Fred Akuffo

Last updated
Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo
Lt. Gen. Fred Akuffo
7th Head of state of Ghana
In office
5 July 1978 4 June 1979
Deputy Lt. Gen. Joshua Hamidu
Preceded by General Acheampong
Succeeded by Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings
Personal details
Born 21 March 1937
Akropong, Gold Coast
Died 26 June 1979(1979-06-26) (aged 42)
Accra, Ghana
Political partyMilitary
Spouse(s) Mrs. Emily Akuffo
Profession Soldier
Military service
Service/branch Ghana Army
Years of service 1957 - 1979
Rank Lieutenant General
Commands Chief of Defence Staff
Chief of Army Staff
Battles/wars Congo Crisis
Other Organized Operation Keep Right
Head of State of a military government

Lieutenant General Frederick William "Fred" Kwasi Akuffo (21 March 1937 26 June 1979) was a soldier and politician. He was a Chief of Defence Staff of the Ghana Armed Forces and a Head of state and chairman of the ruling Supreme Military Council (SMC) in Ghana from 1978 to 1979. He came to power in a military coup, was overthrown in another military coup and executed three weeks later. [1]

Chief of the Defence Staff (Ghana)

The Chief of the Defence Staff (CDS) is the professional head of the Ghana Armed Forces. He is thus responsible for the administration and the operational control and command of the Ghana military. The CDS is a member of the Armed Forces Council. This council advice the President of Ghana on matters of policy relating to defence and also regulates the administration of the Armed Forces. It also advises the President on the promotion of all officers above the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel or its equivalent. The CDS has also been known as the General Officer Commanding (GOC).

Ghana Republic in West Africa

Ghana, officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country located along the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the west, Burkina Faso in the north, Togo in the east and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means "Warrior King" in the Soninke language.


Early life and education

Fred Akuffo was born at Akropong in the Eastern Region of Ghana. He completed his secondary education at the Presbyterian Boys' Secondary School in 1955 at Odumase krobo, Ghana. He then enlisted in the Ghana Army in 1957 and trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, UK among others, receiving his commission in 1960. He was married to Mrs. Emily Akuffo. He also attended the National Defence College in India in 1973.

Akropong Town in Eastern Region, Ghana

Akropong is a town in South Ghana and is the capital of the Akuapim North District, a district in the Eastern Region of South Ghana. This town is known for producing snails and palm oil. Akropong has a 2013 settlement population of 13,785 people.

Royal Military Academy Sandhurst British Army officer initial training centre

The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, commonly known simply as Sandhurst, is one of several military academies of the United Kingdom and is the British Army's initial officer training centre. It is located in the town of Sandhurst, Berkshire, though its ceremonial entrance is in Camberley, southwest of London. The Academy's stated aim is to be "the national centre of excellence for leadership". All British Army officers, including late-entry officers who were previously Warrant Officers, as well as other men and women from overseas, are trained at The Academy. Sandhurst is the British Army equivalent of the Britannia Royal Naval College Dartmouth, Royal Air Force College Cranwell, and the Commando Training Centre Royal Marines.

Sandhurst, Berkshire town in Berkshire, England

Sandhurst is a small town and civil parish in England of 7,966 homes and 20,803 inhabitants, primarily domiciliary in nature with a few light industries. It is in the south eastern corner of the ceremonial Royal County of Berkshire, within the Borough of Bracknell Forest, and is situated 32 miles (51 km) west-southwest of central London, 2.5 miles (4.0 km) north west of Camberley and 5 miles (8.0 km) south of Bracknell.


While in the army, he served as Commanding Officer of the Airborne Training School at Tamale and later the 6th Battalion of Infantry of the Ghana army between 1969 and 1970. He rose to become the 2nd Brigade Commander. He supervised the change over of traffic flow in Ghana from driving on the left to driving on the right as part of 'Operation Keep Right' which was effected on 4 August 1974. This change over was successful and largely accident free. He rose to become the Army Commander in April 1974 and the Chief of Defence Staff in April 1976.

Tamale food

A tamale is a traditional Mesoamerican dish made of masa or dough, which is steamed in a corn husk or banana leaf. The wrapping can either be discarded prior to eating, or be used as a plate, the tamale eaten from within. Tamales can be filled with meats, cheeses, fruits, vegetables, chilies or any preparation according to taste, and both the filling and the cooking liquid may be seasoned.

Battalion military unit size

A battalion is a military unit. The use of the term "battalion" varies by nationality and branch of service. Typically a battalion consists of 300 to 800 soldiers and is divided into a number of companies. A battalion is typically commanded by a lieutenant colonel. In some countries, the word "battalion" is associated with the infantry.

Infantry military service branch that specializes in combat by individuals on foot

Infantry is the branch of an army that engages in military combat on foot, distinguished from cavalry, artillery, and tank forces. Also known as foot soldiers, infantry traditionally relies on moving by foot between combats as well, but may also use mounts, military vehicles, or other transport. Infantry make up a large portion of all armed forces in most nations, and typically bear the largest brunt in warfare, as measured by casualties, deprivation, or physical and psychological stress.


On October 9, 1975, Fred Akuffo was appointed a member of the ruling Supreme Military Council government due to his position as the Ghana army commander. On July 5, 1978, he led a palace coup to overthrow the then Head of state, General Acheampong. He continued with the ongoing preparations to return Ghana to constitutional rule but his government was also cut short on 4 June 1979 by a military uprising by the junior ranks of the Ghana military led by Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings and the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council.

Jerry Rawlings Fourth President of the Republic of Ghana

Jerry John Rawlings is a former Ghanaian military leader and politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979. He led a military junta until 1992 and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.

Armed Forces Revolutionary Council, Ghana government

The Armed Forces Revolutionary Council (AFRC) was the government of Ghana from June 4, 1979 to September 24, 1979. It came to power in a bloody coup that removed the Supreme Military Council, another military regime, from power. The June 4 coup was preceded by an abortive attempt on May 15, 1979 when Flt. Lt. Jerry Rawlings and other ranks were arrested. Their trial only served to make them popular till they were eventually released on the morning of June 4 by young officers and noncommissioned officers inspired by Rawlings.


He was executed along with other senior military officers on 26 June 1979 at the Teshie Military Range, Ghana. These executions may have been carried out in response to massive public demand. [2]

Teshie Town in Greater Accra Region, Ghana

Teshie is a coastal town in the Ledzokuku-Krowor Municipal District, a district in the Greater Accra Region of southeastern Ghana. Teshie is the ninth most populous settlement in Ghana, with a population of 171,875 people. It is believed that the original Teshie people came from La, a town that lies to the west of Teshie. Its alternative definition refers to an individual devoted to the John Tesh radio program.

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  1. "Brief Profile: Frederick William Kwasi Akuffo". Justice Ghana. Retrieved 28 January 2014.

See also

Military offices
Preceded by
Brigadier E. A. Erskine
Chief of Army Staff
1974 1976
Succeeded by
Major General Robert Kotei
Preceded by
Major General Lawrence Okai
Chief of Defence Staff
1976 1978
Succeeded by
Major General Robert Kotei
Political offices
Preceded by
Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
Military Head of state
Head of state of Ghana
Military regime

Succeeded by
Jerry Rawlings
Military Head of state