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Who replaces Alan Kyerematen as Trade Minister?

The usual lobbying and jostling for positions in politics when there is a vacancy has begun in earnest following the resignation of Alan Kwadwo Kyerematen as Minister of Trade.

Ideally, one would have expected the President to appoint one of his two deputies, Michael Kofi Okyere Baafi who is also the Member of Parliament (MP) for New Juaben South or Herbert Krapa to take over, but that would require the approval of Parliament as provided for by the Constitution.

That is what made President Akufo-Addo to appoint a caretaker Minister, in the person of Ken Ofori-Atta, the embattled Minister of Finance to steer the affairs of the Ministry until a substantive Minister is appointed. Ken is known to be helping in the ongoing negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Even though some have questioned why Ken Ofori-Atta and not any other Minister, insiders believe it is because he knows the Trade Ministry in detail.

So far the names of Deputy Minister of Trade, Michael Okyere Baafi and that of Information Minister, Kojo Oppong Nkrumah; Tourism Minister, Mohammed Awal; and Energy Minister, Dr Matthew Opoku Prempeh have come up as potential nominees for the position.

Even though the name of Herbert Krapa who is also a Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Trade has come up, it has been shot down on the premise of inexperience.

Among the four names that have come up so far, sources say that of Michael Okyere Baafi is high on the cards considering the fact that he has learnt a lot in his position as Deputy Minister with strong links with industry players. He is a former Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Ghana Free Zones Authority (GFZA).

That is partly because Oppong Nkrumah, Awal and Dr Opoku Prempeh are all substantive Ministers and performing creditably in their current portfolios.

The New Juaben South MP is also said to enjoy considerable support from the leadership of the party, including the grassroots of the party and his colleague Members of Parliament, some of who are advocating for him to be elevated to the position of a substantive Minister for Trade.

Meanwhile, the President is keeping his cards close to his chest, keeping Ghanaians guessing who he gets to nominate to replace Alan Kyerematen who resigned to go political campaigning to be elected presidential candidate in the New Patriotic Party.

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