Co n t e n t My Roots 1 S T D E C A D E ( 1 9 7 3 - 8 3 ) Finding Love & Building a Lovely Family “Your support network is the solid ground from which you can propel yourself upwards.” -Anna Barnes 4 T H D E C A D E ( 2 0 0 3 - 2 0 1 3 ) Y E A R S Formative 2 N D D E C A D E ( 1 9 8 3 - 9 3 ) "Balance is not something you find, it's something you create." -Jana Kingsford 5 T H D E C A D E ( 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 2 3 ) Career “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill 3 R D D E C A D E ( 1 9 9 3 - 2 0 0 3 ) Renaissance The “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu N E X T D E C A D E ( 2 0 2 3 - 2 0 3 3 ) & B E Y O N D Aspirations Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. “ - Robert Louis Stevenson “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” -Amy Poehler 6 8 9 7 2 1 0 2 3 4 1 2 3

The Man with the Golden Age An Attitude of Gratitude Dr Josh Bamfo a k a J o e B e e 4

I am thanking Baba God for His grace upon me as I climb the 5th floor of my life’s journey. The journey so far has recorded so many good memories and numerous people who have been influential and impactful in helping shape me into who and what I have become. On my Golden Jubilee Anniversary, I want to take advantage of the ceremony and this journal to briefly share my life story while recognizing and thanking key people at different phases of my life. “No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude.” – Alfred North Whitehead 5

My Roots 1 S T D E C A D E ( 1 9 7 3 - 8 3 ) “Find a group of people who challenge and inspire you; spend a lot of time with them, and it will change your life.” -Amy Poehler 6


was born in Sekondi, Ghana, on 3rd January 1973, to Rt. Rev. Robert Kwaku Bamfo (Dad) and the late Mrs. Mercy Akosua Bamfo (Mom). I grew up in a relatively large family. We were ten children: nine boys and one very special sister. My eldest brother, Robert Kofi Bamfo (KB), passed on a few years ago. My parents were highly instrumental in instilling core principles that have shaped who and what I am today. I perceived my dad as a smooth, softspoken, and visionary Chief Executive Officer (CEO), while my momwas the hardworking and affable Chief Operating Officer (COO) who got things done. In my eyes, they were the perfect tag team. Dad always stressed on two key factors necessary for success: Faith and Education! To that end, we were all given opportunities to attend the best primary schools and to grow in an environment where the Christian faith was integral to our everyday lives. Even though I have periodically veered off these two core values along my life’s journey, they have been my compass and have continuously guided me to my North Star! I am deeply grateful to Dad andMom for providing me with quality primary, secondary, and tertiary education, which went a long way to help open doors of opportunity across multiple spheres and jurisdictions. I also thank them for ensuring I grew up in faith. This has helped me better deal with issues that I cannot control or influence, thereby enabling me to focus on issues within my control. Dad andMom, you will always have a special place in my heart. During my early years in Sekondi, my siblings and cousins created an environment of love, fun, laughter, competition, and what I refer to as “synchronised chaos.” It is not surprising that I have grown to become a more social person who loves to hang out and interact with others. My siblings have influenced me in diverse ways along my life’s journey. For example, my late eldest brother, KB, taught me how to be highly dedicated to my job; Kobby Bamfo (Goro) taught me to have an entrepreneurial mindJourney My 8

set as a professional; my only sister, Becky Bamfo, taught me to be highly responsible, not have a sense of entitlement, and to be more selfless; Kwasi Bamfo, the most academically accomplished of the family, ensured I didn’t fully veer off my dream of attaining a higher education from theWestern World; Titus Bamfo (Bumfus), taught me how to do business; and my only younger brother, Rex Bamfo, who I always felt a sense of responsibility for, taught me how hard work and perseverance can bring sustained success. To each of my siblings, including, Peter Bamfo (Pee Jay), Daniel Bamfo (Dan), Kwame Bamfo (Chikay), I thank you very much for your love, support, and your positive contribution to my life’s journey! Love you all ❤️ Dad always stressed on two key factors necessary for success: Faith and Education! To that end, we were all given opportunities to attend the best primary schools and to grow in an environment where the Christian faith was integral to our everyday life. 9

The Bamfos - First Generation The late Mrs. Mercy Akosua Bamfo Rt. Rev. Robert K. Bamfo 10

Joe Bee with siblings Rex and Titus Joe Bee with siblings Rex and Sista Becks 11

Y E A R S Formative 2 N D D E C A D E ( 1 9 8 3 - 9 3 ) "Balance is not something you find, it's something you create." -Jana Kingsford 12


ad was living and working in Accra in the early 1980s, so Dan and Chikay were with him and schooling at Morning Star School at the time. I was elated when I finally transferred from Pentecost Preparatory School in Takoradi to join my brothers at Morning Star School in 1981. During my formative years at Morning Star, fromClass 4 through Class 7, a number of people influenced me positively. The most impactful was our able and beloved headmistress, the late Mrs. Esme Prah Siriboe. She was an excellent educator, a great mother figure, a lady of faith, and a disciplinarian. I recall having a major disagreement with her when I experienced my first academic failure during the admissions test. I chewed the butt of my pen throughout that test because I wasn’t familiar with the topics. She then decided that I wasn’t ready for Class 4 and convinced my father that I should repeat Class 3. Luckily, I had attended vacation classes during the long vacation and had performed pretty well in Class 4. As such, when school reopened, I challenged her decision and asked her to give me a chance to retake the Class 4 mid-term test to prove myself. She was open to the challenge and was actually happy for me when I proved her wrong. She always encouraged me to be a better version of myself at that early age. I’m forever grateful to her. Today, as a result of technology, I’ve been able to stay connected with my Morning Star School mates and keep alive four decades of friendships. I don’t take those friendships lightly, and I thank them for always being there. During my Morning Star School days, a beautiful friendship blossomed. Despite the fact that John Kofi Ababio (aka Abe) and I went to different secondary schools, and at some point I relocated from Labone back to Sekondi, our friendship has always remained very strong. A cool, affable, and kind dude, Abe has almost always been there during key milestones of my life. To mention a few instances, Abe was there at my traditional wedding inMichigan, 14

