Ghanaâ€™s High Commissioner to Canada, Dr. Richard Turkson is dead. He died Wednesday morning after a short illness.
Dr. Turkson had only days ago played host to President John Mills who paid a four day official visit to Canada.
Profile of Dr Richard Turkson
Dr. Richard B. Turkson was from 1990 to 1993 Africa Regional Director of the International Planned Parenthood Federation (IPPF) whose headquarters is located in London, UK. In November 1993, he was reassigned to the newly-created post of IPPF Legal Consultant (Africa), a position he held until July 1995.
He has been Dean of the Faculty of Law, University of Ghana, Legon; Visiting Professor, Temple University Law School, Philadelphia, USA; Commonwealth Secretariat Technical Expert attached to the Department of Law, University of Mauritius, Reduit, Mauritius; Member of the General Legal Council, the statutory body charged with the function of regulating the legal profession in Ghana; National President, Planned Parenthood Association of Ghana, and Member of the National Census Technical Advisory Committee (2000 Population and Housing Census).
He has led several Ghana Government delegations to meetings of the UNFPA Executive Board (1998-2000) and the UN Commission on Population and Development (2002 and 2003). He also actively participated as a member of Ghana Government delegations to The Hague Forum (1999); the ICPD + 5 Review (New York, 1999); the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS (2001), and the ICPD + 10 Review (New York, 2004).
He has been a member of the Ghana Bar for a long time and has practised extensively in the Courts of Ghana as Barrister-at-Law and Solicitor of the Supreme Court. He was Vice-Chairman-cum-Rapporteur of the 35th Session of the UN Commission on Population and Development (2002-2003).
Before his appointment as High Commissioner, he was on retirement from the Public Service of Ghana and consulting for non-governmental organizations such as IPPF Africa Regional Office, Nairobi, Kenya, IPAS Africa Alliance Office, Nairobi, Kenya, African Population Advisory Council, Nairobi, Kenya.
His broad areas of interest include the following:
gender and human rights, particularly promotion and protection of sexual and reproductive rights at the national and international levels
the critical role of African parliamentarians and other law-making institutions in promulgating relevant laws affecting sexual and reproductive health and rights.
His publications and conference presentations include:
The Family Planning Movement in Africa: the Pathway to Recognition;
Reproductive Rights within the Context of Current International Human Rights Instruments;
The History of Family Planning in West Africa: 1964 â€“ 2004 and Legal and Policy Barriers to Family Planning in Swaziland, Zambia, Senegal and Burkina Faso (edited by Turkson and published by IPPF as a tool for advocacy at the NGO Forum preceding the historic Beijing Conference in 1995).
Amongst Dr. Turksonâ€™s expectations as High Commissioner for Ghana are the following:
To work together with his compatriots resident in Canada and interested Canadians to generally empower our women, particularly those in the rural areas, to eliminate or alleviate poverty and all those factors which hinder development.
This should go a long way in achieving the Millennium Development Goals;
To search for meaningful opportunities for investment by Canadian partners in the oil and mining sectors;
To search for similar opportunities in value-added agro-processing and access to Canadian markets for Ghanaian non-traditional exports.