Minister's Profile

H.E. Augustine Kpehe NGAFUAN<br />
Minister of Foreign Affairs<br />
Republic of Liberia<br />
Term of Appointment: 10 February 2012 to present
H.E. Augustine Kpehe NGAFUAN
Minister of Foreign Affairs
Republic of Liberia
Term of Appointment: 10 February 2012 to present
Photo Credit: Bureau of Public Affairs

Term of Appointment: 10 February 2012 to present

His Excellency Hon. Augustine Kpehe Ngafuan took office as Minister of Foreign Affairs on 10 February 2012 after his appointment on 17 January 2012 as Foreign Minister in the 2nd Administration of President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf. Before then, he served three and half years as Minister of Finance, taking over in 2008 from Dr. Antoinette Sayeh, now IMF Director for Africa. Hon. Ngafuan first joined the Government of President Sirleaf as Director General of the Bureau of the Budget in February 2006.  

As Minister of Foreign Affairs, Hon. Ngafuan is also Dean of the Liberian Cabinet.

Early Life and Education

He was born in Monrovia on 7th April 1970 and hails from the Kolahun District, Northern Lofa County. He studied Accounting at the Booker Washington Institute (BWI) in Margibi County, graduating as Valedictorian and earning a Diploma in Accounting in 1989. In 1998 he received a certificate in Democratic Leadership from the African Leadership Forum (ALF) founded by former Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo. A year later, in 1999, Hon. Ngafuan earned a Certificate in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) from the Center for Peace and Conflict Resolution, California State University, USA. He graduated Summa Cum Laude from the University of Liberia in 2000 with a BBA Degree in Business Administration.

In 2004, while working with the Central Bank of Liberia, Hon. Ngafuan attended the William E. Simon Graduate School of Business Administration, University of Rochester in New York, USA, and earned his MBA in Finance and Accounting. He also received a certificate in Central Banking from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York in October 2005. In 2007 he earned a Certificate in Public Financial Management from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University, Massachusetts, USA.

Political Life

As a young student leader, he rose quickly and successfully through student leadership and activism, into national politics. His role as President of the University of Liberia Students Union (ULSU) – from June 1998 to February 2000 – carried with it a mandate to defend social justice, press freedom, inclusive democracy, and the political liberties of fellow students and activists, even as he risked brutal reprisals by such repressive regime as former President Charles Taylor’s. With such popular stature, he was a natural fit to organize and lead the Youths for Ellen Presidency (YEP), a vocal youth auxiliary which helped catapult the first successful elections of President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf in 2005. While serving as Chairman of YEP, he also doubled as spokesperson of the Unity Party Campaign Team in the 2005 elections. Again in 2011, he was a key figure in the Unity Party Campaign Team which secured a second term for President Sirleaf.  

Professional History/Career

As Finance Minister and Liberia’s Governor to the Board of the African Development Bank (ADB), Hon. Ngafuan chaired the ADB Constituency comprising Liberia, Ghana, Gambia, Sudan and Sierra Leone from May 2010 until his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs in January 2012. He was also Liberia’s Governor on the ADB Board of Governors from August 2008 to present, serving too as Governor representing Liberia on the Board of Governors at the World Bank and the IMF. He chaired the Board of Directors of the Liberia Bank for Development and Investment (LBDI), the only significantly owned Liberian bank, from 2010 until his appointment as Minister of Foreign Affairs. He is also Secretary to the Board of Trustees of the University of Liberia, a position he has held since 2006.


Hon. Ngafuan is credited for making the government’s budget process a truly public process; taking the budget to the people by ensuring openness and transparency, refusing to shroud its review in secrecy.

His numerous accomplishments at the Ministry of Finance stand as towering monuments of his success. As Minister of Finance, he successfully spearheaded Liberia’s march to the HIPC completion point, paving the way for full relief of Liberia’s external debt of nearly 5 billion United States Dollars. He presided over the development and passage of Liberia’s Public Financial Management Law, the first in its history, and the adoption for the first time, of the International Public Sector Accounting Standards (IPSAS) which seeks to ensure timely public publication of government’s financial statements and the automation of its financial management system. On the revenue side, Hon. Ngafuan introduced the ASYCUDA system that has brought efficiency and improvement in government’s controls at major custom collectorates.  

In July 2011, he introduced the Integrated Financial Management Information System (IFMIS), and the rollout in 2008 of a Direct Deposit Payment scheme. As an IT system, IFMIS has automated the entire budget process, drastically cutting back on mounting transaction time and related cost, and embedding in the system basic controls to facilitate timely reporting and audits. The Direct Deposit Payment scheme for its part has helped curb the longstanding problem of “ghost names” on government payrolls, and facilitated the access to loans by civil servants to build houses and acquire other assets using their deposit accounts as collaterals.

Hon. Ngafuan, in his capacity as Governor of Liberia at the African Development Bank, was one of three African Finance Ministers selected by ADB President Donald Kaberuka to participate in consultative meetings for the 12th Replenishment of Resources of the African Development Fund (AFD-12). In a 29 November 2010 letter of appreciation, the ADB President Donald Kaberuka wrote of him, “The timely and succinct intervention you made during [our] meetings helped the Bank present a strong case for the selected and focused areas of intervention under the ADF-12.  With your assistance, ADF Deputies agreed on a replenishment level of US$9.5 billion over the next three years (2011-2013), a 10.6 percent increase in donor contributions over the ADD-11.  We remain convinced that beyond this noble mission, which you accomplished so admirably, we can continue to count on your wise and valuable counsel.”


Hon. Ngafuan has received several awards for his service in the public and private sectors, and as a young progressive activist. In 1998, he was named Student Activist of the Year by the Inquirer Newspaper. The J.J. Roberts Educational Foundation, Liberia’s premier educational award foundation, awarded him a Certificate of Honor in 2000 for his excellent achievement graduating Summa Cum Laude from the University of Liberia. In 2001, he was Runner Up in the BBC Network Africa Poetry Competition for his famous poem, “The African Teacher.” He received the National Leadership Award in 2010 from the National Excellence Award Committee of Liberia. This award recognizes public and private citizens for distinguished service to community and nation. In 2011, he was Winner of the Public Service Award from the National Excellence Award Committee. Hon. Ngafuan has been named Minister of the Year by several media institutions since 2008, the most recent being the Fiscal Manager of the Year Award in November 2011from the Media United to Enhance Democracy (MUED).

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