served as my best man for my wedding and was a skilled photographer at my PhD graduation. He is such a great friend who sacrifices for others. He drove over 8 hours just to help me relocate to Atlanta. Abe and I have had a timeless friendship. Distance has never been a barrier for us to connect. Whether I was in Sekondi and he was in Labone, or I was in Canada and he was in the UK, we always stayed connected. I am very grateful and proud that I am the godfather to his cool son, Malachi. Growing up, Abe was passionate about planes and wanted to be a pilot. I quite remember accompanying him to Prampram to take flying lessons. Today, he’s living his dream as a Pilot Captain with a beautiful family and I couldn’t be prouder of him. Thanks for being a reliable and trusted buddy and a brother! Much love, Bro, and the Ababio family! Pilot Captain John Kofi Ababio (Abe) and Dr. Josh Joe Bee and Godson Malachi 15

Joe Bee with Morning Star buddies George and Gottfried Joe Bee with Morning Star buddy Francis Joe Bee with Morning Star buddies Abe, Caroline and Ayoni 16

Joe Bee with his Morning Star buddies at the celebration of Trudy's 50th in Maryland Morning Star 85 Year Group Supporting me in US 17

My years at Presec, Legon, from 1985 to 1992, were interesting, for lack of a better word. It was a period of getting to knowmyself, mainly through academic setbacks. I clearly veered off the core principles for success — faith and academic excellence —that which Dad had imbibed in me. Having been known more as Chikay’s younger brother, it was refreshing when I started gaining popularity for dancing. Chikay was a top athlete from his Morning Star School days through GSTS and sixth form at St. Augustine's College. By sixth form, in the early 1990s, the name Joe Bee was pretty popular when it came to “house party” dance competitions in Accra, secondary school fun fairs and “Records Nights” at Achimota School. Some of my close buddies and dancing crewmembers were Presec Days with Jazzy, Big Saw, Georgia _ Piero Presec 1990 Year Group Reunion in 2015 18

Peter Brown (Piero), Richard Addo (Jazzy), Bernard Buagbe (Bigass), and Farouk Abdallah. Unfortunately, dancing was a major distraction frommy books, so it came as no surprise when I failed woefully in my A-Level exams. It was embarrassing and a major wake-up call. At the time, Dad had decided to pursue his calling of being a full-time Pastor, so he had been transferred fromAccra to Winneba. So here I was, having just flunked my exam and relocating back home to Sekondi with no clear future plans. I knew I had to get my life back on track and find an optimal balance between my academic and social life. Back home in Sekondi, I set out to make my own friends, because this time around I was going to be home for the long haul and not a short stay. It didn’t take long for me to become buddies with this group of friends that I would later see as family: Hon. Andrew Egyapa Mercer (Bobo), Rev. Emmanuel AtoMercer (Pelele), Yofi and Yokwesi Hayfron Benjamin (Banlo Senior and Junior), Francis Bus-Moses (Bus-Mo), Emmanuel Eguakun (Scarface), Egya Akese Chinbua (Bala) and later Samuel Arthur (Totche) andManfred Gaisie (Abu) to name a few. We have become a brotherhood that has continuously cheered and supported each other to achieve our respective life goals. A Big shoutout to my Sekondi crew for being real brothers for 3 decades and counting. Even though we were a close-knit brotherhood, I developed a special friendship with Bobo. I desperately needed to find that optimal balance between academics and my social life, and it didn’t take me long to realise that Bobo had figured it out. He had performed well in his A-Level exams, and I really admired how he struck that balance. After an extra year at home, I finally passed the A-Level exams and gained admission to the University of Ghana, Legon (Legon), to study Economics, Geography and Political Science. 19


3 R D D E C A D E ( 1 9 9 3 - 2 0 0 3 ) Renaissance The “When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” -Lao Tzu 21

obo and I went to Legon as freshmen in 1994, excited to be Vandals (Members of the Commonwealth Hall) and determined to excel in academics to help achieve our respective long term career goals. My goal at the time was to get a good Grade Point Average (GPA) that would enable me to earn meritbased financial aid for aWestern education, while Bobo wanted to become a lawyer and a statesman just like his dad. We were young men on a mission who didn’t want to miss out on the campus social life either! We found interesting ways to motivate ourselves to focus on our studies. For example, when we realised that several guys would spend almost the whole day in the hall’s Junior Common Room (JCR) to play pool and drink, we vowed never to learn how to play that game! What a waste of time!!.... When we couldn’t go to the United Kingdom (UK) during the summer holidays, we maximised the opportunity cost of going to chase after visas at the UKHigh Commission by making sure that we studied hard and scored excellent grades. Like iron sharpening iron, we have both achieved B Like iron sharpening iron, we have both achieved most of our academic and career goals. 22

