Madam Theresa Kuffour was the 2nd first lady of the 4th Republic of Ghana, married to the former president, H.E. John Agyekum Kuffour, who succeeded H.E. Jerry John Rawlings to serve his tenure between 2001 and 2009.
Sources close to the family indicated that the former first lady passed away of natural causes in her home in Peduase in the early hours of Sunday, October 1, 2023, but an official announcement is yet to be made.
Theresa Kuffour was born on October 25, 1935, in Wenchi, in the Bono Region, and started her education at the Catholic Convent, OLA, at Keta, in the Volta Region of Ghana. She later went to London, where she was educated as a Registered General Nurse in the Southern Hospital Group of Nursing in Edinburgh, Scotland, and furthered her study at the Radcliffe Infirmary, Oxford, and Paddington General Hospital, London, where she qualified as a State Certified Midwife with a Certificate in Premature Nursing.
Theresa married John A. Kufuor when he was 23 and she was 25 after they met at a Republic Day Anniversary Dance in London in 1961 and got married in 1962.
The couple had five children (J. Addo Kufuor, Nana Ama Gyamfi, Saah Kufuor, Agyekum Kufuor, and Owusu Afriyie Kufuor) and currently have eight grandchildren.
Despite being the first lady of Ghana for eight years between 2001 and 2009, Theresa managed to maintain a low profile in the area of politics.
One of the most enduring legacies of Mrs. Kufuor’s life was her commitment to improving healthcare in Ghana. She played a pivotal role in initiatives aimed at enhancing healthcare services, particularly in the areas of maternal and child health.
She founded the Mother and Child Community Development Foundation (MCCDF), a non-governmental organization operating in Ghana and Canada that supports work in the prevention of mother-to-child transmission. Her efforts led to significant advancements in access to healthcare and a reduction in maternal and child mortality rates in the country.
Mrs. Theresa Kufuor was a staunch advocate for women’s rights and empowerment. She championed programs and policies aimed at advancing the status of women in Ghanaian society. Her work inspired countless women to pursue education, career opportunities, and leadership roles, fostering gender equality and women’s participation in national development.
Education held a special place in her heart, and she worked tirelessly to promote educational opportunities for all Ghanaians, regardless of their background. Her efforts included promoting girl-child education and advocating for initiatives that expanded access to quality education across the country.
In 2007, she pushed for policy changes in the government’s white paper on educational reforms towards the implementation of UNESCO’s free compulsory universal basic education (FCUBE) program for kindergarten children.
While Ghana grieves the passing of a beloved citizen, it also honors the indomitable spirit of a lady whose legacy will continue to shine brilliantly in Ghanaians’ hearts and thoughts.