President Nana Akufo-Addo has extended his condolence to the family of the late Joseph Henry Mensah who passed away on Thursday morning at the 37 Military Hospital.
The President in a statement described the late J.H Mensah as a “fine public servant and a genuine democrat.”“I have lost one of my greatest mentors, and a valued and trusted counselor – one who has been a source of inspiration and wise counsel for me, for well over 40 years, until the unfortunate illness of his last year. I am bereft that I cannot have access to JH again.
“Huge, brilliant mind, vast experience, he had an unrelenting commitment to the rapid development o Ghana and believed firmly in the capacity of the Ghanaian people to build a progressive and prosperous nation. My deepest condolences to his children, family, and to the New Patriotic Party, whose ideals and principles he espoused with such passion, wit, and eloquence.”
J.H. Mensah had been at the 37 military Hospital for about the past 12 months.
He was 89 years old.
Born October 30, 1928, J.H. Mensah’s political life serve as Finance Minister under Kofi Busia’s Progress Party (PP) administration from 1969 to 1972, which was cut short by Ignatius Kutu Acheampong’s coup.
He was also the Senior Minister under President John Kufuor decades later in 2001.
J.H. Mensah’s life in politics began in 1953 when worked as an assistant inspector of taxes.
In 1958, he joined the United Nations Secretariat at the Centre for Development Planning, Projections and Policies.
He returned to Ghana in 1961 to Head the National Planning Commission.
Under his leadership, the National Planning commission drew up and implemented the Seven-Year Development Plan from 1962 to 1969.
In 1969, he was elected to Parliament and became the Minister of Finance until 1972.
After Acheampong’s 1972 coup, J.H. Mensah was imprisoned under the National Redemption Council (NRC) in 1975.
He was later forced into exile in the early 1980s but still headed a group opposed to the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) led by Flt. Lt. Jerry John Rawlings.
After Ghana entered its Fourth Republic, in 1992, he served on the African Advisory Council of the African Development Bank from 1993 to 1997.
In December 1996, J.H. Mensah successfully contested for a parliamentary seat in Sunyani East District on the ticket of the NPP and served as the Minority Leader in Parliament.
He was re-elected in 2000 when the NPP assumed the mantle of governance after over three decades in opposition.
J.H. Mensah was born to a father who was in the Gold Coast Civil Service and a mother who was a trader at the Kumasi Central Market.
He was the third of 10 children.
He attended St Peter’s Cathedral School, in Kumasi and Achimota School after that.
After Achimota School, J.H. Mensah went to the University of Gold Coast, where he studied economics.
He is on record as the first President of the Junior Common Room of the Legon Hall.
By: Marian Ansah/citinewsroom.com/Ghana