Tripti Joshi (Editor)

Susanna Al Hassan

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President  Jerry Rawlings
Occupation  Author
Education  Achimota School
Alma mater  Achimota School
Died  January 17, 1997

Nationality  Ghanaian
Role  Ghanaian Politician
President  Kwame Nkrumah
Name  Susanna Al-Hassan
Party  Convention People's Party
Political party  Convention People's Party
Books  The River that Became a Lake: The Story of the Volta River Project

Susanna Al-Hassan or Susan Alhassan (27 November 1927 – 17 January 1997) was a Ghanaian author and politician, who in 1961 became Ghana's first female to be appointed minister. She was the first African woman to hold a cabinet portfolio and became the member of parliament for the then Northern Region parliamentary constituency between 1960 and 1966. She also wrote several children's books.


Early life

Al-Hassan was born in Tamale and educated at Achimota School. From 1955 to 1960 she was headmistress of Bolgatanga Girls' Middle School.


A beneficiary of the 1960 Representation of the People’s (Women Members) Bill, Al-Hassan was returned unopposed as an MP representing the Northern Region in June 1960. She took on various ministerial position, some of which lasted for short periods whiles others were merged or expanded. From 1961 to 1963 she was Deputy Minister of Education in Nkrumah's republican government. From 1963 to 1966, and again in 1967, she was Minister of Social Affairs. In between that period in 1965, Nkrumah appointed her as Minister of Social Welfare and Community Development.

On the fight against prostitution in northern Ghana in the 1960s, the CPP government engaged in mass education campaigns that emphasized the association of prostitution with "social evil", "enemy" and "crusade", among the aged and illiterate population. Al-Hassan asserted that the problem rather lay with "the soaring rate of depravity and lewdness among our younger generation especially school girls and young working girls" who traveled to Tamale for work or school.

Al-Hassan died on 17 January 1997. She has a daughter named Selma who was a newscaster in the 1980s. In 2007 she was commemorated on a 50th anniversary stamp.


  • Issa and Amina, 1963
  • Asana and the magic calabash, Longman, 1963. Republished, 1998
  • Two tales, 1966
  • The river that became a lake : the building of the Volta Dam, 1979
  • The river that became a lake: The story of the Volta river project, 1979
  • Voices of wisdom, 1994
  • 'The Role of Women in Politics in Ghana', Feminist Perspectives, Ottawa: MATCH International Centre, 1994, 9-18.
  • References

    Susanna Al-Hassan Wikipedia

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