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Part Two: Profile of Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko
Personal Life and Educational Background
Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko was born January 4, 1969. He is 54 years old now. He is an Ashanti. He is the third child of the late Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem I, who ruled the Asante Juaben traditional territory in the Ashanti Region as the Nkosuohene from June 1985 until his passing on November 25, 2005. Kwame Awuah-Darko is a Christian. Awuah-Darko began his elementary schooling at Christ the King International School in Cantonments, Accra, where he also took his common entrance exams in June 1981. In September 1981, he was admitted to St. Peters School in Nkwatia, Kwahu, in the Eastern Region. Later, in October 1985, Kwame left St. Peters to finish his secondary school at the Ghana International School in Accra, where he earned his Ordinary Level (O’ Level) certificate in June 1986. After that, Awuah-Darko moved on to the Achimota Secondary School, where he finished his sixth-form studies in June 1988. He did his national service at the Pinanko Wassa Junior Secondary School in the Central Region of Ghana, where he taught English and Mathematics. In 1989, he was accepted into the Social Sciences Faculty of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology in Kumasi (KNUST). At the KNUST, Kwame Awuah-Darko received a B.A. in law (hons) and was later admitted to the Henley Business School, Greenlands, Henley on Thames, the United Kingdom, in 1998. In 1999, he received a Diploma in Business Administration (DBA) from the school. Kingsley Kwame Awuah-Darko is brother to Daniel Awuah-Darko, Nana Awuah-Darko Ampem II (Formerly, Harold Quarshie Awuah-Darko) and David Awuah-Darko. Kwame is married to Nana Yaa Oteng and he has three boys.
Kwame Awuah-Darko has a wealth of expertise in the financial and insurance industries across Africa, Europe, and the Americas. He has over 28 years of impressive accomplishments in academia, governance, and public and corporate service, and he has been a successful leader of the organizations and bodies he has served. Kwame Awuah-Darko is a banker, businessman, and politician. Co-founding the Roman Ridge School in Accra, Ghana, Awuah-Darko has been a member of the Board of Directors since the institution’s founding in 2002. From 2009 to 2012, he held the positions of Board Chairman of SIC Financial Services Limited and member of the board of State Insurance Company (SIC) Limited, respectively. Kwame additionally served City Investment Company Limited as a director and board member.
He established Matrix International Holdings Limited in the UK in 1999 when he was 30 years old. He handled the expansion and operations of Matrix International Holdings U.K. Ltd. in seven European Union countries and eighteen African nations spread over West, East, and Southern Africa with an annual revenue more than US$200 Million. In addition to running Matrix Holdings, he also ran Marine and General Insurance Brokers Ltd.
Kwame Awuah-Darko is a member of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and was chosen to represent the Ayawaso West Wuogon Constituency in the 2012 Parliamentary elections. He was later appointed by the Ghana government in October 2013 to be the Managing Director of Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company Limited (BOST), Ghana’s largest petroleum storage and logistics company. Within the company, he set up a department dedicated to selling petroleum products, primarily petrol, diesel, LPG, and crude oil. He put together a highly effective team within BOST and TOR who worked under his direction to successfully implement and oversee the trade of petroleum products across West Africa, including exports of petrol and diesel to nearby nations like Mali, Niger, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Benin, Nigeria, and Liberia, among others. This was all done in line with his vision of making Ghana the petroleum hub of West Africa. Kwame Awuah-Darko established the Strategic Petroleum Reserve Program and, together with his team, was able to establish credit lines for the importation of petroleum products from the program’s commencement forward without any assistance from the central government.
From February 4, 2015, BOST began importing its own products for the Strategic Reserve Program. By January 6, 2017, BOST had imported more than 52 cargoes of refined petroleum products and 17 cargoes of LPG, generating a trade turnover of over $1.5 billion and earning a profit of up to $61 million—a feat never accomplished in the company’s 24 years of existence. Through this initiative, BOST maintained strategic petroleum reserve stock equivalent to up to 12 weeks of the country’s oil needs. As a result, Ghana possessed a 12-week supply of petroleum products in case of need. To safeguard the security of the Ghanaian Taxpayer, Awuah-Darko led BOST in the acquisition of a strategic position in GOIL, the largest oil retail network in the nation, making BOST the third largest stakeholder of GOIL.
As a Managing Director of BOST, he restructured the company’s operation from zero imports in 2013 to running a minimum of five out of the six functionally and profitable petroleum terminals across the country. These include the Accra Plains Depot, Kumasi Depot, Buipe Depot, Akosombo Depot, and the Bolgatanga Depot, which was reopened to start exporting products to countries in the Sahelian region like Burkina Faso and Mali. This move helped the nation earn foreign currency. To facilitate quick, simple, and affordable transmission of BOST products across the country, from the southern to the northern parts, the longest pipeline in the BOST network, which runs for 271 kilometers from Buipe to Bolgatanga, was re-commissioned.
To improve productivity and motivation among the working employees at BOST, Kwame Awuah-Darko carried out an organizational restructuring project. He increased the number of employees at BOST from 245 to 487 because of the organization’s expansion of its activities. From early 2014 to January 6, 2017, the staff’s monthly payroll climbed by 227%, from GHS484,738.00 to GHS2,135,240.00. To reduce the consistently high office rent costs, Awuah-Darko commissioned a twin, ten-story office building in Accra. The contractor, who also owned the property, provided funding for the project. BOST was entrusted with ownership of the office complex upon completion and the contractor would be reimbursed from internal profits generated by BOST over time.
In June 2015, the Ghana government nominated Kwame Awuah-Darko to lead the Tema Oil Refinery (TOR), Ghana’s national petroleum refinery asset. Awuah-Darko helped revive the Tema Oil Refinery through BOST after it had been out of operation for years. As the CEO of TOR, Mr. Awuah Darko oversaw the restructuring of the refinery’s complete operations and saved the company millions of dollars by reorganizing the refinery’s $650 million in inherited debt and cutting it by $300 million while in office. He imported up to 9 million barrels of crude oil stocks, out of which 7 million barrels were refined by TOR while he was CEO, leaving 2 million barrels in the tank upon his departure from TOR. He also started the refinery’s production of the first indigenous crude from Ghana’s Tweneboa Enyenra Ntomme (TEN) oilfield. In addition to the crude oil stock from the then-TEN oilfield, he left over 205,000 metric tons of petrol and diesel at the time of his departure from TOR in January 2017. He played an effective role in facilitating the petroleum pricing deregulation policy in close collaboration with the Ministery of Petroleum, the Ministery of Finance, the National Petroleum Authority, and other stakeholders. In terms of fuel pricing in Ghana’s history, this has been the best strategy till date.
Awuah-Darko left TOR and BOST on January 6, 2017. He handed over significant projects that he had begun but had not completed, such as the Tema to Akosombo pipeline, which was only partially finished. BOST had also begun the process of automating all the country’s depots through an internally generated fund (IGF). Awuah-Darko had started feasibility studies for a 150,000 metric ton storage facility that would be built at Pumpuni close to Takoradi and had obtained finance of up to $600 million.
Awuah-Darko received the Oil and Gas Leadership Awards 2017 in appreciation of his excellent performance as the Director of Ghana’s Bulk Oil Storage and Transportation Company (BOST) and Tema Oil Refinery (TOR). In recognition of Awuah-Darko’s support for the institution, the Kwame Nkrumah University for Science and Technology named him Alumni of the Year in 2016. Awuah-Darko also received the esteemed “Emerging National Leader of the Year Award” from the University of Ghana’s Student Representative Council (UGSRC) in 2013.
Report by: Dr. S. Amiteye, DFS Live Research Desk