Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante is one of the youngest female lawyers pioneering development in different sectors of her homeland, Ghana. Her ideology of diversified knowledge has seen her span beyond her field. The effectiveness of this mindset made her advise youths to attain mastery in all fields to remain relevant in the changing world.
In 2017, she became a board member of the National Folklore Board, a body responsible for legally defending and promoting Ghana’s folklore and intangible cultural heritage. A year later, she was appointed as the Acting Director of the National Folklore Board, making her one of the youngest to ascend such an office.
Her competency while in the position gained her and the organisation international recognition. She and her team successfully executed projects such as passing the folklore user fees into law.
With all these milestones attained, Asante did not foresee her path taking such a trajectory.
The making of a legal practitioner, Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante
Ashante relocated with her mother at the age of seven from the United Kingdom. She grew up surrounded by her mother, grandparents and maternal uncles. Apart from her academic knowledge, her immediate and extended family contributed to her formative experience.
This made her an outstanding and outspoken person right from her secondary school. With these qualities, she wanted to be a lobbyist. She believed this was a way for her to effect change within the government and society. Despite her desire to be an agent of change in the country by being a lobbyist, she could not study the course in Ghana. Though she opted for Economics, noticing her eloquence and outspoken nature, her grandfather advised her to study law. A decision she said she has never regretted.
Since then, the law graduate from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology has achieved different milestones. In 2017, as a legal practitioner, she was one of the two nominated lawyers by the Association of Law Firms in Italy to undergo a six-month professional training in Sustainable Dispute Resolution and Sustainable Development and International Anti-Corruption.
Asante became a specialist in commercial litigation, corporate governance and intellectual property. She practised it while working with law firms within and beyond the borders of Ghana, such as JLD & MB Legal Consultancy, Fresh Fields Bruckhaus Derringer and NCTM Studio Legale. Her diversified exposure gave her experience in areas such as debt recovery, company secretarial, regulation advisory and commercial documentation drafting and review services.
With her master’s degree in Gender, Peace and Security from Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Centre, she volunteered as a lawyer under the Ghana Legal Aid and Scheme and fronted gender issues.
Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante as a social development activist
Although Nana Adjoa Adobea Asante was unable to become a professional lobbyist, she got to practise it as acting director of the National Folklore Board. “I learnt how to manage people further, and I also learnt how to lobby, so even though I couldn’t become a professional lobbyist, this job helped me improve my negotiation skills,” she said.
This position has seen her contribute to and sustain some of the cultural heritage of Ghana. One such move was when she requested that Marvel Studios should acknowledge Ghana for using ‘Kente cloth’, one of their cultural attire, in the globally acclaimed movie ‘Black Panther.’
The move has further opened more opportunities to the country as the studio is considering using Ghana for movie locations. Also, revenues are now being generated from international organisations using the country’s cultural artefacts and symbolic items for commercial purposes. Under her leadership, she monetised the creative arts space in Ghana.
To ensure that the country’s cultural heritage is ingrained, she created folklore clubs in some primary schools in Ghana.
Apart from volunteering to represent people in court, she founded a non-government organisation – The Social Bridge. Through the organisation, she caters for homeless women and children by providing education and executing life-changing social projects.