most of our academic and career goals. Bobo is now a lawyer, a Member of Parliament (MP) for Sekondi, and a Deputy Minister of Energy, while I went on to get a first class in Economics at Legon, a Master of Economics at the University of Guelph, Canada, and a PhD in Economics at the University of Delaware, where I was a visiting assistant professor of economics. I have worked at 3 out of the Big 4 Global Accounting firms (E&Y, PWC, and KPMG) in the US, South Africa, and Nigeria, and I am now a Founding Partner and Head of Transfer Pricing (TP) and Economic Advisory Services at Andersen Nigeria with responsibilities for Africa andMiddle East (AME). Despite all that we’ve achieved together, one of my biggest prides is being a godfather to Bobo’s beautiful daughter, Alisson. It’s more special because I don’t have a daughter of my own. Thanks, Bobo, for a transformative friendship that has helped catapult both of us into much greater heights in our respective fields. Much love, Bro, and the Mercer family! What is clearly missing in the narrative of myWestern education is how I managed to fund my postgraduate studies, even though I had some financial aid. That’s where my very special and lovely sister, Becky Bamfo (aka Sista Becks), comes back into the picture. My financial aid for my Masters in Economics programme at the University of Guelph in Canada covered my tuition and accommodations. That meant I had virtually nothing left to cover other living expenses, such as food and books. Apart from Sista Becks taking care of my flight expenses, she had to support me monthly during my stay in Canada. My transition fromGhana to Canada came with the usual initial hiccups. Unfortunately, a few were costly. For example, Sista Becks got me a mobile phone, and Bobo and Joe Bee 23

because I was lonely in Canada during the cold month of January, I would “flash” buddies and ask them to call back. That was the practice back then in Ghana if you didn’t have airtime to make calls, so I assumed it was a global practice. Unfortunately, the plan I had did not cover free receiving of calls. When I received my phone bill for that month, I wished an earthquake would swallowme up. I felt awful considering the significant financial support Sista Becks was giving me, especially at a time that she had also supported Rex to travel to the UK. However, she realised that it was an honest mistake, no matter how dumb it was, and forgave me without making much fuss about it. That’s how reasonable and fair my sweet sister is! After completing my MA Economics program in a year, I couldn’t wait to relocate to the US to be close to her. I Joe Bee and Bobo on Matriculation Day at University of Ghana, Legon - 1994 (Vandals) 24

got admission to study PhD Economics at the University of Delaware where my sister’s hubby, Prof Busby Attoh-Okine, was a professor in the Civil Engineering Department. As I commenced my program in Spring 2001, instead of Fall 2000, I was not eligible for a merit based financial aid for that academic year. Fortunately, Prof Busby came to my rescue by offering me a research assistant role at his department that made me qualify for a tuition waiver. That was a life saver! Living with Sista Becks and her family for that spring semester and the summer holidays made us connect way more than I had imagined. On her off nights, we would stay up late at night just chit-chatting with our “Mickeys.” Sista Becks became my guardian, my closest buddy, confidant, and mother figure. Despite our closeness, she demonstrated tough love and taught me two valuable lessons: a sense of responsibility and not to have a sense of entitlement. On the lesson on responsibility, Sista Becks wanted me to build my credit history, so she guaranteed that I would get access to a credit card during my early months in the US. It didn’t take long for her to frequently see packages by the front door of her home when she returned fromwork in the mornings. As a Registered Nurse (RN) back then, she usually worked night shifts. I have always loved fashion and felt like I had a significant wardrobe deficit that desperately needed to be resolved. So, with my new buddy, my credit card, I was kind of getting addicted to online shopping. One fine afternoon, I was in a queue to make payment for clothes I had purchased at Macy’s in Newark, Delaware. I gave my credit card to the attendant only for the transaction to be rejected multiple times. The embarrassing part was that there were a couple of young ladies on campus right behind me waiting “patiently” to be attended to. It took a while for it to dawn on me that my sister may have put a hold on my credit card. I was initially livid from the embarrassment, but after some introspection, I understood why she took that action. We had a constructive discussion later, and we agreed that a sizable percentage of my monthly stipend would go directly to her for safekeeping, considering my penchant for shopping. Not surprisingly, by the end of that Summer, I had moved out of her house and into my own apartment, as well as purchased my first used car and a sound system! That’s Sista Becks right there: kind to a fault, but she won’t tolerate nonsense! Sista Becks and Joe Bee 25

For the lesson on not feeling entitled, I was staying with Sista Becks and used to commute for about 20 minutes early in the morning to take the bus to school. I was about the only person who walked along that road in the cold every weekday morning during the winter and spring semester, so I couldn’t wait to get my car. Then there was Steve, a family friend, and a PhD candidate in Prof. Busby’s department, who had been very supportive of Sista Beck’s family before I arrived fromCanada. One fine day during that spring, Steve visited with a nice green Jetta VW sedan. He had just bought it and wanted to take me for a ride. I was really excited for him until he informed me that Sista Becks helped him top up with a loan. I started wondering how she could watch me trek every morning in the cold and not give me a similar amount of support. After Steve dropped me off at home, I had some self-introspection and realised how selfish and ungrateful I was. I was living with my sister rent-free, didn’t contribute to groceries or utilities, but got to save my stipends fully towards the purchase of my car, and there I was envious of someone who had been very supportive of my sister’s family and was getting a loan. That was when I got to understand her fairness and the need for me not to feel entitled just because I am a sibling or a friend. I realised that irrespective of who I am dealing with, I must work to earn any support, favour, or return I receive. Sista Becks, thanks for being one of the most influential and impactful people in my life. Big thanks to Prof. Busby for giving me a lifeline to enable me to pursue my doctoral degree. Much love, Sis and to the family! Joe Bee with Bobo, Manfred, Wasaga & Kweku Joe Bee and his Sekondi childhood & Vandal buddies, Bobo, Bus-Mo and Scarface 26

