Charles Darku has played a very pivotal role in the development, operation, maintenance and management of large energy infrastructure assets in Ghana over the last 30 years. His knowledge of the energy (electricity, oil and gas) industry – its economics, development and technical operations has been acquired first hand in the varied challenges and tasks he has handled in the course of his career.
Starting in 1984 as a Protection & Control Engineer at the Volta River Authority’s (VRA) Kpong Generating Station, Akuse, at the time the single largest capital investment undertaking in Ghana, he progressed over the years to lead in the development of Ghana’s first independent power producer, Takoradi International Company. As project manager, he led the organisation to secure the US $100 million of private capital needed to finance and construct the second phase of the VRA’s Takoradi Thermal Power Plant Complex in 1999. In 2004, he led a joint Ghana Government/VRA team to conclude a suite of agreements, principally the Takoradi Gas Sales Agreement as the key anchor contract, to enable the construction of the nearly US $1 billion West African Gas Pipeline Project to fulfil a long-held vision of bringing abundant low-cost Nigerian gas to countries in the sub-region for economic growth. Beginning in 2009 as Chief Executive of the Ghana Grid Company (GRIDCo) – set up to develop and promote competition in Ghana’s wholesale power market – he led the company to undertake a massive upgrade of the high voltage transmission network in Ghana, strengthen the interconnection of the network with that of neighbouring countries and also take steps to initiate market operations in the electricity sector.
Between 2013 and 2018, Mr. Charles Darku served as Managing Director of Tullow Ghana Ltd, the first Ghanaian to lead an exploration and production company in Ghana’s nascent upstream oil and gas industry. During this time, he worked closely with the Ghana National Gas Company and other stakeholders to realise ‘First Gas’ flow from the Jubilee Fields 65 km offshore the western coast of Ghana.
Charles is a skilled negotiator gaining experience from the many years of holding the portfolio of Director of Power Sales with responsibility for all the power purchase and sale agreements of the VRA both in Ghana and with utilities in the West African sub- region. He serves on the Board of Barclays Bank Ghana Ltd. He has received several awards and recognitions including the CEO of the year 2013 and again in 2017. In 2014, he led Tullow Ghana to the No. 1 position of Ghana Club 100 leading companies in the country. Viastat TV named him the 2015 Man of the Year. Mr. Darku holds a B.Sc. (Hons) degree in electrical engineering from the KNUST and an MPA from Harvard University. He is a Fellow of the Ghana Institution of Engineers.
Mr. Kwame Pianim is a successful management and investment consultant who serves as the Chairman of Ghana Financial Services Limited at Bayport Financial Services Pty Ltd. He also serves as a Director at New World Renaissance Securities Ltd. Mr. Pianim was the Chief Executive Officer of New World Renaissance Securities Ltd (formerly New World Investments Limited) until April 2008. Mr. Pianim has diversified work experience in the international arena and the private and public sectors of the Ghana economy. Prior to New World Industries, he was a private economic and investment consultant specializing in packaging investments for private placement.
He served as an Economic Research Officer of United Nations, New York from 1964 to 1970; Acting Principal Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Economic Planning from 1970 to 1972, Deputy Managing Director of Ghana Aluminium Products Limited, Tema; Chief Executive of Ghana Cocoa Marketing Board from 1978 to 1979. Mr. Pianim attended Achimota School for his secondary education. He holds a B.A. Double Honours in Economics and Political Science from the University of New Brunswick, Canada (1963) and M.A. in Economics from Yale University (1964), USA.
Prof. Kwesi Botchwey is a Professor of Practice in Development Economics at The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University. He is former Chairman of GNGC and The Gas Development Task Force. He is also former Chairman of the National Development Planning Commission, a body charged with the responsibility for ensuring consistency and continuity in the framing and execution of development policy for Ghana. Prof. Kwesi Botchwey was Ghana’s Minister of Finance from 1982 to 1995, appointed by ex-President Jerry Rawlings to assist in stabilizing Ghana’s collapsed economy. He holds an LL.B. from the University of Ghana, a LL.M from Yale Law School, and a doctorate from the University of Michigan Law School.
He has also taught at the University of Zambia, the University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and the University of Ghana. Other Notable Previous Assignments: – Advisor to the World Bank on the 1997 World Development Report – Member and Chairman of IMF’s Group of Independent Experts who conducted the first ever external evaluation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility – Advisor to the UNDP’s UN Special Initiative on Africa – Advisor to the European Centre for Development Policy and Management (ECDPM).
Mr. Theo Sackey is the Chief Executive Officer of Cenpower Generation and a Senior Vice President at Africa Finance Corporation (AFC), responsible for Project Development. An electrical engineer by profession, he holds a Masters Degree in Electrical Engineering from the Belarus Polytechnic Institute, Minsk, Belarus, and a Masters Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Harvard University, Cambridge, USA. He has over 20 years’ combined experience in power system planning and operations, development of public and private sector energy infrastructure projects and extensive experience in the development of key energy and power projects in West Africa, including the West African Gas Pipeline (WAGP) and the West African Power Pool (WAPP).
Dr. Margaret Nkrumah is an educationist who is currently the Board Chair of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema and immediate past Chair of the SOS Ghana Association. Dr. Nkrumah is a board member of both the African Leadership Academy (ALA) in Johannesburg and The Committee to Teach About the UN (CTAUN) in New York and on the Global Advisory Council of the African Leadership University (ALU) in Mauritius and Rwanda. She has also served on the Board of the International Schools Association (ISA), Geneva and was for five years on the Executive Committee of the International Baccalaureate Council of Foundation. Dr. Nkrumah became the Founding Principal of the SOS Hermann Gmeiner International College in Tema in 1991, after serving as the Assistant Headmistress of Ghana International School (GIS). During her tenure of 18 years the College developed into a talent pool for young people from Africa and the doors of universities across the world were opened for them as a result of it.
In 2012 Dr. Nkrumah retired as both the Senate Member representing Africa for the SOS Children’s Villages International after 8 years, and as the Vice President of the SOS-Kinderdorf International (SOS-KDI) organization after serving a 4-year term. As Vice Principal she represented the SOS organization in the negotiations for formal recognition status at the AU in Addis Ababa. She is the first African to occupy a top position in the history of the SOS Children’s Villages International. For decades, she has made many positive changes in the field of education, not only for SOS Children's Villages but also within various African and international education networks.
Dr. Nkrumah has an Honorary Doctor of Letters, 2006, University of Education, Winneba, an Honorary Doctor of Laws 2005, University of Leicester, and graduated from University of Leicester in 1963, achieving a BA Honours degree in English, and from the University of Ghana in 1992, with an M. Phil degree in English. She has been honored by the following National and International Awards:
National Children's Day Award 2002, for services to children, Ghana
Presidential National Award, 2008, Order of the Volta (Companion) Ghana
Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award 2013, University of Leicester, UK
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