Today in History Susanna Al-hassan - Ghana's first woman minister passes away

Susanna Al-hassan – Ghana’s first woman minister passes away


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Today in history, Ghana’s first woman minister, Mrs Susanna Al-hassan passes away on 17th January 1997

Susanna Al-hassan , passes away on 17 January 1997
Susanna Al-hassan

Early Life

Susanna Al-hassan, born in Tamale in the Northern Region of modern day Ghana on 27th November 1927 and died on 17th January 1997.

She was a product of Achimota School and was an author and politician.



Susanna Al-hassan kicked start her career as the headmistress of Bolgatanga Girls Middle School in the Northern Region from 1955 to 1960.

Her leadership abilities saw her leave her role as headmistress to pursue politics and

immediately became the Member of Parliament for the Northern Region same year, as a

beneficiary of the 1960 Representation of the people’s (Women Members) Bill.

After a year of excellent performance the then President Dr. Kwame Nkrumah appointed

her as the Deputy Minister of Education from 1961 to 1963, thereby becoming the first

female minister of Ghana which also made her the first African woman to hold a cabinet portfolio.

Susanna Al-hassan was later appointed the Minister of Social Affairs from 1963 to 1966,

she as well served as minister for Social Welfare and Community Development in 1965

when two ministries were merged by Nkrumah and in 1967 became the Minister for Social Affairs again when the merged ministry was decoupled.

Social Responsibility

Susanna Al-hassan ‘s strong passion for the young girls saw her hit the road running

with a campaign against prostitution especially amongst young ladies which had become

rampant at the time in the north, with the assistance of her political party the CPP.

She also wrote several children’s books.


She is said to be the mother of former GTV news anchor Selma Ramatu Alhassan who

later became Selma Valcourt and Mr. Victor Alhassan of Sky Petroleum.

She was commemorated on a 50th anniversary stamp in 2007 by the John Agyekum

Kuffour led Administration, 10 years after her death.


Issa and Amina, 1963

Asana and the Magic calabash, Longman, 1963. Republished, 1966

Two tales, 1966

The river that became a lake: the building of the Volta Dam, 1979

The river that became a lake: the story of the Volta river project, 1979

Voices of Wisdom, 1994

The role of women in politics in Ghana’, Feminist Perspective, Ottawa: MATCH International Centre, Susanna Al-hassan 1994, 9-18.



1.^ Worldwide Guide to Women in Leadership: Ghana Ministers

2.^ Donkor, Salome (September 18, 2009). “How Nkrumah Empowered Ghanaian Women”. Modernghana. Graphic Online. Retrieved November 1, 2016.

3.^ Cammaert, Jessica (2016). Undesirable Practices: Women, Children, and the Politics of the Body in Northern Ghana, 1930–1972. U of Nebraska Press. p. 320. ISBN 978-0803286962.



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