The Member of Parliament for the Mfantseman Constituency in the Central region had paid glowing tribute to the late Brigadier-General Constance Ama Emefa Edjeani-Afenu, Ghana’s first female brigadier general, who tragically passed away on Monday, January 24, 2022.
Mrs. Ophelia Mensah who is also the Vice Chairperson of the Defence and Interior Committee of Parliament, presenting a statement on the floor of the House on the demise of the late brigadier general described her as a trailblazer who served her country with distinction and left an indelible mark which shall never be erased.
According her, the late brigadier-general’s achievements as the first woman to be appointed as Deputy Military Adviser of the Permanent Mission in the New York from 2013 to 2016, her appointment in 1999 as the Commanding Officer of the Forces Pay Regiment, which made her the first female Commanding Officer in the history of the Ghana Armed Forces, and progressing through the ranks to become the first female Brigadier-General of the Ghana Armed Forces on March 1, 2016, as well as the 2019 UN appointed as the Deputy Force Commander in the UN Mission for the Referendum in Western Sahara (MINURSO) where she served with distinction are no small feats, and a testament that the nation has lost a great servant in her.
The late Brigadier-General was born on March 5, 1960, in Vane Avatime in the Volta Region. She was raised up in Tamale and attended the Kamina Barracks Primary and Armed Forces Experimental School in Kumasi before attending Wesley Girls’ Senior High School in Cape Coast to study for her O’ and A-Levels. She enlisted into the Ghana Armed Forces as one of two females in 1978, when she was 18 years old. After 18 months of training at the Ghana Military Academy, she was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant on April 25, 1980, as the only female in her batch to successfully complete her training. She was consequently awarded the Most Prestigious Resilient Officer award in her graduating class.
Her father, as well as two of her brothers also served in the military and this imbibed in her a strong sense of civic responsibility. This was demonstrated by her great career in the Ghana Armed Forces, where she progressed through the ranks to become the country’s first female Brigadier-General. She became a role model for women in the Ghana Armed Forces and the country at large.
The late Brigadier-General later graduated from the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration with a Diploma in Public Administration (GIMPA). Additionally, she had her Postgraduate Diploma in Management Practice from Ecole Superieure de Gestion in Paris, France. Subsequently, she obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree in Accounting from GIMPA.
Brigadier General Edjeani-Afenu also participated in various UN peacekeeping operations. She served as part of the United Nations Interim Forces in Lebanon (UNIFIL) in 1994 and 1998, the UN Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of Congo (MONUSCO) in 2007, and the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) in 2009.
She made history when she progressed through the ranks to become the first female Brigadier-General of the Ghana Armed Forces on March 1, 2016. Her appointment was confirmed in March 2017 when the Chief of Defence stalf (CDS) Major – General Obed Boamah Akwa, conferred the rank on her. The CDS, whiles congratulating her, labeled her exploits as a beacon for females in the Armed Forces.