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Busia, Kofi Abefa
1913 to 1978
Protestant
Ghana


Kofi Abefa Busia was an African sociologist, statesman, and churchman. Born in Wenchi of the Brong-Ahafo Region in Ghana, he received his education from Wesley College, University of London, and Oxford, from which he received a doctorate in social anthropology. After returning to Ghana he held several administrative positions in the government. In 1947 he became a research lecturer at the University College of the Gold Coast (now the University of Ghana). The first major step in his political career came when he was elected to Accra's Legislative Council in 1951. By 1957 he was leader of the party opposing Nkrumah's political machine, which resulted in his forced exile in 1959. Until 1966 he taught in the Netherlands, Mexico, the United States, and England, after which a successful coup brought Nkrumah's downfall. Busia returned to Ghana and resumed an active role in politics, culminating in his election as prime minister of Ghana in 1969. However, an uncooperative civil service and army resulted in insurmountable problems. While in England for medical treatment in 1972, Busia was again in exile when the army staged a coup. He returned to lecture at Oxford until his death. His significant writings include The Challenge of Africa (1962), Africa in Search of Democracy (1967), Purposeful Education for Africa (1969), and Apartheid and Its Elimination (1971).

A. Scott Moreau


This article was reprinted, with permission from Twentieth-Century Dictionary of Christian Biography, edited by J. D. Douglas (Carlisle, Cumbria, England : Paternoster Press ; Grand Rapids, Mich. : Baker Books, c1995). All rights reserved.