It has now been confirmed that Mr Hackman Owusu- Agyeman, the Minister of Water Resources, Works and Housing and Member of Parliament for New Juabeng North, is in the race for the New Patriotic Party's slot for the 2008 presidential election.
“We need a robust but affordable personality who commands respect, both within the party's ranks and at the national level. To bring this nation together and set it on the path of development,” Mr Mustapha Zakaria Cisse, the Special Assistant to the minister said, adding that “With his political experience in the field, backed by a solid practical record, Mr Owusu Agyeman is the man to lead this country to glory and to build upon the good works of President J.A Kufuor”.
He said Mr Owusu Agyeman had not only gone through the mill, he is also a staunch and dedicated party member ho played a pivotal role during the formation of the NPP, and in addition to this he was also very instrumental in the acquisition of the present party headquarters”.
According to some NPP stalwarts who, for now, want to remain anonymous, Mr Owusu- Agyeman has all that it takes to be a President, judging from his achievements and result –driven orientation.
Mr Owusu Agyeman, who was born and bred in the Danquah- Busia tradition, was a founding member of the NPP, for which he held the post of National Treasurer for two terms and Chairman of the Finance Committee for the 2000 elections.
In 1997, he entered Parliament on NPP ticket for the New Juabeng North Constituency. He became the Minority Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs. He retained the seat in 2000 when the NPP won the parliamentary and presidential elections and again won it in 2004.
Mr Owusu first served as the country's Foreign Minister from 2001 to 2003 and very ably led the team to market Ghana under the tutelage of President Kufuor. It was during his time at the Foreign Ministry that President Kufuor became the chairman of ECOWAS, Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas became its Executive Secretary and he himself chaired the first Accra talks on Cote D'ivore. He was later assigned to the Interior Ministry. In 2005, he was made the Minister for Water Resources, Works and Housing, a position he still holds.
Born 64 years ago at Effiduase-Koforidua in the Eastern Region, Mr Owusu Agyeman, a former student leader (NUGS) who is an Agricultural Economist by profession, attended the St. Augustine's College, Cape Coast, the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, Kumasi, the Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, The Netherlands, and the University of London's Wye College.
He has held many high profile posts in the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) where he worked for about 20 years.
However, Mr Owusu would not confirm nor deny the claim that he was in the NPP presidential race.
“I am deeply respectful of the President's directives and the constitution of our party. I shall, therefore, speak on this matter at the appropriate time”, he said.