The Bamfos and the Mercers Joe Bee and Becky Bobo and Joe Bee 27

Finding Love & Building a Lovely Family “Your support network is the solid ground from which you can propel yourself upwards.” -Anna Barnes 4 T H D E C A D E ( 2 0 0 3 - 2 0 1 3 ) 28


s I approached my third decade, I started feeling the pressure to find a life partner. I needed someone with whom to build our future together, but it was turning out to be more challenging than I had anticipated. I thought it would be pretty easy to find a partner who would become my best buddy and share our mutual aspirations. My last serious relationship was back in Canada and Sista Becks had made it her responsibility to try and hook me up. She was woefully unsuccessful. Finally, a mutual friend hooked me up with my wife, Freda Ayensu-Bamfo. Freda was schooling at the University of Michigan, and I was still in my PhD programme at the University of Delaware. The first time we talked on the phone, we spent hours on end, and we both didn’t want to go to bed. Even though we had a SekondiTakoradi connection and had a few friends in common, we didn’t know each other back in Ghana. The good part was, we had so much to talk about and we 30

The Bamfos.2021 31

connected very well. Our late-night calls became routine, and we couldn’t wait to meet in person. Our first meeting was supposed to be at a party in Newark, New Jersey. She flew down fromMichigan to New York, and my buddy, Bernard Kofi Aboagye (Jazzie), offered to drive her all the way fromNew York to Delaware to come pick me up back in New Jersey for the party. We partied like we had been dating for years. It was only natural that our relationship blossomed over time and transitioned into marriage. Freda quickly became my best buddy, confidante, and soulmate. What surprised me and later became a source of admiration was how serious and focused she was about the relationship from the onset. She had no time for gimmicks. I recall that on her next visit to Delaware, she realised my roommate and I had a pretty empty refrigerator. She went toWalmart to purchase pans, utensils, etc., did the groceries, and filled the refrigerator with food to last us for weeks. I was amazed and beaming with pride and admiration. Then I realised that she was relaxing leisurely on the sofa, folding the receipts from her shopping. I thought she couldn’t find the trash can, so I showed her where to find it. She responded that she was folding the receipts for safekeeping so that, should her investment in this relationship not pay off, I would refund her expenses. I was shocked, but my dismay turned to admiration because it was glaring that she was fully committed to the relationship. We got married on 17 July 2004 in Ann Arbor, Michigan Freda and Josh (Wedding Ceremony 2011) 32

after dating for just over a year. My sister approved of her the first time they met, and that meant a lot to me. The only apparent challenge was our respective Christian faiths – Pentecostal and Catholic— but our love for each other and the reasonableness of both families enabled us to overcome that hurdle. Sean was born on 7 July 2005, after a year of marriage. We had no time to spare. Even though I was a PhD candidate with limited funds, I couldn’t help but shop for cool clothes and shoes for my boy. Freda and I were schooling, working, and parenting at the same time. I really enjoyed bonding with my baby boy that summer inMichigan while Freda worked. It was an exciting and stressful period, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything else. That was the genesis of Freda and I becoming a formidable tag team. Freda and Joe Bee (Traditional Wedding 2004) Freda and Joe Bee(2016) 33

I completed my PhD in 2006, lectured as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Economics at my alma mater for about 8 months, then joined Ernst & Young (E&Y) in Atlanta as a Senior Analyst in the Transfer Pricing (TP) unit. On July 9, 2008, we had Robert Jayden (RJ). RJ was a bundle of joy as the pregnancy and delivery were much easier. However, he came with his own challenges. Dude was a cry baby. I would go to work red-eyed because he would sleep on my chest all night and hated to have his back on the mattress of his cot. Honey, thank God that I found you! You have made me a better person, and side by side, we will continue to navigate this journey called life. I love you very much, and I pray that the next decades will bring us pure joy, happiness, and more love for each other. I have always believed that Freda was God sent not only because she’s my soulmate but also because my mother-in-law, Mama Clara Ayensu, didn’t make me miss my late mom as much. Mama Clara came to our rescue by taking both young boys to Ghana when they were babies to take care of them until each of themwas about 3 years old. 34

She also came to the US to assist us for a while. The peak of it all was when I made the big, unconventional, and unpopular decision to relocate to Africa at a time when my wife was about to commence her Master’s in Public Health at Emory University. Mama Clara went with me and the boys to take care of us until Freda completed her program. Thank you very much, Mama Clara, for your support, love, and kindness. We love you very much, Mummy/Grandma. Freda and Josh (Summer 2022) 35

The Bamfos Atlanta 2011 The Bamfos Atlanta 2011 The Bamfos Lagos 2016 36

The Bamfos Lagos 2021 37


5 T H D E C A D E ( 2 0 1 3 - 2 0 2 3 ) Career “We make a living by what we get, we make a life by what we give.” - Winston Churchill 39

