Evelyn A. Ankumah is the Founding Executive Director of Africa Legal Aid (AFLA). She is a Lawyer with practical and academic legal experience in North America, Europe and Africa. She is credited for having developed AFLA into a leading voice in rights and accountability, and for spearheading contribution of African perspectives to international criminal justice. Ankumah was selected by U.K. based Power List Magazine in 2014, as one of 25 Africans who have most significantly contributed to improving the African continent.
Evelyn Ankumah first entered the 'international scene' at age 17, when she won an essay competition in her native Ghana obtaining an AFS (American Field Service) scholarship for a cultural exchange program to The Netherlands. She later obtained a Juris Doctor (JD) degree from William Mitchell College of Law, St. Paul, Minnesota in 1988, and was Visiting Research Scholar at the Maastricht University in 1990, and from 1993-1995.
She has monitored the work of the International Criminal Court (ICC) since its inception and has appraised and published the Court's judgments. ICC defence lawyers credit Evelyn Ankumah for having provided a voice, and platform for defence counsels, notably, at the 13th Session of the Assembly of States Parties to the ICC (ASP). This, it is said, provided impetus to the creation of the International Criminal Court Bar Association in 2016, and its institutional recognition by the ASP.
Evelyn Ankumah penned the first book on the African Commission on Human and Peoples' Rights (1996) and is one of the often-quoted authors on the African human rights system.