Alan John Kwadwo Kyerematen a.k.a Alan Cash was born on 3 October 1955 to Alexander Atta Yaw Kyerematen, a social anthropologist from Patasse, Kumasi and Victoria Kyerematen (née Welsing) from Elmina and Ejisu. He was named after an Archbishop of the Church of England, The Most Reverend Alan John Knight CMG DD who was the Headmaster of the all-boys Anglican boarding school, Adisadel College in Cape Coast in the 1930s, and a mentor to his father, A.A.Y. Kyerematen when the elder Kyerematen was a student there and later, a Head Boy in his final year.[ In 1951, his father became the founder and first Director of the Centre for National Culture located in Kumasi of the Ashanti Region and later on, he was appointed the Mayor of Kumasi and a Commissioner of Local Government between 1966 and 1969. Like father like son, Alan Kyerematen attended Adisadel College for his secondary education, entering the institution at the record age of nine years. He attended the prestigious Achimota School afterwards for his sixth form education. Alan proceeded to the University of Ghana, Legon for a Bachelor’s degree in Economics. Kyerematen also holds a Law degree, LLB from the Ghana Law School at the same university where he qualified as a Barrister-at-Law. He was called to the bar in Ghana, and is a practicing attorney–at-law in Ghana. In addition, he is a Hubert Humphrey Fellow of the School of Management at the University of Minnesota, U.S., having completed one year management studies under the Fulbright Fellowship program at that institution.
In 2003, Alan Kyerematen was appointed as the Cabinet Minister with responsibility for Trade, Industry and the President’s Special Initiatives (PSI) with additional responsibility for Private Sector Development (PSD). In that capacity, he spearheaded the development and implementation of innovative programmes which have become new strategic pillars of growth for the transformation of the Ghanaian economy. Under his leadership he headed,
An $8.5 million state-of-the-art factory, which produces high grade industrial starch from cassava for export to key markets in Europe, Africa and Asia. The starch initiative created over 10,000 jobs and piloted a new innovative approach in rural industry development based on the concept of Corporate Village Enterprises. In addition, it was considered as a model in linking developing countries into the global supply chain through industrial agro-processing. The first industrial starch company was certified as a global supplier of high grade starch to Nestle operations worldwide.
The construction of a multimillion-dollar enclave within the Tema Free Zone, dedicated to garments manufacturing for the export market by Ghanaian entrepreneurs. The enclave is also being extended and converted to accommodate similar facilities for Furniture Manufacturing and an ICT Park, thus converting part of the Free Zones into a multi-purpose Industrial Park.
The major component activities implemented include the establishment of Export Trade Houses, the establishment of a “Furniture City” at Tema – an enclave for manufacturers of wood export products, the establishment of product galleries to promote Made-in-Ghana goods and the establishment of a Technology Innovation Center for Capital Goods Manufacturing.
The revival of the Oil Palm industry in Ghana, achieving a phenomenal growth in seedlings: supply rose from 250,000 seedlings per annum in 2001 to 4 million as at the end of 2004, from twelve nursery sites. Programme initiated under which over 102,000 hectares Oil palm plantation is being cultivated.
Mobilizing new investments to expand Salt mining operations in Ghana and provide a stable raw material base for the development of a caustic soda industry to feed other manufacturing industries. Ghana’s non-traditional export sector has grown from $400 million in 2000 to the level of $800 million in 2005.
The roll-out and implementation of the Districts Industrialisation Programme, a comprehensive programme for rural industrialization involving the setting up of at least one medium-sized factory in each administrative district in Ghana.
As Minister for Trade, Industry, he has coordinated Government of Ghana’s trade policy agenda in respect of multilateral trade negotiations, including WTO, EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement and ECOWAS. He played lead roles in both the regional preparatory process towards the WTO Cancun and Hong Kong Ministerial Meetings, particularly during the latter, in which he was one of the privileged few amongst Trade Ministers in the World, to have been appointed as a member of the Chairman’s Consultative Group. He was also the only Trade Minister from Africa to have been selected as a panelist on Trade during the 2006 World Economic Forum in Davos. Alan Kyerematen played a key role in shaping Africa’s Trade Policy agenda in the WTO Multilateral Negotiations and the EU-ACP Economic Partnership Agreement Negotiations. He was one of the lead negotiators for Africa in the WTO Ministerial Conference in Cancun in 2003, and also participated in the high-level “Green Room” consultations during the Hong Kong WTO Conference in December 2005. In addition, he initiated, directed and managed the preparations for the hosting of UNCTAD XII in Ghana, and introduced for the first time in the history of UNCTAD Conferences, the World Investment Forum which has now become a major calendar event for UNCTAD. He also coordinated and supervised the hosting by Ghana of the Sixth United States-Africa Summit in 2006, and played a key role in negotiating changes in the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). He was Chairman of the ECOWAS Council of Trade Ministers at the critical stages of launching the EU-ECOWAS EPA negotiations.
He has also led the negotiation and development of bilateral trade and economic relations between the Government of Ghana and its major trading partners, including the UK, US, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, China, Denmark, South Africa, Nigeria, etc. He had been a leading member of the NPP Government team promoting Ghana abroad and attracting and facilitating foreign direct investment into the country, and has also been responsible for developing a comprehensive internal trade and import management portfolio aimed at enhancing the competitiveness of local products, promoting fair trade and protecting consumer interests as well as promoting Made-in-Ghana products through campaigns such as the highly successful “National Friday Wear” programme.
Under his direction, a comprehensive Ghana Trade Policy has for the first time in the history of Ghana been launched as a major plank in Government’s strategy for accelerating and sustaining economic growth and increasing incomes and employment. The Trade Policy provides clear and transparent guidelines for the comprehensive implementation of Government’s domestic and international trade agenda. In addition, he led the process of preparing a $200-million implementation blueprint, called the Trade Sector Support Programme (TSSP), which was launched in October 2005.
He also negotiated a $45 million facility with the World Bank to promote small and medium enterprise development in Ghana. Another major achievement of Kyerematen was to develop the Trade Ministry into a professional service organization with the Ministry being restructured into strategic business units with an efficient programme coordination and management system.
Additionally, as part of a government investment delegation, Alan Kyerematen was instrumental in the negotiation of the contract that led to the arrival of Dallas, Texas – based start-up company, Kosmos Energy to Ghana to explore and discover oil in commercial quantities which generates large revenue inflows for the state annually. In May, 2017, President Nana Akufo-Addo named Alan Kyerematen as part of nineteen ministers who would form his cabinet. The names of the 19 ministers were submitted the Parliament of Ghana and announced by the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. Prof. Mike Ocquaye.
Coming from a mixed Akan ancestry of the Asante and Fante ethnic subgroups, he speaks Twi and Fanti fluently. In addition, he speaks Ga and is proficient in French. He is married to Patricia Christabel Kyerematen (née Kingsley-Nyinah), the daughter of Justice Joseph Kingsley-Nyinah, Ghana’s Electoral Commissioner during the 1979 presidential election. They have two children – Alexander and Victor. Alan Kyerematen’s sister Bridget Kyerematen – Darko died in a gas explosion in January 2017. Alan Kyerematen along with his elder brother Stephen Kyerematen are Managing Directors of A Wealth of Women Ghana BKD (Bridget Kyerematen Darko), a foundation formed to support their late sister’s work and legacy. The foundation is affiliated to A Wealth of Women.