After a year of lecturing at my alma mater, I joined the E&Y Atlanta office in June 2007 as a Senior Analyst. The first sixmonths were tough as I tried unsuccessfully tomeet my boss’ high expectations of their first “experienced” PhD TP hire. However, my eagerness to learn and work hard resulted in a fast-track career that saw me promoted to manager in less than two years. Bymy 5th year, I was eligible for a SeniorManager (SM) promotion, just before the opportunity to transfer to South Africa came up. That was a pretty fast career track for a Big 4 firm in amaturemarket. Huge thanks tomy then boss, Jay Camillo, for believing inme and giving me huge opportunities to learn and prove myself. I am good at what I do because of Jay’s tutelage, coaching, and mentoring. Fortunately, I had an opportunity to attend EY’s 2011 Africa Tax Conference, which was held in my home country, Ghana. I got this opportunity because I was the TPManager on a large Multinational Enterprise (MNE) account that had global footprints in over 120 countries. At the conference, I learned that both Ghana and Nigeria were going to introduce TP regulations. My career dream had always been to get aWestern 40

education and return home to hopefully have a bigger impact in my industry and contribute my quota to the development of our society back home. In my mind, relocating immediately and being one of the pioneers in the development of TP across Africa was a no brainer. However, most people were perplexed by my decision to give up a blossoming career in the US to pursue a career in Africa, where there were no guarantees that TP as a discipline would be successful. I must confess that my big decision came with significant opportunity costs, such as separating my family for the most part and giving up on my US Green Card status and my path to citizenship. In spite of the unpopularity of my decision, I transferred to EY South Africa in the later part of 2012 as an SM. However, my target destination was Nigeria, so after just 9 months, I finally got the opportunity to transfer to EY Nigeria. After less than a month, I left EY for KPMG, where I spent over 4 years helping develop their TP practice. I had a short stint with PWC at some point but returned to KPMG. In 2017, I finallymademy dreammove to join four like-minded partners to revive the iconic Andersen brand in theNigerian market. I left KPMG as an Associate Director and joined Andersen Nigeria as a founding partner and head of our TP Services unit. Nigeria was Andersen Global’s first footprint in Africa. Today, Andersen Global has a presence in 48 African countries and over 120 countries globally as a member or collaborating firm. Over my 9-year professional career in Nigeria, a number of people have been influential; however, two mentors have been most influential and impactful. When I decided to consider other Big 4 firms besides EY in the Nigeria market, I started talking to both KPMG and PWC. The Head of TP at KPMG, Tayo Ogungbero, informed me I had to talk to both the Head of Tax, Victor Onyenkpa, and the then Managing Partner, the late Seyi Bickersteth. I was a bit nervous about my interview with Seyi, but it turned out to be what sealed the deal. He commenced the interview by surprisingly asking me how I was doing in my native Ghanaian dialect, Twi. He then informed me that his wife is actually Ghanaian and a former Motowner. We got to chit-chatting about Ghana, and US basketball, before having a more serious talk about his expectations of me and how they’re willing to give me the necessary support for me to succeed in developing the TP practice. I knew then and there that I was going to join KPMG, which I did. After 2 years of helping develop the KPMG TP practice to number 1 in the Nigerian market, I became disillusioned when I felt the firm didn’t have a clear path for expatriates to become equity partners. As such, I decided to join PWC. Once again, Seyi came in and had a candid conversation with me. But I had already accepted the PWC offer and couldn’t go against my word. When I went to see Seyi in his office to inform him of my final decision to leave despite our prior conversation, I expected him to be angry. Rather, he told me he understood me even though he disagreed with my decision and indicated that I would give him a call if I realised that the grass was not as green on the other side as I thought. Lo and behold, it didn’t take me more than a week at PWC to come to the realisation that the grass wasn’t as green as I thought. Once again, Oga Seyi was instrumental in my return to KPMG. 41

On my return to KPMG, I knew I had stepped on some toes and made some foes at the top. Getting promoted from an SM to an Associate Director (AD) wasn’t popular among a broad section of the partnership. They felt they were rewarding someone who wasn’t loyal. I understood where they were coming from. So, when Seyi announced his retirement as Managing Partner, I knew my days at KPMG were numbered. I started evaluating my realistic alternatives. Then came a call from a former KPMG colleague saying that someone wanted to have lunch with me to talk business. I was hoping it was a partner from Deloitte, since that was the only Big 4 Firm in the market that I hadn’t worked for. So, I quickly asked for his name. It was Olaleye Adebiyi (Oga Leye), my current boss. I checked him out on LinkedIn and realised he was the Managing Partner and Founder of a relatively small Tax Firm, WTS Adebiyi, made up of lawyers. I was disappointed. I told my wife there was no point in honouring the meeting. It has to be one of the Big 4, or I’ll stay put. However wifey convinced me to honour the meeting. I met Oga Leye at the Southern Sun Hotel. He shared his vision of reviving the iconic Andersen brand in the Nigerian market, and I came highly recommended. After the meeting, I reached out to Oga Seyi to seek his counsel since he used to be a Managing Partner for Arthur Andersen Nigeria before the implosion in 2002 and, more recently, KPMG Nigeria. His advice was that I had a good problem that should enable me to have very candid conversations with the head of tax at KPMG with respect to my prospects of becoming a Partner, and with Oga Leye relating to the funding of Andersen Nigeria. When I informed him of my decision to take a leap of faith with Oga Leye and his ambitious project, I couldn’t tell from his face whether I had disappointed him or not. A fewmonths later, I learned that Oga Seyi would be coming out of retirement to join Andersen Tax as our Africa Regional Managing Partner to lead the expansion in Africa. I also learned from Oga Leye that the excellent recommendation came from Oga Seyi. Once again, Oga Seyi helped me out of another difficult situation inNigeria. Like the invisible hand, he always came to my rescue behind the scenes. He finally recommended me for the Africa and Middle East (AME) Regional Coordinator for TP role before his sad and untimely passing. Oga Seyi was the consummate leader and the ultimate Boss! Having the opportunity to be in the same boardroom as him and to learn directly fromhimwasmy biggest break inmy career development. He would have his hands clasped together and listen attentively as we babbled on. He would then come A section of Andersen Nigeria Partners during the celebration of the firm's 5th Year Anniversary in July 2022 42

