Sir Samuel E. Jonah

Sir Samuel E. Jonah delivered the Spring Commencement Address at Morgan State University on May 18, 2024.

Sir Samuel Esson JonahSir Samuel E. Jonah, born on the 19th of November 1949, was educated at Adisadel College in Ghana, Camborne School of Mines in Cornwall, and the Imperial College of Science & Technology, London.

Sam Jonah’s career began in 1969 at the Obuasi gold mine. He was appointed Chief Executive Officer of Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited in 1986 and oversaw its growth from a one mine operation into a multinational. In 1996, Ashanti, which had listings in London and Ghana, became the first operating African company to be listed on the New York Stock Exchange. He became Executive President of AngloGold Ashanti Ltd (the world’s second largest gold producer) in May 2004 when Ashanti was merged with AngloGold Limited. Sam Jonah has been decorated with many awards and honours. In 1994, the Camborne School of Mines and the University of Exeter (UK) jointly awarded him an Honorary Doctor of Science degree.

In 2003, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Head of the Commonwealth conferred on him an Honorary Knighthood as Knight Commander of the Civil Division of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (KBE) in recognition of his achievements as an African businessman, a leading business Executive from the Commonwealth, and an international public figure.

In 2003, he was Co-Chairman of the World Economic Forum held in Durban, South Africa. In December 2004, CNN and Time Magazine ranked him as one of the world’s top 25 most influential business people, setting the global standards for management, ethics, marketing ,and innovation. In December 2005, Ashesi University College through its affiliate University in Ghana, University of Cape Coast, awarded Sam the Honorary Doctor of Humanities degree. In 2006, he was awarded Ghana’s highest national award, the Companion of the Order of the Star.

He was elected on October 2019 as a Foreign Member of the United States National Academy of Sciences (Engineering Division) for the recognition of his distinguished contribution to engineering. In May 2022, Sam was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science by the Imperial College of London in recognition of the outstanding contribution he has made to the world. He is the recipient of five Lifetime Achievement awards, the most recent being the Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award.

Sam Jonah is the Chancellor of the University of Cape Coast Ghana, a former Member of the Board of Ashesi University in Ghana, a Visiting Professor of Business at the University of Witwatersrand Business School of Johannesburg and a member of its Governing Council, as well as Trustee of the Nelson Mandela Legacy Trust (UK). He was a Founding Member of The United Nations Secretary General’s Global Compact Advisory Council, a member of The African Regional Advisory Board of the London Business School, a member of the Governing Body of the School of Oriental and African Studies, and served as a Trustee of the Camborne School of Mines. He was a member of the Advisory Council of the President of the African Development Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC).

Sam has been an Advisor to a number of African Heads of State including Thabo Mbeki (South Africa), Olusengu Obasanjo (Nigeria), Gnassingbe Eyadema (Togo), and John Agyekum Kuffour (Ghana). Sam Jonah has served on the boards of several international public and private companies. He previously served as Chairman of Equinox Limited (Australian and Canadian listed), Moto Gold Mines (Australian and Canadian listed), and Uramin (London and Canadian listed). He was previously Chairman of the Mauritius based Bayport Financial Services. He served on the board of Vodafone UK from 2009 to 2019. He was appointed a founding member of Bank of America Global Advisory Council from December 2012 to March 2020. He was appointed Chairman of Helios Towers UK since September 2019 to date.