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ACHIMOTA SPEAKS 3: Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey

  • Ghana Academy of Arts and Sciences Airport Residential Area, Accra Ghana (map)
Achimota Speaks 3: Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey

ACHIMOTA SPEAKS 3 (AS3) is part of a monthly series of symposia dubbed ACHIMOTA SPEAKS. Topics are drawn from the Achimota 90th Anniversary Theme – “Black, White and Heart … That All May Be One”

AS3 explored: Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey.

Achimota Speaks 3 - Ethnicity In Our Political Developments...Learnings In A 60 Year Journey

Format:  A Keynote address followed by a panel discussion featuring well-versed Akoras.


Achimota Speaks 3 - Keynote Speaker
I thank you Madam, for your kind introduction.
Mr. Chairman, I do not know why a simple man like me who does not want or need any trouble should be asked to speak on a subject which can be both emotive and divisive, and to do so in the company of distinguished Ghanaians and Akoras of high public standing. Considering the quality and experience of the discussants on this panel, I approach the subject matter of this evening’s conversation in this Jubilee Year of our country with some trepidation.

Mr. Chairman, this year being our school’s 90th Anniversary, I am reminded that Achimota did not train us to tremble in the face of difficulties, but the school prepared us to think, to think sometimes outside the box, to excite our mental faculties, to address issues by finding solutions to problems and generally to go out into every part of our country “as living waters to a thirsty land.”
Mr. Chairman, I have seen many definitions of ethnicity but the one which in my view best describes the word is that which sees ethnicity as the fact of belonging to a social group whose members have a common or similar history, culture, language, social norms and mores. Mr. Chairman, there is another word which probably because of its pejorative connotation(s) is not fashionable to use these days, and that word is ‘tribe’. Ladies and Gentlemen, the word ‘Ethnicity’ compared to the word ‘tribe’ which is more primordial, is a rather genteel word. In our context, no one has or should have any doubt what ‘tribe’ or ‘tribal’ means. I will be using these words to mean the same thing.

“Ethnicity in Our Political Development- Learnings in a 60-year Journey.” That is the title of our discourse today. It is useful to start by examining what others have said or written on this or similar topics. In ‘The Brink of Disaster’, a collection of lectures and writings of Ken Saro- Wiwa, he postulates that “The lack of competent personnel, the canalization of all energies into the struggle for power, debilitating corruption, and other social evils have arisen because we have ignored the ethnic nature of our society.”
— Akora (1968) Isaac Osei - Managing Director - Tema Oil Refinery Limited
Achimota Speaks 3 - Keynote Speaker - Akora (1968) Isaac Osei

H.E. Ambassador Isaac Osei was educated at Achimota School and the University of Ghana, Legon, where he graduated with a BSc. (Hons) degree in Economics. He studied Mathematics and Statistics at the Economics Institute at the University of Colorado in Boulder in 1976. Subsequently, he obtained a Masters degree in Development Economics from the Center for Development Economics, now Center for Policy Analysis in 1977, at the prestigious Williams College in Massachusetts in The United States of America.

 He started his career in 1973 at the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning. Amb. Osei was also the Head of the Commercial Operations Department and later Head of the Research, Projects and Development of the Ghana Tourist Development Company Ltd.

Amb. Osei was also an international trade consultant for UNCTAD and is considered an expert on the multi-lateral trading system and its implications for Ghana.

He was appointed to the high office of High Commissioner to the United Kingdom and with concurrent accreditation to Ireland and served from 2001-2006 during which time he served for two years as Chairperson of the Board of Governors of the Commonwealth Secretariat. He was prior to this, the Managing Director of Intravenous Infusions Ltd., the largest manufacturer of infusions and small volume injectables in West Africa.  

Amb. Osei was Member of Parliament for the Subin Constituency from 2009 to 2017. In Parliament, he was the Ranking Member on the Select committee on Trade, Industry and Tourism and in his second term, served as Ranking Member on the Committee on Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration. He was a member of the House Committee and the Committee on Poverty Reduction Strategies and served on the Ad-Hoc committee which prepared the Code of Conduct for Members of Parliament and was a member of the team which drafted the guidelines for the formation and operation of Parliamentary Friendship Associations and Study Groups.

Amb. Osei is an established businessman with interests in manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, quarrying and financial services. He has served on several boards including Aluworks Limited and Cocoa Processing Company Ltd. He is currently Chairman of Intravenous Infusions Ltd. He has held several public offices including Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Board and the current one, the CEO of the Tema Oil Refinery.


  1. Officer of the Order of the Volta by the Republic of Ghana for Public Service.
  2. OAA Merit Award by the Old Achimotan Association.
  3. Distinguished Service Award by the Economics Department, University of Ghana
  4. Greenwich Award – by the Borough of Greenwich for his work as a London Head of Mission.
  5. Daasebre Award for Excellence – by the New Juaben Traditional Award.




 - a picture and a thousand words -


...friends, family & new relationships :-)


The question of meritocracy is of paramount importance. Any country which wants to progress must of necessity rely on the ability and skills of its own people. It is important that the state ensures that merit ability and competence, capacity and capability determine one’s progression.

Politics is an area where appointing authorities like presidents choose those they believe can do a job for them to enable them fulfill their promises to the electorate, to assist them in realizing their visions. I will 15 say to any head of state that within the limits of the law, select anybody who is qualified even if you find such a person in your kitchen but be prepared to face the consequences of your action.

Mr. Chairman, I was born by an Ahanta woman from Dixcove. My father was an Asante man from Sepe-Timpom in the Kumasi Metropolis. I stated school in Kumasi and continued at Achimota and Legon. I married an Akyem woman from Kukurantumi. I live in Accra and work in Tema. I have business interests in Koforidua, Accra, Kumasi and in the Ayensuano District.

My closest friends include a Bono from Drobo, an Ewe who hails from Toh-Kpalime, a Ga from Osu and an Asante from Kwaaman. Two of my sisters are married to Dagombas, one from Lamashegu and another from Gushiegu. Where I am today does it have anything to do with my being an Ahanta?

So who am I? Dwell on that for a while.
I thank you.
— Akora (1968) Isaac Osei - Managing Director - Tema Oil Refinery Limited


From Gambaga to Accra
From Wiawso to Keta
We are brothers and our mother is our School
She will guide us all and each
So to learn that we may teach,
So to subjugate ourselves that we may rule.
Play the game ‘shout her name’
Spread her fame afar;
She’s the head of all the host,
She’s the School of whom we boast,
She’s the glory of the Coast
When our books are laid aside
And we scatter far and wide,
We remember with affection all we gained,
How we learned to take our share
In the life and labour there,
Where the men whom we are proudest of were trained
Play the game ‘shout her name’
Spread her fame afar;
She’s the head of all the host,
She’s the School of whom we boast,
She’s the glory of the Coast

Did You Miss Out On ACHIMOTA SPEAKS 2 ?

Catch Up On All Things Achimota 90th Now!

Earlier Event: March 3
Achimota School Founders' Day
Later Event: May 25
Arise and Build Health Walk