The Electoral Commission (EC) boss is one of the most important persons in the current democratic dispensation of Ghana since he or she has the final word as far as election results are concerned.
The beginning of multi-party democracy bequeaths on the EC boss the singular yet very huge honour of announcing the new course of the nation as far who deserves to lead the nation as president is concerned.
Following that, the office of the EC is considered as one of the very sensitive ones where any lapses in the discharge of duty have the propensity of throwing the stability and peaceful coexistence of Ghana or any other nation to the dogs.
As Ghana goes to the polls on December 7 2020, it is just fair that you know who this woman is and how far she has come as a person. Before that, you and I know very well the office of the EC was once headed by the indefatigable Kojo Afari-Gyan, who was succeeded by Madam Charlotte Osei and now Jean Mensah.
Who Is Jean Mensa?
- She was born Jean Adukwei Mensa in the 1970s in Accra.
- Jean Mensah is believed to be a Ga-Adangbe who comes from Ada in the Greater Accra Region. However, she is also a Fante who hails from the Central region.
- She had her high school education at the St. Mary’s Senior High School, an all-girls school located at Korle Gonno in Accra where she excelled in all subjects.
- In 1993, Jean Mensa went to the University of Ghana to study Law and graduated with a first-class degree.
- She was subsequently called to the Bar in 1996, and in 2018 received executive education from the Harvard Business School.
- Before his time at the Insitute of Economic Affairs (IEA), Jean Mensa worked from 1995-1997 at Amarkai Amarteifio Chambers and in 1998 moved to the BJ Da Rocha Chambers as a Junior Lawyer.
- Jean Mensa then moved to the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) where she spent 18 years rising to the position of Executive Director and playing a pivotal role in strengthening Ghana’s democracy and promoting strong institutions.
- She has been a leader in policy research and advocacy. She has been involved in the development of policies such as the Presidential Transition Act of 2012, the Revised 1992 Constitution of Ghana (draft), the Political Parties Funding Bill, and the Revised Political Parties Bill.
- Mrs Mensa’s long record of promoting national unity and cohesion include facilitating the IEA’s Evening Encounter Series, Ghana’s Presidential and Vice-Presidential Debates, as well as Town Hall Meetings for parliamentary candidates. These events not only bolstered the accountability and transparency of the political process but also allowed an interface between candidates and their constituents.
- Her specialization has been developing and implementing policy alternatives that reflect international best practice but are also tailored to Ghana’s needs.
- Jean Adukwei Mensa was appointed as the Chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana on 23 July 2018, after her predecessor, Madam Charlotte Osei was removed from office, and sworn-in by the President of Ghana, Akufo-Addo.
- Fafali Nyonatorto sought to halt the President from going through with the process of appointing a new Electoral Commission Boss. The citizen challenged the decision of the President who claimed the removal of the former Chairperson of the Electoral Commission Charlotte Osei from her office was carried on with no malice. The president said it was expected of him to discharge the constitutional mandate.
- Mensa has been ranked by the African Network of Entrepreneurs (TANOE) as one of the Top 60 outstanding, inspiring and hardworking corporate women leaders in Ghana (2017).
- She has won several awards including the Excellent Leadership Award by the EXLA Group (2013) and the Young Professional Role Model in Governance Award presented by the Young Professionals and Youth Coalition Initiative (2014).
- In 2020, Jena Mensa’s decision to compile a new voter register was resisted by the National Democratic Congress (NDC) and John Mahama who claimed there was not much time left for the general election to compile a new voters’ register.
- She has promised to collate and announce the 2020 election results within 24 hours after votes have been cast.