Yale Law School in the USA.
The late economist and finance minister held a doctorate degree from the University of Michigan Law School in the USA.
Prior to becoming a finance minister, Prof. Kwesi Botchwey was a lecturer at the University of Zambia, the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the University of Ghana.
He also served as an advisor to the World Bank on the 1997 World Development Report.
Prof. Botchwey had vast expertise in economic management as he was a member and Chairman of IMF‘s Group of Independent Experts who conducted the first-ever external evaluation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility under the Fund.
He also served as an advisor to the UNDP‘s UN Special Initiative on Africa and an advisor to the European Centre for Development Policy
He served as a member and chairman of the IMF‘s Group of Independent Experts, which conducted the first ever external evaluation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, and as an advisor to the United Nations Development Programme’s Special Initiative on Africa.
He was also as an advisor to the European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM).