Freda Obeng-Ampofo ’08: Diplomatic press officer
“Walk with the dreamers, the believers, the courageous, the cheerful, the planners, the doers, the successful people with their heads in the clouds and their feet on the ground. Let their spirit ignite a fire within you to leave this world better than when you found it.”
Freda Obeng-Ampofo is equally fluent in English and in Twi—the principal native language of the Akan lands in Ghana. Both languages are absolutely necessary for her work as press and information officer for the Delegation of the European Union to Ghana. She began her job in 2013 after more than three years working in Washington, D.C., on a career trajectory that involved international business, trade and project management with organizations including the American World Services Corporation, and Futures Group International under the USAID Health Policy Initiative (HPI/HPP).
“The timing for my work with the delegation couldn’t have been more perfect,” she says. “Ghana had had a peaceful 2012 election; however, the opposition contested the election, citing issues such as double-counting and voting without biometric verification. It was exciting for me, in my new role, to be following the development of the case until the announcement of the verdict, when the incumbent was reinstated.” She was hired when the verdict was still pending, and most development partners had suspended funding (or were thinking about it). The E.U. delegation was in the midst of talks on how to proceed with their work in Ghana. Meeting with high-level executives and change makers was a great opportunity for Freda to get reoriented to Ghana after spending her high school and college years in the United States.
A typical day for Freda at the E.U. office in Accra includes accompanying the E.U. ambassador to meetings with diplomatic and media personnel, coordinating visits to the delegation (by other E.U. delegations, or by students, for instance), following up on developments in economic partnership agreements, and preparing weekly news reviews to keep local, regional and international partners informed about Ghana.
In addition, Freda does social media consulting, and has been freelancing at a public relations agency, scoping out potential clients among mining and energy firms. She is involved with the Ahaspora Network, a group of Ghanaian professionals who have worked or studied abroad, are now back home, and want to give back to Ghana through a mentoring program for high school students. “Aha in Akan means ‘here,’ spora is from diaspora; so Ahaspora means the Ghanaian diaspora here in Ghana,” she explains.
When she’s not running marathons—sometimes to raise funds for cancer research and treatment—another leisure-time project is her new blogsite, www.fabfitfine.com, on which she writes on “healthy eating habits (using our own foods and Ghanaian recipes), staying fit and rocking our natural hair.”
[email protected] | @fabfitfine and @garisellers