in to redirect the conversation toward a successful conclusion. Even though I didn’t work directly with him for that long, he simply had the biggest impact on my career inNigeria. Thank you verymuch to the late Oga Seyi and his beautiful wife, Catherine Bickersteth, for all that you have done and continue to do for me and my family. We are most grateful. It is obvious that the second most influential person in my career in Nigeria is my current boss, mentor, and friend, Oga Leye. I always believed that if I wanted tomake a bigger impact onmy community and society at large, I had to return to Africa. But I couldn’t, in my wildest dreams, picture myself having the rare opportunity of starting a business from scratch. Oga Leye gave me the opportunity to do exactly that. I have not had a boss who constantly seeks to support his Partners and Managers to ensure that they succeed like Oga Leye. He is adamant about restoring the Andersen brand to its former glory, when it was the undisputed number one in Nigeria, and he is capable of selling it and making us disciples. Under his leadership, we have been able to build Andersen Nigeria into a prestigious firm that is known for providing best-in-class services to our clients. Equally important is our commitment to develop our people to ensure that they are well equipped to take the reins of leadership when the current crop of leaders retire. Thanks, Oga Leye, for your exemplary leadership and for being a good friend and mentor! I cannot talk about my career without highlighting the sacrifices that my wife, Freda, had to make to make my dreams a reality. Whether it was the first big decision to relocate from the US to Africa or the second big decision to move from a mature and stable firm to start a new firm, the decisions involved significant financial sacrifices and risks. Thus, I could only make those big decisions because Wifey was willing to pick up the slack in both cases. For example, to ensure that the standard of living of the family didn’t drop significantly, Wifey had to return to the US to work, away from the rest of the family, and visit home in Lagos occasionally every year. This was extremely tough on her, but shemade the ultimate sacrifice to enable me to pursue my dream. The COVID-19 period epitomised her sacrifices. She was alone in Richmond, Virginia, risking her life as a Case Manager at VCU Hospital while her family was quarantining in Lagos. During those years, until the boys recently relocated back to the US, not only was Wifey working to support the family, but she was involved in the boys’ school issues as much as I was (if not more), even though she was an ocean away. Thanks honey, for all your sacrifices, your unflinching support, your good counsel, and your love. I’m deeply grateful, and I pray that the Dear Lord continues to bless you and reward you bountifully for your sacrifices. Love you always! Finally, big thanks to my spiritual fathers, Bishop Frank Ofosu-Appiah of All Nations Church in Atlanta, and Pastor KingsleyOkonkwo of David’s ChristianCentre inLagos, for their teachings, good counsel, and intercessions. Freda and I appreciate you very much. 43




N E X T D E C A D E ( 2 0 2 3 - 2 0 3 3 ) & B E Y O N D Aspirations Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant. “ - Robert Louis Stevenson 47

First, I thank God for the gift of life, good health, pure joy, his Abrahamic blessings, and for bringing all these wonderful people into my life to help me fulfil my destiny! That said, there are a number of goals I aspire to achieve over the next decade and beyond. From a career perspective, my fervent wish for the next decade is for Andersen Nigeria to work assiduously to achieve its vision as the most prestigious professional services firm in the Nigerianmarket. We are on track, and I strongly believe that with the able leadership of Oga Leye and each member of the organisation working hard to achieve his or her potential, as a collective, we will actualize this vision in the coming decade. On the global front, I believe Andersen Global would have leveraged its rapid global expansion to become a global market leader in tax, legal, business advisory, and strategy consulting. This will be the icing on the cake in achieving the dream of reviving the iconic Andersen brand to its rightful position as the global market leader in professional services. Next, I hope to continue to live my purpose of sharing knowledge and experience with the next generation by hopefully leveraging bigger platforms such as TV and social media, as well as participating in leadership and mentorship talks at universities and other institutions. This is an area that I am passionate about, so I hope to make the time for it. It is my meagre contribution to the development of my communities and society at large. Growing in faith and striving to be healthy over the next decade will be a priority. I have been a lost sheep for far too many times, and it is about time I became a consistent part of the Lord’s flock. I also look forward to Sean and RJ growing from boys to men. I pray that they will grow into responsible, God fearing, and successful young men striving to make a difference in their respective areas of specialization. I just can’t wait for these young dudes to become independent soWifey and I can focus fully on enjoying each other’s company. Finally, and most importantly, I pray that over the next decade, I will experience a more fulfilling marriage with my better half. May our friendship and love continue to blossom, and may we live together and enjoy each other’s company in good health with the dear Lord as the centrepiece of our marriage. Love you always, honey ❤️ 48

