Governing Council

Steering committee

The steering committee provides strategic oversight and direction to STAR-Ghana, including guidance on how the programme engages on political issues and occupies political spaces, while managing sensitivities. The committee works closely with STAR-Ghana's donors, the consortium lead Christian Aid and the funders' committee.

The committee supports the programme’s vision of an active citizenry and a vibrant, well-informed civil society engaging with government and the private sector to advance transformational change that leaves no-one behind. It ensures adherence to the highest standards of good governance, ethical practice and social responsibility.

The committee supports inclusive and coordinated working, awareness amongst grant beneficiaries of the overarching strategic aim and objectives of the programme, with adequate feedback channels and learning from frontlline experiences. It will also provide strategic direction and guidance as STAR-Ghana transitions from a programme to a Ghanaian-owned, independent national entity.


STAR-Ghana's steering committee has 11 appointed members, including: 

  • Two parliamentarians, in view of the importance of supporting parliament as a key accountability institution
  • Up to six eminent Ghanaians, including a private sector representative
  • Two members from civil society to strengthen legitimacy and authenticity
  • A representative of the funders’ committee

While not a full member, Christian Aid attends meetings as an observer and also acts as a secretariat to the committee.

Committee members are appointed by DFID. To ensure best practice and transparency and to support the requirements of the programme, members will be appointed for an initial period of two years, renewable by mutual consent for a further year. Members will serve in their individual capacities.


Dr Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye, Chair

Dr Esther Oduraa Ofei-Aboagye is a social policy analyst and a teacher. Until January 2015, she was the Director of the Institute of Local Government Studies (ILGS). Prior to ILGS, she was employed at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. Dr Ofei-Aboagye has been extensively involved in national social policy formulation and decentralised development management.

She has served on a number of public and civil society boards. Among others, she is a member of the University of Ghana Council and the Chairperson of the Council of the Presbyterian College of Education. She is also the Vice-Chairperson of the National Development Planning Commission and a member of the Ghana Tourism Authority Board. She has been Chairperson of the Executive Council of the Integrated Social Development Centre.

Dr Ofei-Aboagye has a doctorate degree in public policy from the University of Birmingham, UK, a master's in public administration from Carleton University, Canada, and a bachelor's degree in economics and sociology and a diploma in education, both from the University of Cape Coast, Ghana.

Professor Agnes Atia Apusigah

Professor Agnes Atia Apusigah is an Associate Professor at the University for Development Studies, Wa Campus and currently the Dean of the Faculty of Education, University for Development Studies, Tamale, Ghana. Her research concentrates on the political economy of African development, indigenous knowledge systems, gender studies and educational policy and reforms. Her recent publications include Bridging Worlds, Teacher Professionalism and Educational Quality in Ghana (with LA Alagbela) and Women’s Movement and Political Change in West Africa

Professor Apusigah is a social critic and a feminist activist with extensive experience working with civil society organisations and donor agencies. Her work with civil society has centred on research, policy development, capacity-building training, programming support and project evaluation. She currently chairs the governing board of Afrikids Ghana and is also a member of the Network for Women’s Rights (NETRIGHT) in Ghana. She holds a PhD. in cultural studies with a minor in curriculum studies from Queen’s University at Kingston, Canada.

Hon. Emmanuel Bedzrah

Hon. Emmanuel Bedzrah is the Member of Parliament for Ho West constituency in the Volta Region of Ghana and the Chairman of the Government Assurance Committee of Parliament (CGA). He is also a member of the House Water Resources and Works & Housing committees. As CGA chair, Hon. Bedzrah has brought technological innovation which allows citizen participation in the committee's activities.

He is currently a steering committee member of the National Open Government Partnership and Chairman of the Israeli-Ghana Parliamentary Association. He has served on the Gender and Children Committee, as well as the Legal, Constitutional and Parliamentary Affairs Committee during his first term in parliament. He also served on the ‘Job 600’ Technical Implementation Committee.

Hon. Bedzrah is the founder and CEO of Procurement and Project Management Consultancy Limited and has successfully handled different projects ranging from domestic housing to multi-structural engineering projects as a technical officer and quantity surveyor advising both clients and contractors. Hon. Bedzrah holds a master's in development management MDM from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration and a B.Sc. in administration from the University of Ghana Legon, and is also a Chartered Member of Ghana Institution of Surveyors.

Adelaide Addo-Fening

Adelaide Addo-Fening is an international development specialist and currently the team leader for GOGIC. Until January, 2014, Adelaide was the International Programme Operations Director at Sightsavers International and was previously Regional Director for West and Central Africa of VSO International, after serving as Country Director in Ghana for six years. She was instrumental in the establishment of the largest volunteering programme in Ghana, placing over 10,000 Ghanaian volunteers as teachers mainly in deprived areas of the country. In 2004 she received an OBE in recognition of this.

Adelaide has holds a master's in development studies, specialising in democracy, governance and law from the University of Cape Coast and holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology and Arabic from the University of Ghana. She is a Fellow of the Africa Leadership Initiative, supported by the Aspen Institute in Colorado, USA.

Adelaide has served on the steering committees of the DFID funded Rights and Voice Initiative Fund and the World Bank Small Grants Programme, both of which supported Ghanaian civil society engagement with government to promote accountability. She is also a member of the Governing Council of United Way Ghana, a trustee of Common Purpose Ghana and co-founder of an African civil society organisation committed to building strong civil society leadership within local communities.

