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Stella Aku Addo- A Model of Probity, Elegance and Leadership

As the integrity of the procurement unit in particular has been called into question in the past years, and the need to see positive models of fairness and transparency in the procurement practice has become increasingly pressing, Stella Aku Addo, Country Manager at CIPS UK-Ghana has stepped into the spotlight as one fine specimen of uprightness, elegance and authority.

Mrs. Stella Addo is a practicing procurement and Supply Chain professional with over Twenty- Five years’ (25) experience under her belt. Her career as a procurement professional started in 1991 at the stores of the Ministry of Education after she finished her national service.

In a press interview, Mrs. Addo shared, “I was there as a young graduate and was given three old store-men to work with. The ministry had then acquired some motorbikes and literacy materials that were to be distributed as part of an ongoing literacy programme across the country. I entered the store for the first time and there was total chaos, immediately, I had to arrange and put things in order; I did some coding and labeling. Later, I was tasked to arrange three warehouses to stock materials for the ministry that was to be distributed.”

It was a fairytale discovery of dreams and great love. From her role in stores, she rose through the ranks as an Assistant Procurement Officer to become Senior Procurement Officer through to Principal Procurement Officer to subsequently become the Procurement Manager at the Ministry of Education. After over 8 years at the Ministry of Education, she moved to Crown Agents Ghana Limited.

Throughout her career, Stella Addo has contributed to the development of the procurement profession in Ghana in various capacities as a Procurement Specialist, Project Manager, Procurement Advisor, with Crown Agents, Funds & Procurement Management unit of the Ministry of Education, and resigned in Oct 2017 as the Head of Procurement (HOP) Fidelity Bank.

Having dipped her feet into both the private and public sectors, Mrs. Addo knows what it takes to draw a crowd; an infectious smile and an intoxicating aura of power. She is outspoken, exceptionally brilliant and resilient, and possesses an enthusiasm for the work she does. These innate abilities have served her well as a woman in a male-dominated industry. Her outspoken and resilient nature have helped her plough through all resistance she has faced throughout her career.

Between March 2014 and August 2016, Mrs. Addo served CIPS as the first female chair. Due to her outstanding leadership of the institute, she was re-elected for a second term from September 2016 to September 2018.  Her time at CIPS greatly helped increase awareness of the profession and improved professional standards in procurement.

Strategically poised to promote best practice in procurement and to raising awareness of the contribution of Purchasing & Supply to Corporate, National and International prosperity, Mrs. Addo, during her tenure of service created awareness forums (through various Media TV & Radio Talk Shows; Metro, Joy, Adom etc.) and in 2014 revived CIPS local branch activities to become vibrant and visible in Ghana, the effects of this initiative is seen even today.

As chairwoman, she also elevated the presence of CIPS in Ghana to the extent that from November 2016 to date public sector organizations including the civil service have made several request of the CIPS Ghana office to recommend experienced members to serve on their Entity Tender Committees and other panels (over 50 people have been posted to various entities to date).

In 2016, she organized two (2) public lectures on Procurement & Industrialization. The first was held in Accra and saw 700 people in attendance. The next was held in Kumasi and hosted 1,000 attendees. Within the same year, she organized a Master Class for public and private practitioners in Procurement & Supply Chain which received 100 participants.

In an effort to promote the use of digital technology to the practice as well as reach large numbers of people, she set up social media platforms where CIPS materials and branch activities are posted (WhatsApp, LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)

Mrs. Stella Addo is an icon across Africa’s procurement and supply chain sector. She is responsible for the opening of the Ghana Office of the Chartered Institute of Procurement and Supply (CIPS-UK). Mrs. Addo is a Fellow of CIPS- the highest qualification of the Institute. This makes her the First Woman Branch- Chair, the First Woman Fellow in Ghana and the First Country Manager of the Institute (CIPS, UK) in Ghana. She was also awarded a Fellow of the Institute of Project Management Professionals (IPMP) due to her numerous contributions in Project Management.

It is no surprise that she was appointed the first Country Manager for CIPS- Ghana in November 2017, a position she currently holds.

In 2019, the Minister for Public Procurement – Hon. Adwoa Safo appointed her as the Board Chairperson of the Professional Ethics and Standardization Committee. She also sits on the Board of Jospong Group of Companies as the Board Chairperson – Technical and Logistics Advisory group. She holds a first degree and an EMBA in Project Management acquired from the University of Ghana Business School in 2013.

Mrs. Addo constantly encourages students to take professional courses in Procurement and Supply. Not mistaking industry experience or business savvy with the ability to think strategically, Mrs. Addo gives all under her leadership the opportunity to grow. She also mentors and coaches up and coming graduates of various Technical Universities and Institutions.

Mrs. Addo has been just the right person to guide procurement practitioners through an era of change. Mrs. Stella Addo is loyal to a fault. Following her career journey, you notice a pattern of ‘sticking around’.

As an outcome, she was awarded with a special recognition award for her Outstanding Contribution to Procurement Professionalization at the 2019 Ghana Procurement and Supply Chain Awards; a prestigious award for her transformative service in Ghana’s procurement and supply chain sector.

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