Home » Valerie Sackey, Influential Ghanaian Public Affairs Director, Dies at 88

Valerie Sackey, Influential Ghanaian Public Affairs Director, Dies at 88

Sackey, Renowned for Her Role in Ghana's Political Communications, Passes Away

by Adenike Adeodun

Valerie Anne Sackey, a prominent figure in Ghana’s political scene and a trailblazer in public affairs, died on December 31, 2023, at the age of 88, the J.J. Rawlings Foundation confirmed.

Born in 1935 in Accrington, UK, to Valentine and Nancy Lindoe, Sackey’s journey to Ghana began with her marriage to Horace Walter Kofi Sackey. The couple moved to Ghana shortly after its independence in 1957. A geography teacher by trade, Sackey’s career took a remarkable turn when she joined Ghana’s political arena.

Her influence grew significantly when she was appointed Director of the Castle Information Bureau under the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) and later the Public Affairs Secretariat during President J.J. Rawlings’ tenure. Known for her forthright and practical approach to communication, Sackey became a respected voice in Ghana’s socio-political landscape.

According to a report by Graphic Online, Sackey’s impactful career began with teaching at Opoku Ware Secondary School, followed by a tenure at the Department of Game and Wildlife. Her political journey accelerated alongside her husband’s appointment as a Minister of State in the Progress Party government. This transition led her to Accra, where she continued her work in wildlife conservation.

In a turn of events, her candid journalism under the pen name Yaa Asantewaa caught the attention of Flight Lieutenant J.J. Rawlings, leading to a significant role in his office. Sackey’s responsibilities included managing Rawlings’ speeches, media interactions, and public correspondence, a role she executed with distinction.

Her partnership with Kwasi Opoku Acheampong, former editor of the Pioneer newspaper, bolstered the effectiveness of the Castle Information Bureau and the Public Affairs Secretariat, marking them as pivotal components of Rawlings’ administration.

Following her retirement in 2001, Sackey remained a close associate of the late former President, continuing to assist with his media engagements.

Sackey leaves behind a legacy of groundbreaking achievements in Ghana’s political communication sphere. She is survived by her children Michael, Joseph, Anne Asantewaa, and seven grandchildren. Details of her funeral rites will be announced later.

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