Honorable Minister, Ministry of Tourism, Republic of Ghana Accra, Ghana. Age: 35
At 35, Honorable Sabah Zita Okaikoi, Ghana’s minister of tourism, is the youngest minister in the current administration and one of the youngest females ever to serve at such a senior level in the Ghanaian government. Those distinctions were not easily attained. “To achieve the best in life, you have to go through obstacles,” she asserts.
As minister of tourism, Okaikoi wants to make Ghana a leading tourist destination in Africa. She was minister of information before she assumed the tourism portfolio.
A highlight of her career was President Barack Obama’s 2008 visit to Ghana, when she served as chairperson of the visit’s communications committee. “I received a letter from the White House, signed by President Obama, thanking me for the excellent manner in which I coordinated, organized and planned the communication aspect of the Obama visit to Ghana,” she reveals.
Frequent encounters with social injustices led her to settle on a career in politics. She ran unsuccessfully for Parliament in 2008, but soon afterward received her appointment to the Ministry of Information.
Okaikoi holds a bachelor’s degree in English and law from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology, a law degree from the University of Ghana, and a barrister of law degree from the Ghana School of Law. As a solicitor and barrister, she specialized in litigation, advocacy, and corporate and family law. A community advocate and champion of education, she is a recipient of the Good Leadership Award from the Tertiary Education Institution Network and plans to open a school in Accra for underprivileged children.
“This school will have a special focus on proactive thinking and reasoning,” she says. “Our culture is steeped in veneration and oftentimes our children’s voices are not heard as they are taught from an early age to be seen and not heard. I think we can marry the two; teach respect while training for the expression of individual thoughts and reasoning.”
Favorite food: Fufu and groundnut soup
What actor should play you in a movie: Angelina Jolie
Last movie: The Karate Kid
Facebook or LinkedIn: Facebook
Favorite sports team: The Black Stars
What artist/group would you go on tour with: Dido
Movie theater or home theater: Home theater
List the languages you speak: English, TWI, GA