Akoto Ampaw

Akoto Ampaw is a legal practitioner who specialises in constitutional and human rights law, media law, labour law, and company and investment law. He was the Secretary-General of All Africa Students' Union from 1979–1985. He is the Chairman of the Human Rights Committee of the Ghana Bar Association and a member of the National Media Commission, the legal team of the Ghana Bar Association, the Media Foundation for West Africa's legal defence team, the Right to Information Coalition Ghana, the Advocacy Steering Committee for a Broadcasting Law, the National Coalition Against Privatisation of Water and the Human Rights and Civil Liberties Advocacy.

Nana Asantewaa Afadzinu

Nana Afadzinu, Executive Director of the West Africa Civil Society Institute (WACSI), has worked with and within the civil society sector for the past 19 years and is a passionate advocate for sustainable development in Africa with the full participation of an effective, efficient, influential and sustainable civil society. She is a lawyer by profession and has worked on areas of governance, human rights, philanthropy and capacity building with national, international, continental and regional organisations in Africa. They include the African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights, National Coalition on Domestic Violence Legislation in Ghana, Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment, the African Society of International Law, the Open Society Initiative for West Africa and IBIS West Africa.

As Executive Director of WACSI, Nana worked with the team to ensure that the 3rd ISTR Africa Regional Network (ISTRAN) Conference was successful. She is currently a faculty member for the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre on courses related to governance, human rights, peace and security and gender.

Nana has served as a member of a number of public service, corporate and non-profit boards including the Graphic Communications Group Limited (Ghana), the Ghana Legal Services Board, and Ghana News Agency Board. She is currently a member of the GPAK board, a subsidiary of the Graphic Communications Group and the Management Committee of the University of Ghana School of Law. Nana is also a member of the Advisory Councils of Water Aid Ghana, the Africa Civil Society Platform, the Nexus Fund and the SDG Philanthropy Forum in Ghana.

Francis Asong

Francis Asong is Executive Director of VOICE GHANA, a disability rights, advocacy and capacity building organisation based in Ho, Volta Region. He has been involved in a range of management tasks for the past 15 years, and has a long-standing interest in social inclusion agenda, particularly for people with disabilities.

Francis is involved in several grassroots social actions. He is the Coordinator of the Governance Issues Forum Network and Local Accountability Network in the Volta Region, which were spearheaded by the Institute for Democratic Governance and Ghana Anti-Corruption Coalition respectively. He is also a steering committee member of the Local Governance Network, a board member of the Village Exchange Ghana, and a zonal activism coordinator for Amnesty International – Ghana Section.

He holds an MBA in governance and leadership from the Australian Institute of Business and Chartered Business Administrator certification from the Chartered Association of Business Administrators, Canada. He is also a Fellow of the Chartered Management Institute, UK, and the Institute of Leadership and Management, UK, a full member of the Chartered Institute of Management and Leadership, USA, and a PhD. in management student at LIGS University, USA.

He was the 2015 Continental Award Winner of the CEO Global Titans – Nations Building Awards in recognition of his contribution to the welfare and civil society sector in Africa.

Hajara Mohammed Rufai

Hajara Mohammed Rufai is a youth development practitioner with over 12 years practical experience in youth leadership training and capacity-building programming and implementation, having worked with the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung – Ghana Office in the design and implementation of several capacity building programmes for various partner institutions such as parliament, electoral commission, political parties, youth and women’s groups. Hajara Mohammed is currently working as a managing partner of Young Peace Brigades – Ghana, a local affiliate of United Network of Young Peace-Builders based in The Hague, Netherlands, where she coordinates training and development.

Hajara is a member of the National Commission for Civic Education with responsibility for three regions and serves on a number of sub-committees of the commission. She also serves the Muslim community as a board member of the Ghana Muslim Achiever’s Awards, Vice-Chairperson for the Youth and Education Committee of the Coalition of Muslim Organisations in Ghana as well as being the Convener for Network of Professional Muslim Women-Ghana.

Hajara Mohammed holds a BA in political science & religions and MPhil in the study of religions from the University of Ghana and a master’s in public sector management from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration. Hajara has also trained as a certified ECOWAS/KAIPTC election observer with the Kofi Annan Peacekeeping Training Centre.

Audrey Gadzekpo

Audrey Gadzekpo PhD. is an Associate Professor at the Department of Communication Studies and the Dean of the School of Information and Communication Studies, University of Ghana. She has more than 24 years of experience in teaching, research and advocacy on media, gender and governance, and more than 28 years practical experience as a journalist, working variously as a reporter, editor, contributor, columnist, talk show host, socio-political commentator, and magazine publisher/editor.

Professor Gadzekpo has conducted numerous training sessions on media and communications for civil society, public and private sector organisations, and serves on a number of local and international boards, including CDD-Ghana, PANOS-West Africa and West Africa Democracy Radio. She is also a member of the National Media Commission.

She holds a BA in English and history from the University of Ghana, and MA in communications from Brigham Young University, USA, and a PhD in African studies from the University of Birmingham, UK.

Hon. Moses Anim

Hon. Moses Anim is he Member of Parliament for Trobu constituency and the 2nd Majority Whip in Parliament.


Professor Akilagpa Sawyerr, Immediate past chair

Professor Sawyerr has been chair of the SC from October 2010 to December 2017. During his tenure as chair of the SC, Prof. Sawyerr led the programme to chalk very significant successes that led to the extension of of the programme for another 5 years at the end of the previous phase of the programme.

We shall forever be grateful for the outstanding leadership he has given to STAR-Ghana and for his services to the strengthening of the civil society sector in Ghana.

With Thanks to our Funders

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