The African Public Relations Association (APRA) has inaugurated an Advisory Group to work with the Executive Council Members to give the association a voice in the continent and across the globe.
In a statement signed by Mr. Taiye Tunkarimu, Secretary – APRA Advisory Group and copied to the tnpnewsonline.com said Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah will serve as Honorary Counsel to the association and chairman of the APRA Advisory group representing West Africa Region.
APRA is the umbrella body for the practice of Public Relations in Africa with over 17 member national PR associations and 5 affiliations within Africa and across the globe.
Other members of the advisory group include: Mr. Victor Sibeko, Past President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa ( PRISA) representing Southern Africa; Dr. Wilfred Marube, President, Public Relations Society of Kenya (PRSK); Mr. Henry Rugamba , Managing Partner, Songa Communications both representing East Africa; Mr. Kamal Taibi, Founder and CEO, Stratëus Group representing North Africa; Dr. Michelle Mekeme, Senior Lecturer, Advanced School of Mass Communication ( ASMAC – State University of Yaoundé) Cameroun representing Central Africa and Mr. Kwame Senou, Senior Vice President, Opinion & Public representing West Africa while Miss Taiye Tunkarimu will serve as Secretary to the Advisory Group.
The inauguration ceremony was conducted via zoom application where all members of the team officially met and pledged their allegiance to the association. Vice President of APRA, Robyn de Villiers introduced the group members and commended them for voluntarily accepting to join council members in improving APRA’s relevance amongst key stakeholders in the continent and the globe.
In his statement, President of the association, Mr Yomi Badejo-Okusanya stated that he has trust in the capacity of the appointed persons and tasked the group to push the ‘One Africa’ agenda and come up with a plan to drive APRA’s engagement in governance and economy.
The Honorary Counsel, Mr. Ekwow Spio-Garbrah in acceptance of the role stated “I am honoured to play a role in APRA and collaborate with other like-minded professionals in Africa. I pledge to work assiduously with all to achieve the goals of APRA”.
Secretary General of APRA, Jane Gitau added that ‘the Advisory Group further shows the inclusiveness we have always desired as an association’.
Who is Ekwow Spio-Garbrah
Ekwow Spio-Garbrah is one of Africa’s most pre-eminent and accomplished communications professionals. He has had over 40 years of experience in diplomacy, government, banking, business, advertising and marketing, corporate communications, telecommunication/ICT development, and politics.
He has worked in some of the most recognized development institutions in the world, including the World Bank Group and the African Development Bank. He was a member of the Governing Council of UNESCO in Paris, Chairman of the Ghana National Commission on UNESCO, and the CEO for 8 years at the London-based Commonwealth Telecommunications Organisation.
At the age of 40, President Rawlings selected him to become Ghana’s youngest Ambassador to the United States, where he excelled with unparalleled zeal and creativity. He subsequently served the people of Ghana as Minister of Communications, Minister of Education, Minister for Mines and Energy, Minister for Trade and Industry.
In his public service career, Spio-Garbrah distinguished himself for his honesty, integrity, hard work, creativity, and problem-solving skills. He is especially notable in Ghana for creating the Ghana Education Trust Fund which has utilized billions of dollars in VAT revenues to assist the educational sector.
Exceptional for his precocity, he graduated with the top of his class from the University of Ghana at the age 19, and topped his class at the Graduate School of Journalism and Communication in the same University.
He began his early career in Ghana’s advertising industry, rose to become the General Manager of the second largest advertising agency at age 24, before proceeding to the USA for further studies. Upon graduating with Distinction with an MA in International Affairs from Ohio University, he landed a prestigious job in the International Department in New York City with Hill and Knowlton Inc, then the world’s leading PR firm as its first and only African employee.
H&K had at the time more than 900 professionals based in 44 offices in 33 countries. At H&K, he was amongst a dedicated team which exclusively specialized in counseling international clients of the firm. These included Credit Agrícole, then the world’s largest bank; the Hong Kong Shangai Banking Corporation (now HSBC); Rabobank Nederland, and the Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC). Other clients included the Governments of Indonesia, the Netherlands, Austria and Turkey.
In 1988, Spio-Garbrah was recruited by the International Finance Corporation to join their headquarters staff in Washington DC as a Corporate Relations Officer, from where he was appointed in 1991, as Head of Communications at the African Development Bank in Abidjan.
He has been passionate about effective board governance, while serving on several Boards, including the boards of Telkom South Africa, Vodacom and Anglo-Gold Ashanti. He also was Chairman of Ghana’s National Communications Authority, the VAT Service Board, Ghana Free Zones Authority and the Brand Ghana Council.
He has been an African Regional Advisor to Ericsson, the Swiss-based 4G Africa/Yoomee, and Fusion Telecoms of the USA. He served as CEO of Action Chapel International and was the President of its Dominion University College. In recent years, Spio-Garbrah has promoted access to improved health, education, and ICT for Africans through NGOs, such as the African Business Centre for Developing Education (ABCDE).