Alex Quaison-Sackey

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Alex Quaison-Sackey
Minister for Foreign Affairs
In office
PresidentKwame Nkrumah
Preceded byKojo Botsio
Succeeded byLt Gen Joseph A Ankrah
19th Session President of the United Nations General Assembly
In office
Preceded byCarlos Sosa Rodriguez
Succeeded byAmintore Fanfani
2nd Ghana Permanent Representative to the United Nations
In office
30 June 1959 – 1965
PresidentKwame Nkrumah
Preceded byDaniel Chapman
Succeeded byFred Arkurst
Personal details
Born(1924-08-09)9 August 1924
Died21 December 1992(1992-12-21) (aged 68)
Political partyConvention Peoples' Party
SpouseElsie Annie Blankson
ChildrenEgya, Nana, Awo, Kweku Bondzie, Nenyi (Nii) and Yaaba

Alex Quaison-Sackey (9 August 1924 – 21 December 1992) was a Ghanaian diplomat who served during the first and third republics. He was the first black African to serve as president of the United Nations General Assembly.

Early life and education[edit]

Quaison-Sackey was born at Winneba in the Central Region of Ghana.[1] He received his secondary education in Ghana at Mfantsipim School at Cape Coast in the Central Region and studied at the Intermediate Department at Achimota College near Accra. He then proceeded to the United Kingdom, where he studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Exeter College, Oxford University, graduating with an honours degree. He also studied international relations and international law at the London School of Economics after being appointed one of Ghana's first Foreign Service officers.[2]

Diplomatic service[edit]

He served as Ghana's second ambassador and permanent representative to the United Nations from 30 June 1959 to 1965.[3] He served as President of the United Nations General Assembly from 1964 to 1965, becoming the first black African to hold that position. During that time, Quaison-Sackey was also Ghana's ambassador to Cuba from 1961 to 1965 and ambassador to Mexico from 1962 to 1964. In 1965, he became foreign minister of Ghana, but served in that position for only a few months, as he was dismissed when President Nkrumah was overthrown in February 1966. He was again appointed as Ambassador to the United States in 1978 by the Supreme Military Council led by Lt. General Fred Akuffo.[1]


Quaison-Sackey was appointed as Minister for Foreign Affairs in Kwame Nkrumah's Convention People's Party government. He was on a trip to North Vietnam with Nkrumah when the government was overthrown by a military coup d'état leading to the formation of the National Liberation Council on 24 February 1966 led by Lt. General Joseph Arthur Ankrah.[1]


Quaison-Sackey died aged 68 at Korle Bu Teaching Hospital in Accra, following a pulmonary embolism on 21 December 1992.[1]


Quaison-Sackey's parents were Alex Emmanuel Sackey (1902–1972) and Alberta Quaison. He married Elsie Annie Blankson (1927–2003).[4] Together, they had six children – the late Egya, the late Nana, Awo, Kweku Bondzie, Nenyi (Nii) and Yaaba. Their grandchildren are Kwesi Awenate, Kodwo, Nana, Egya, Selasie and Sena.


Quaison-Sackey later wrote about his experiences of diplomatic issues in Ghana's early days in a book called Africa Unbound: Reflections of an African Statesman, which was published by Praeger in May 1963.[5] In it he describes his concept of "Negritude" - "Acceptance and affirmation of the quality of blackness. It is a psychological gathering together of all black peoples in the spiritual bonds of brotherhood."[6]


  1. ^ a b c d "Alex Quaison-Sackey, Ghanaian Official, 68". The New York Times. Obituaries. 1992-12-31. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  2. ^ "ALEX QUAISON-SACKEY (GHANA) ELECTED PRESIDENT OF THE NINETEENTH SESSION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY". Biography on Official Website. United Nations. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  3. ^ "Permanent Mission of Ghana to the United Nations - Past Ambassadors". United Nations. Archived from the original on 2009-05-10. Retrieved 2010-04-28.
  4. ^ "Alex Quaison Sackey". Genealogy. []. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  5. ^ Quaison-Sackey, Alex (1963). Africa Unbound: Reflections of an African Statesman. New York: Praeger. p. 180. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
  6. ^ Hellman, Geoffery T. (1963-08-03). "The Talk of the Town "Ambassador from Ghana"". archives. The New Yorker. Retrieved 2010-04-18.
Diplomatic posts
Preceded by President of the United Nations General Assembly
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Daniel Chapman
Permanent Representative to the United Nations
Succeeded by
Fred Arkurst
Preceded by
Ambassador to Cuba
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ambassador to Mexico
1962– 64
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Ambassador to the United States
Succeeded by
Political offices
Preceded by Foreign Minister
Succeeded by