Josh, what do I say about you, my darling husband? Josh, what do I say about you, my darling husband? The last 18 years of marriage with you have been filled with love, joy, and wonderful experiences. You have impactedmy life in so many ways that words cannot even begin to express them all. I remember an experience that perfectly illustrates who you are and how you make my life better. Two years ago, we decided to have a family photo shoot. While Josh took his time getting ready, the boys and I started taking our pictures. I could see the photographer struggling to get good pictures, as we did not seem very relaxed. When Josh arrived, the photographer asked him to wait because he still didn’t have any good pictures of the boys and I. Josh immediately said, “Freda will become relaxed once I join.” Lo and behold, once we started taking the pictures with Josh, we all started having fun. Mission accomplished - the photographer seemed to be getting the pictures he wanted because he had this big smile on his face. This is the effect Josh has on me; my calm in every storm. Not only is he my calm in every storm, but he is also my realist partner and serves as my reality check. While I’m the dreamer with grandiose plans, he seems to find a way to bring me down to earth by being my reality check. We balance each other out perfectly. Josh, we know you like to be the centre of attention but I love how you make me the centre of your attention when we are together. Once you see a frown on my face, you do not rest till you get to the bottom of it and rectify the situation. Nomatter what the situation is, you are always there to put a smile on my face. Josh, you are a leader, and I admire how you take charge in every situation. You are admired by almost everyone you encounter, including our 2 boys, Sean and RJ. Speaking of children, you are the best dad they could ever have. Just like everything you do, you became a natural once you slipped into “daddy mode,” and you have continuously played that role with finesse. Although we are both strict, you always remind me that our children are teenagers and should be allowed to act like teenagers, creating a good balance for parenting. Just like every African parent, I never dreamt of my kids pursuing any other career, than medicine. I was devastated when you identified that Sean wasn’t interested in medicine, even before Sean acknowledged it. I remember him arguing with you that he wanted to take that path. After you broke it down to him, he finally came to the realisation that he was interested in another career path. Your intuitiveness and understanding of your kids are something I admire and do not take for granted. You are an excellent communicator, and people seem to hang on every word you say. I believe you would have been an excellent preacher like your dad, Rev. Bamfo. Hopefully, it’s not too late. I could go on and on about the impact you’ve had on our lives, but let me stop here and celebrate you, my king, my hero, my partner, my soulmate, and best friend. Happy birthday to the most awesome, wonderful, fashionable, handsome, and great hubby. I love you from the core of my heart and will choose you in a hundred lifetimes. I wish you another 50 years of God’s goodness and grace. Freda Ayensu-Bamfo Happy birthday daddy!!! It’s difficult to put into words how much you mean to me and the rest of our family, as your impact has been immeasurable. As my father, my spirituMessages 49

al leader, my protector, my provider, my teacher, and my friend, I would like to say thank you so much for everything you have done for me. Thank you for helping me become a better person, a better son, a better brother, and eventually a better husband and father. I have some very big shoes to fill, but you’ve put me on the path to success. I may not be there, but today is one that I will celebrate from a continent away. 50 years of having an enormous impact on people’s lives. Everyone who has had the pleasure of having a conversationwith youwill always leave with something. Thank you for being my amazing father!! May God bless you with 50 more years of success and prosperity! Sean Bamfo Happy birthday, daddy!! We thank God for these past 50 years. Thank you, Daddy, for always having my best interest at heart and correcting me when I’mwrong and educating me on the correct answer.You go above and beyond to teach me something when I need guidance. Thank you for being the best father I could ask for! RJ I want to reminisce about this fond memory from his childI want to reminisce about this fond memory from his childhood… Josh began his schooling at Pentecost Preparatory School, New Site, Takoradi. When I was transferred to Accra by the Church of Pentecost, I later picked him up from Sekondi to stay with me. I enrolled him at Morning Star Preparatory School; he was assessed with Stage 4 questions as entrance exams. He excelled in the exams, but he was asked to join Stage 3. He vehemently declined; it became a thorny issue between the school authority and Josh. The "situation" was presented before the Proprietress of the school. Her decision on the issue prevailed in Josh's favour. Hence, he was sent to Stage 4. Owing to his academic prowess, he enjoyed rapid promotions from class to class at Morning Star Preparatory School. Based on this story, I see Josh as someone who fights for his unalienable rights. I built a library in our home. Josh has a strong knack for reading. I observed he would always go for these two books in the library and read ardently:"The World Book Encyclopedia" and "The New Standard Encyclopedia." His interest in the Encyclopedia largely informed his decision to study geography at Presec, Legon. I am not surprised he majored in Economics in his educational life. Josh has some remarkable traits: he listens to his parents and respects them with all sincerity. He has been a strong bone in my life ever since I retired from active ministry. It's my fervent prayer that the Lord watches over Josh in his new age, blesses the work of his hands with enormous favour, and advances his years on earth with good health. Happy Birthday to you, Josh. Rev. Robert Bamfo Happy 50th birthday to the most incredible brother in the world! You have always been an inspiration to me, and I look up to you with so much admiration. Dear Josh, on your 50th birthday, I just want to say how much I love and appreciate you. You have always been there for me, and I know I can always count on you. I am so grateful to have you in my life. May the good Lord bless you on your 50th birthday and always. You've been a blessing to our family, and we know that God has plans for you in the years ahead. Becky Bamfo 50

