Aaron Mike Oquaye
Rt. Hon. Aaron Mike Oquaye, MP is a Ghanaian politician and is the speaker of the Parliament of Ghana. Oquaye was sworn in as the Speaker of Parliament on 7 January 2017. He was born on April 4, 1944.
A member of the New Patriotic Party,he was the Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya (2005-2013). He was Ghana’s High Commissioner to India (2001-2004) then he became the Minister of Energy (2005-2006) and Minister of Communications (2006-2009). He served as the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament (2009-2013).
Oquaye was born in Osu, Accra to E. G. N Oquaye of Osu and Felicia Awusika Abla Oquaye (née Azu) of Odumase-Krobo. He grew up in Asamankese, in the eastern region, where he went to the Roman Catholic Primary School and Presbyterian Middle School before proceeding to Presbyterian Boys’ Secondary (PRESEC), in Odumase-Krobo.
He had his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys’ Senior Secondary School. Having obtained the GCE “O” and “A” Level Certificates, he gained admission into the University of Ghana and was later admitted into the University of London, at Lincoln’s Inn, London. He holds B.A. (Hons.) Political Science, L.L.B. (Hons.), B.L. and PhD.
Oquaye’s father, E.G.N. Oquaye, was a founding member of the United Gold Coast Convention (UGCC) in Asamankese. His father was also the treasurer and principal financier of the UGCC, Gold Coast Party (GCP), National Liberation Movement (NLM), and United Party (UP) in Asamankese.
During Oquaye’s childhood, his family received high-class guests of political figures and dignitaries such as Dr. J. B. Danquah and Prof. Kofi Abrefa Busia. While the Okyenhene, Nana Ofori Atta II, was in exile in Accra, he was also a regular visitor to the Oquaye family home in Asamankese.
Oquaye is a Baptist minister,and is married to Alberta Oquaye (née Asafu-Adjei), a nurse.
Oquaye is a qualified solicitor, barrister, and the founder and senior partner of his own law firm. He is a barrister of the Supreme Court of England and Wales, a senior member of the Ghana Bar Association, and a solicitor for some leading companies and financial institutions.
He is a professor of Political Science at the University of Ghana (Legon) and was the former Head of the Department of Political Science and a member of the University’s academic board, the highest authority at the level of the faculties.
He obtained his Ph.D. from the School of Oriental and African Studies in London. Oquaye won the Rockefeller Senior Scholar Award in 1993 and the Senior Fulbright Scholar Award in 1997. He has been a visiting lecturer at George Mason University in Virginia. He was the Vice-President of the African Association of Political Science (AAPS), based in Zimbabwe, from 1997 to 1999.
Oquaye is a writer, who has researched and written extensively on good governance, conflicts, political education, decentralization and development, human rights, military intervention in politics, NGOs, rural development, and gender issues.
He advocates women’s rights, including affirmative action. He is the author of the award-winning book Politics in Ghana— 1972-1979, in which he depicts, inter-alia, the military as the bane of government and politics in Africa and recounted instances of human rights abuses, conflictual politics, economic mismanagement, and national decadence.
He wrote a second volume, Politics in Ghana—1982-1992, with the aim of dealing with the politics of revolution, CDRs, Public Tribunals, popular power, positive deviance, and human rights issues of the period.
His erudite articles have been printed in international journals such as Human Rights Quarterly (US), Journal of Commonwealth and Comparative Politics (UK), African Affairs (UK), and Review of Human Factor Studies (Canada).
As a student at the University of Ghana, Oquaye was part of the campaign for the J. B. Danquah/Kofi Abrefa Busia’s cause. He strongly supported Busia’s call for quick return to civilian rule to avert the militarisation of the state and, with his family, helped to establish the Progress Party in Osu in 1969.
The United Party-Progress Party tradition led to Oquaye founding the foundation of the New Patriotic Party (NPP) in 1992. He was the first Regional Secretary of NPP for Greater Accra in 1992. He was also the first chairman of the party for the Ga District Rural Constituency, which later divided into Ga West District and Ga East District. He was the secretary of the Research Committee and a member of the first National Campaign Team of the NPP in the third quarter of 1992.
He has worked with several other central NPP personalities campaign successfully for the NPP victory in the 2000 general elections, which includes President John Kufuor, Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, R. R. Amponsah, Prof. Adu-Boahen, Peter Ala Adjetey, B. J. da Rocha, and Samuel Odoi-Sykes. His role in the party’s success, which involved journalistic contributions and involvement in other activities of the party between 1993 and 2000, is considered significant.
From 2001 to 2004, Oquaye served as Ghana’s High Commissioner to India. In February 2005 he became the Minister of Energy, and later became the Minister of Communications.
Oquaye was the NPP Member of Parliament for Dome-Kwabenya for two terms (2004-2012). He decided not to take a break and sponsored his son, Mike Oquaye Jnr. to take after him and fight for the position of the NPP Parliamentary Candidate for the constituency. However, his son lost to Sarah Adwoa Safo.
From 2009 to 2013, Mike Oquaye was the Second Deputy Speaker of Parliament. He was succeeded by Joe Ghartey in 2013.