Ivor Kobina Greenstreet
Dr. Michael Abu Sakara Foster, popularly known as Dr. Abu Sakara, is a specialist in Agriculture and Rural Development (Development Agronomist). Dr. Sakara is a family man, he is married to Mary-Lily Kafela (MBA), an economist and Business Administrator. They have four Children aged 29, 26, 23 and 22. Their eldest daughter Miama Weppia (MSc) is an economist who now works as an Executive for an international Bank based in Ghana. Seidu Sakara (MSc), their only son, completed with distinction an M.Sc. in Information Technology and Business at the London School of Economics and now works for an international Oil and Gas company and is based in Ghana. Yomba Biba (BSc.) the third born has completed a degree in Biology and Business at the University of London, Queen Marys' College and is on an internship year in Ghana. The last born Alexia-Michelle returned from London School of Arts and is on an exploratory year in Accra. Dr. Sakara and his wife are now settled in Ghana focused on the real estate development and farming. He is also the Executive Director of an international consulting firm for Rural and Agricultural Development. Dr. Sakara maintains links with his extended family in Bole-Mankuma and Kpembe-Salaga and also his in-laws who hail from Kasem- Nankani in Navrongo. His sense of family and community is a strong driving force for him.
Dr. Sakara is an open approachable person whose character is firmly grounded on Christian principles of conduct in his private, social and professional life. Dr Sakara maintains a wide network of friends and associates from his international professional life and also from his connections with different communities in various parts of Ghana. Dr. Sakara's broad international exposure makes him at ease dealing with a wide diversity of peoples of varying social and religious backgrounds. He just at ease with small scale farmers or Presidents of nations.
International Outlook with Indigenous Roots
Dr. Sakara's ancestral roots are Guan and specifically Gonja in Northern Ghana. His paternal roots are in the Kekulasi clan from Bole. Kekulasi occupies a position of great honor and privilege in Gonja as Wurbinaah. Kekulasi is inextricably linked to the seat of the Yabungwura (King of Gonja) as Chief Councillor and Custodian of the kingdom's secrets. Kekulasi has oversight of the royal mausoleum at Mankuma that houses the remains of all Yabungwura's after Ndewura Jakpa, founder of the Kingdom. Dr. Abu Sakara was born to a teacher and politician, the late Mr. S. S. Sakara, son of Keulasi Wura Bamatu Borkma I. His father was popularly known as Teacher S.S. Sakara, an Ankora man. Dr. Abu's late father was a District Commissioner and Member of Parliament for Damongo-Daboya Consitutency; and also later a Regional Secretary of the Convention People's Party (CPP) for Northern region. Mr. S. S. Sakara, a contemporary and close ally of of Imoru Egala, was a staunch and dedicated supporter of CPP. He played a major role in political mobilization of support in the north of Ghana pre-independence and subsequently in all CPP governments until his death in 1986. He was renoun for his good humor, humility, honesty, integrity, hard work and competence.
On his maternal side Dr. Sakara hails from the house of Sunbung, one of three traditional ruling houses of the Kpembe Division or Gate. Abu Sakara's mother, Hajiah Abiba Isaah, hails from Eastern Gonja, she lives in Salaga when she is not with her son in Accra. Hajia Abiba Issah was also an accomplished business woman – a whole sale trader in food commodities. Dr. Sakara spent his early life in Kpember with his mother and grandmother. His maternal grand uncle was the late Yabungwura Doshi I.
Dr. Sakara imbibed from his father values that underpin Nkrumahist brand of scientific socialism as a political philosophy and learned from his mother's achievements respect for entrepreneurial thrift.
Highly Qualified but Pragmatic Practitioner
Dr. Sakara began school in Kpembe Primary school, East Gonja at age six years and then moved to Sawla Primary school for a short period. Thereafter he came back to school in Salaga untill the 1966. After the 1966 coup Abu Sakara was sent to study and live with friends of his father Mr. and Mrs. Foster, evangelical missionaries. He entered Yendi Secondary school as a pioneer in 1972. Under the stewardship of the Fosters he later went to study in the united Kingdom where he obtained his first degree in Soil Science from the University of Reading. Dr. Sakara trained for a year as a research Scholar at the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture in Nigeria. He gained postgraduate training with the UK's Overseas Development Administration for his Masters degree and then worked as an Associate Scientist in Mexico at the International Center for Maize and Wheat Improvement. He completed His PhD at 27 years old and took up appointments in Southern, Eastern, Central and West Africa consecutively.
Proven Professional with Tangible Achievements
Dr Abu Sakara's work experience as an Agronomist spans over 29 years of International Agricultural Development work in Africa and the Americas. Dr Sakara has worked in several countries like Ghana that are all trying similar economic development interventions to achieve prosperity and good governance. The variety of results obtained and variations in management of the interventions make for instructive comparison that is highly relevant to Ghana's situation today and in the future.
Dr. Sakara has applied his profession in the development of rural economies. His speciality is on technology and institutional reforms for improving productivity of the small scale farming sector. During his career Dr. Sakara has visited to over thirty (30) countries on four continents and been stationed on long term assignments in five countries. Dr. Sakara has engaged with several international organizations and was the World Bank Liaison person for his last employers, the Nippon Foundation. His versatility enables him to relate with peoples of any standing in society, from the high level policy makers to to ordinary people, especially small scale rural farmers most of whom are women.
Diasporan Experiencc of Successful Return to Ghana and Service to Community
Dr. Sakara has planned and carried out a gradual process of resettling his family in Ghana over the past 15 years. Dr. Sakara resigned his international position in May 2008 and returned home to focus on building a new life in Ghana for himself and his family. He has now started a private consulting firm and also supports joint business investments with his wife, Mary-Lily Kafela –daughter of the late Mr. Alexander Tigenoah (MD for Garnypharms Medical Supplies Ltd). Together they have jointly invested in several types of business of which the successful ones that have remained are MLK properties Ltd and its City Apartments in Accra and other projects in Accra. Dr. Sakara also acquired land for a farm up north and has been progressively making investments in it. He has so far established about 100 acres of cashew plantation and is ranching cattle on the farm. His intention is now to focus on developing an agro-processing industry that has a comparative advantage in that ecological niche. Dr. Sakara has mobilized capital among his associates to form Buuwuloso One stop Rural Bank based in Damongo. The rural bank serves a few Districts in Western part of the Northern region.
Mature Politician but Young outlook -Political Experience
Dr. Sakara's is committed to rebuilding the CPP to provide Ghanaians an alternative choice to the two dominant parties. This will hopefully free the country from the antagonism between the two major parties which seem to be mired in the politics of acrimony to the detriment of the country. Abu Sakara's current and past efforts are firmly rooted in the belief that Ghana's democracy will benefit from a process that depolarizes the political landscape to produce a more mature constructive opposition that emerges an an alternative third force in Government.
Dr Sakara has supported parliamentarians in four constituencies in northern Ghana since 1996 and participated in two election campaigns. He has also been an active member of the Patriots whose efforts were aimed at rebuilding the CPP. Dr. Sakara contested in the 2007 congress and won a position as the first National vice chair person of the CPP. He has been at the helm of affairs of the generation change that has rejuvenated the CPP to become Ghana's foremost party in ushering in the successor generation of leaders since independence. The 54 year old Dr. Abu Sakara is the Presidential candidate for the CPP in 2012 general elections. The CPP is lead by 51 year old Samia Nkumah daughter of the founder of CPP and Ghana's first President.
Dr. Sakara considers it a privilege that it is his generation's turn to take on the mantle of responsibility to move the vision of the founding fathers from political liberation to achieve economic emancipation.