4th Decade (1971-1980)
As a young man who matured in the heady times of post-independence Ghana, I followed my passion to return home from the UK in the early years after Independence to assist in the development of our mother Ghana. I will admit that patriotism was not the only thing that made me hurry home to Ghana as Monica’s letters had painted exciting images in my mind about life in Ghana. I joined Lever Brothers Ghana Limited as a Development Manager three months after graduating and was immediately identified as a high flyer. Despite my numerous social engagements, I made rapid progression in Lever Brothers becoming the first Ghanaian Production Manager and Technical Director at the young age of 28 and 36 respectively. My professional development was of high priority to myself and the company and I ensured I maximized all opportunities to learn and improve myself. In 1972, I was seconded to the Unilever Head Office in London for 2 two years as a Special Assistant to 2 Unilever Technical Directors with responsibility for technical matters in countries outside Europe and the USA. This was a great learning for me as I had the opportunity to observe the main Board of Unilever Directors at work at the Head Office. This trip I made with Monica and our first blessing Susan Mena Ekua.
My life in Unilever greatly enriched my career. As Technical Director, I was given the responsibility to rehabilitate and modernize the Soap, Foods and Personal Products factories which had run down badly during the difficult economic period from 1977 to 1983. Next time you see the brands Key Soap, Lux, Omo or Pepsodent, remember it was under my directorship that they came to be. When Lever Brothers in the mid 1980’s was recognized as one of the most energy cost-efficient factories in Ghana due to a comprehensive energy efficiency programme my team initiated, it was certainly one of the highlights of my professional life.
In addition to being a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineers, I was honored to be the first Ghanaian to become a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (UK) in 1993. Let’s not forget that I am also the first Chemical Engineer to be elected as President of the Ghana Institution of Engineers.
Of course my life was not all work and no play! I am the son of an Original City Gentleman from Takoradi after all! I actively built a vibrant social circle to complement my work and home life.
In 1977, I joined the Accra Rotary Club, the first Rotary Club in English speaking West Africa and remained a Rotarian for 25 years. Rotary has been a second family to me; a strong network of friends and colleagues. I took up the mantel of the club in 1987 and undertook the first-ever exchange programme between Ghana and Nigeria with the Rotary Club of Gbadaga, Lagos. During my Presidency, the club sponsored Accra North Rotary Club, implemented the annual programme of Polio Plus, Blood Donation and Road Safety Campaigns and supported a $200,000 Rotary Agricultural Training Project at Yahoman, Greater Accra.
I also did not forget my youthful nimble feet and quick reflexes as a sportsman and continued my participation in sports and played squash and golf. I was an active member of the Armed Forces Squash Club and the Tema Golf Club.