The one-week celebration of the death of the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning, Mr Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, will be observed in his home town of Agogo in the Asante-Akyem North District tomorrow. The President, Mr J. A. Kufuor, is expected to lead a team of mourners to observe the traditional celebration.
Other chief mourners who will support the President to observe the one-week celebration include the Speaker of Parliament, Mr Ebenezer Begyina Sekyi Hughes; the Omanhene of the Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Kwame Akuoko Sarpong; the Queen of the Agogo Traditional Area, Nana Abena Serwaa; the National Chairman of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), Mr Peter Mac Manu, and the Kyidomhene of the Agogo Traditional Area and the Head of the Kootia Aduana Royal Family, Nana Kwakye Tutu.
The rest are the members of the Asante Akyem North and South Municipal and District assemblies, the entire membership of the NPP, the mother of the deceased, Obaapanin Yaa Tiape (aka Yaa Afra), the Wiredu Family, the widow, Mrs Margaret Baah-Wiredu, and her children, ministers, Members of Parliament and officials and staff of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning.
Mr Baah-Wiredu, who left the country on September 11, 2008 for a medical check-up in Johannesburg, South Africa, died on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 after a surgery. He was 56 and left behind a wife and six children.
The late Finance Minister, who was also the Member of Parliament (MP) for Asante-Akyem North, was said to have arrived in Johannesburg on September 12 in the company of his personal physician, Dr Nyantakyi.
Since the news of his death was received in Ghana in the afternoon of September 23, Ghanaians from all walks of life have found it hard to believe that such a devoted son of Ghana could pass on at this crucial time in the history of the country.
Hundreds of sympathisers, including the clergy, politicians, government officials, colleagues and relatives, continue to troop to the Cantonments residence of the late minister to express their condolences to the bereaved family and sign a book of condolence which has been opened for sympathisers.
Last Saturday his wife, Mrs Margaret Akua Baah-Wiredu, arrived in Accra from South Africa. Mrs Baah-Wiredu, who joined her husband after the deceased had undergone the surgery, came ahead of the body, which is expected to arrive in Accra by the end of the week.
A chartered accountant, who got elected to Parliament on the ticket of the NPP in 1997, Mr Baah-Wiredu had been a minister in President Kufuor's government since 2001.
He was first the Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, then Minister of Education Youth and Sports, and until his death the Minister of Finance and Economic Planning.
Born on June 3, 1952 in Agogo, Baah-Wiredu started his secondary education at the Kumasi High School in 1967 and obtained the GCE (Ordinary Level) certificate in 1972.
He had his Sixth Form education at Prempeh College, also in Kumasi, and proceeded to the University of Ghana in 1974, obtaining a BSc degree in Administration (Accounting option). He then pursued a course with the Institute of Chartered Accountants, qualifying as a chartered accountant in 1985.
He worked in various positions with the now defunct Ghana Airways, the Volta River Authority and as senior consultant on computer systems and finance manager of Ananse Systems. In addition, he was a partner in Asante Wiredu and Associates, an accounting firm, prior to becoming an MP.
Story by Lucy Adoma