Well! Well! Well! ……This is all in good jest! Doc, as I affectionately address my junior brother Josh, is also a fraternity of my Alma Mater. Once upon a time, Doc went to one of the best schools in Ghana. This school happens to be the first science college in Ghana. Interestingly, I was also one of the pioneers of this exemplary school. Our excellence made us the Odadies. Doc…… I just want to express my immense love and admiration for you as well as your beautiful family. Best wishes on your monumental birthday celebration... It's going to be a great event. All my love. Stay Blessed Kobbie Bamfo (Goro) Happy 50th birthday to my cherished brother, the one who has become my friend and adviser. From infancy you have given me so many moments of joy and happiness. I’m so proud of you for making it to a zenith in life. I love you so much! I wish you the best in this world. Titus Bamfo HBD Joe Richie® That was the alias when mum thought my fav bro was being too hard on me. However, from day one, you did set the bar high. You selflessly mentored, coached, and taught me to measure up. I love you, Joe Bee, and on your 50th b’day, WE wish you the very best in wealth, health, and strength. Stay blessed and highly favoured IJN and blood. Much love, Rex Bamfo Happy 50th birthday to a special son-in-law! I taught my daughter, Freda, to exercise judgement, and she made me proud when she made the wise decision to marry you. I am lucky to have such a strong, smart, handsome, and well-mannered son-in-law. You are a wonderful husband, father, and son. Simply put, you’re irreplaceable, and I am proud to have you as part of the family. Wishing you more of God’s blessings and favour, and may the next 50 years be even better than the first 50. Clara Ayensu 51

I’ve known you for over three decades and counting. From Sekondi, through Legon, work, family,… And boy, it’s been a crazy and amazing ride so far… I will not even attempt to recount the experiences that we’ve had in this piece;they are plenty keke!!!! As you take the lead on the 5th floor, I can only wish you the very best that life has to offer: good health and more money to live it to its fullest!!! Enjoy your special day, Bro. May the good Lord grant you abundant blessings this day and always. Happy birthday!!! Bobo A brother is always there when you need him — someone who picks you up when you fall and sticks with you through thick and thin. Joshua Kweku Boateng Bamfo, aka Joshay, aka Joe B, as the saying goes, "Friends you can choose but family you can't"... You are the family I chose, and I'll do it ALL over again given the chance. Happy birthday bruv, and may grace and favour be your portion ALL the days of your life… John Asare Ababio aka adope aka Ab3. John Kofi Ababio (Abe) I vividly recall September 1985 as a freshman in Presec. As young adolescents thrown into the strange environment of boarding school, making allies was key but also a step to be taken with caution. After all, for most of us, it was the first time we had left the safety of our homes to mingle with strangers. Everyone was viewed with suspicion! We were in the same boarding house with other boys, but Joe B and I instantly forged a friendship. He struck me as different from the others, maybe it was the Fante thing. He had that ability where everyone gravitated toward him. I later came to know he was one of a kind. He was gifted intellectually and socially, and he could articulate and debate his point. To top this, he was a social butterfly with an ability to entertain. His ability to capture the crowd on the dance floor is forever etched in the memory of anyone who witnessed him in his heyday. Most people remember Joe B as a dance genius with a brilliant mind, a rare combination. However, for me, it was his ability to discern and make good judgement calls that is what I admired the most. He would share this as a friend so you could make informed decisions. His loyalty is akin to a brother’s. He would go the extra mile for a friend; this guy is a pure diamond. From dancing competitions to night outs, our 7 years in Presec created a friendship so close that even when he got suspended, I considered myself suspended too and left campus to stay with him at Aquinas, which now, on reflection, was foolhardy, but hey, we were boys! We lost touch when I left for the UK and frankly went AWOL. He persisted and exhausted every avenue to get in touch and finally doing so through my cousin in the US. An example of his loyalty to our friendship. Moving on, as we matured, he has always been a source of support and counsel, as well as someone to always have a laugh and socialise with. On your special Golden Jubilee, I want to take the opportunity to express what an honour it has been to be your friend over the years. I have learned so much from you as a person as well as shared fun times together. Everything you have achieved is deserved and more, and as you reach this milestone in your life, I pray God takes you and your family to even higher grounds. Wishing you health and success in the years to come. Your bro, Piero 52

Hi Josh --- I first met you in the early to mid 2000s when you came to interview at EY for a job outside of academia. While I do not know your exact technical aptitude, I could tell immediately that you would fit in with , any team as a great colleague and future leader. Your positive demeanour, engaged posture, and wonderful laugh and sense of humour convinced me that if we did not hire you, someone else would and we would regret it. At EY, you impressed everyone with your methodical way of listening and wading into complex technical matters; you became a valued team member, bonded our group, and hosted parties at you and Freda's lovely home with pool and outdoor kitchen in Lawrenceville, Georgia. Your departure was not welcomed but we understood you wanted to restart your life at 5 degrees North Latitude, where you were born! I have visited Ghana once, but maybe Keira and I will make a trip there in the future, and we would definitely relish the chance to make the connection! Happy Birthday Joe Bee! LOL - never knew you by that nickname. All the best boss. Take care of all my EY Friends at Andersen Tax! Jay Lucien Camillo Happy Birthday, Lord Josh. We all love your ambition, tenacity, and vision. God will continue to bless your years. Amen Chinedu Ezomike Some people enter this life and light up everybody's path. They are the rare kind that hardly any negative thing is rehearsed about. Josh is such a one. Having had the privilege of being his Pastor for a long time, he afforded me a ring side seat into his life and family. He is what you see. With his trademark cap for all seasons, you cannot help but notice him. Effable, courteous, loving, jovial,—and annoyingly smart, how could one person be packaged with so much? On this occasion, I join with the many to wish you a very happy birthday. May the years ahead be filled with goodness and joy Pastor Frank Ofosu-Appiah Josh is definitely a man worthy of celebrating on this auspicious occasion of his 50th birthday. I met Josh just a few years ago, and one thing I can say about him is that he has a keen mind, is apt to learn, and is committed to improving. He has shown a lot of commitment over the years and has come to be a very beloved part of the Family. Happy birthday, Josh. The best days of your life are about to start. Pastor Kingsley Okonkwo 53