Hon. Kojo Yankah
A communication consultant, journalist, public relations expert, writer and a Pan-Africanist, Kojo Yankah has served Ghana in various capacities as editor of the Daily Graphic, Director of the Ghana Institute of Journalism, Member of Parliament, Member of the National Media Commission, Member of the Ghana Law Reform Commision, Deputy Minister of Information, Minister of State for Central & Ashanti Regions and chairman of the Pan-African Historical Theatre Festival of Arts & Culture (PANAFEST).
His vision in establishing the African University College of Communications (AUCC) has been to provide the environment within which persons who wish to specialise in various fields of communication, business and creative arts will discover themselves thoroughly as Africans through the university's Africana Studies foundation courses.
Having studied at Adisadel College, Cape Coast, University of Ghana, Legon, University of Nairobi, Kenya, and Cornell University, Ithaca, New York; and also having travelled extensively across all five continents, Kojo Yankah has a broad worldview which has helped to shape a dynamic vision for a steady growth of AUCC. After presiding over the management of AUCC for 15 years, Kojo Yankah now chairs the Board of Directors of the university and is an active ambassador of AUCC wherever he travels throughout the world. He also chairs the Board of Directors of the media conglomerate Media General.
As a creative person, Kojo Yankah thrilled television viewers in Ghana in the 90s with his popular 'Inspector Bediako' series on GTV. Through his authorship of 10 books, Kojo Yankah has demonstrated the skills needed to communicate issues of various interests to his readers. His books include a novel, 'Crossroads at Ankobea', three travelogues "The Story of Namibia", 'End of a Journey', and 'Dialogue with the North'. Two of his books are textbooks :'Proactive Public Relations' and 'Introduction to Branding & Marketing Communications Management'. He has written 'Otumfuo Osei Tutu-The King on the Golden Stool', and 'The Trial of JJ Rawlings'; and in 2017 his own autobiography 'Our Motherland-My Life' was published in London. His latest book which was originally published in the USA, 'From Jamestown to Jamestown-Letters to an African Child' has gained instant popularity in Africa and in the Diaspora.
The Founder of AUCC, married to Nana Nyarkoa Yankah, is proud of his seven children who are all pursuing their independent professional careers. His hobbies ? Still reading, writing and traveling. About AUCC, he says: 'the second phase of the university is about taking off; l am looking forward to seeing AUCC building and moving to its permanent campus at Pomadze/Winneba Junction with her partners from all over the world".
Yankah left GIHOC in 1980 to go into consultancy with Dateline Communications Limited which he founded. Combining freelance journalism with his public relations consultancy, he caught Government attention in 1982 at the onset of the revolution that brought the PNDC government to power: he was appointed editor of the Daily Graphic, the largest circulating newspaper in Ghana. After two years, he was re-assigned to become director of the Ghana Institute of Journalism (GIJ). During the nine-year period, he raised the image of the GIJ, invited the UNFPA to fund a new course in Population Communication, and established the nucleus of a Computer lab.
While still directing the GIJ, Yankah registered for the M.Phil. African Studies course at the University of Ghana. After the Course work, which he passed, another opportunity came his way to pursue further courses in Communications Policy and Strategy at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, and later at Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, both on fellowships from UNESCO and UNFPA respectively.
In 1989, Yankah was selected to participate in a North-South Educational Campaign exchange programme and was based in the Netherlands for 12 weeks working with the Bijeen Magazine. His stories on the project won him the First Prize for Journalists in the world-wide North-South campaign organized by the Council of Europe. His stories were later edited and published as Dialogue with the North. When he returned home, he was again selected among 13 senior journalists from Africa to join the United Nations Transitional Monitoring Team in Namibia to supervise the Namibian Elections. His book The Story of Namibia was a product from that trip.
In 1992, Yankah accepted calls from his constituents in Agona to contest in the elections as parliamentary candidate for the NDC party. He won the elections and in 1993 was appointed Deputy Minister of Information. In the second term of the government, during which he re-won his seat as MP, he was appointed Central Region Minister. After two years, during which he initiated promotion of the Central region as the heartbeat of Ghana’s tourism, and set up the Kofi Annan Holiday Camp to help raise the standard of education in the region, among other initiatives, he was transferred to Kumasi as Ashanti Region Minister. He resigned from Government in November 1999 and established his own marketing communications consultancy, Yankah & Associates.
Hon. Yankah is author of five books: Crossroads at Ankobea (novel); End of a Journey; Dialogue with the North; The Story of Namibia; The Trial of JJ Rawlings. In 2011, he co-authored a book with Dr. Chris Skinner (Fellow, Institute of Public Relations, South Africa) titled Pro-active Public Relations. He has won several awards as creative writer, poet and journalist, (including the Langston Hughes Award; the Davidson Nicol Award; Afro-Asian Writers Award; World Education Congress Award for Outstanding Contribution and the 2012 PR Personality of the Year (Ghana). He has published a number of articles in local and international papers and magazines, and has made enormous contributions to the growth of the public relations profession in Ghana. Hon. Yankah has travelled extensively in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, North and South America, China and Europe.
He has served on the National Media Commission, the Board of the New Times Corporation, and the Law Reform Commission. Currently he serves on the Boards of TV3 Network, Public Agenda newspaper, Vodafone, Ghana Heritage Conservation Trust and the Ghana Book Trust. He is a member of the Ghana Association of Consultants, former president of the Institute of Public Relations Ghana, Fellow of the Institute of Public Relations Ghana and West Africa Representative of Crestcom International.
Hon. Yankah is married to Nana Nyakoa Yankah (Nkosuohemaa of Agona Abodom). He is proud of his seven children: Atta Panyin (Chemical Engineer), Atta Kakra (Electrical Engineer, AUCC ), Kwesi (Computer Scientist), Abena (Medical Doctor), Nana Ama (Computer Information Systems Analyst), Esi (Marketing Communications Consultant) and Maame Nyakoa (Student).
His leisure hours include reading, writing or having fun on the computer.