The facts & Figures on Ghana, Its Politics and the Upcoming Election 2020

16

regions

230

DISTRICTS

29M+

GHANAIANS

Currency

GH Cedi

Languages

english + 8 more

Overview

Ghana (/ˈɡɑːnə/ (About this soundlisten)), officially the Republic of Ghana, is a country along the Gulf of Guinea and the Atlantic Ocean, in the subregion of West Africa. Spanning a land mass of 238,535 km2 (92,099 sq mi), Ghana is bordered by the Ivory Coast in the westBurkina Faso in the northTogo in the east, and the Gulf of Guinea and Atlantic Ocean in the south. Ghana means “Warrior King” in the Soninke language.[9]

The first permanent state in the territory of present-day Ghana dates back to the 11th century. Numerous kingdoms and empires emerged over the centuries, of which the most powerful was the Kingdom of Dagbon[10] and the Kingdom of Ashanti.[11] Beginning in the 15th century, the Portuguese Empire, followed by numerous other European powers, contested the area for trading rights, until the British ultimately established control of the coast by the late 19th century. Following over a century of native resistance, what are now Ghana’s borders follow the lines of what were four separate British colonial territories: Gold CoastAshanti, the Northern Territories and British Togoland. Those were unified as an independent dominion within the British Commonwealth on 6 March 1957.[12][13][14]

 

POPULATION & RELIGION

Ghana’s population of approximately 30 million[15] spans a variety of ethnic, linguistic and religious groups.[4] According to the 2010 census, 71.2% of the population was Christian, 17.6% was Muslim, and 5.2% practised traditional faiths.[16] Its diverse geography and ecology ranges from coastal savannahs to tropical rain forests.

GHANA'S POLITICS

Ghana is a unitary constitutional democracy led by a president who is both head of state and head of the government.[17] Ghana’s growing economic prosperity and democratic political system have made it a regional power in West Africa.[18] It is a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, the African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Group of 24 (G24) and the Commonwealth of Nations.[19]

The government of Nkrumah was subsequently overthrown by a coup by the Ghana Armed Forces codenamed “Operation Cold Chop”. This occurred while Nkrumah was abroad with Zhou Enlai in the People’s Republic of China, on a fruitless mission to Hanoi in Vietnam to help end the Vietnam War. The coup took place on 24 February 1966, led by Col. Emmanuel Kwasi Kotoka. The National Liberation Council (NLC) was formed, chaired by Lt. General Joseph A. Ankrah.[50]

A series of alternating military and civilian governments, often affected by economic instabilities,[51] ruled Ghana from 1966 to 1981, ending with the ascension to power of Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings of the Provisional National Defence Council (PNDC) in 1981.[52] These changes resulted in the suspension of the Constitution of Ghana in 1981, and the banning of political parties in Ghana.[53] The economy soon declined, so Rawlings negotiated a structural adjustment plan changing many old economic policies, and economic growth soon recovered during the mid-1980s.[53] A new Constitution of Ghana restoring multi-party system politics was promulgated in Ghanaian presidential election, 1992; Rawlings was elected as president of Ghana then, and again in Ghanaian general election, 1996.[54]

 

Kwame Nkrumah PC (21 September 1909[1][a] – 27 April 1972) was a Ghanaian politician and revolutionary. He was the first Prime Minister and President of Ghana, having led the Gold Coast to independence from Britain in 1957. An influential advocate of pan-Africanism, Nkrumah was a founding member of the Organization of African Unity and winner of the Lenin Peace Prize from the Soviet Union in 1962.

After twelve years abroad pursuing higher education, developing his political philosophy and organizing with other diasporic pan-Africanists, Nkrumah returned to the Gold Coast to begin his political career as an advocate of national independence. He formed the Convention People’s Party, which achieved rapid success through its unprecedented appeal to the common voter. He became Prime Minister in 1952 and retained the position when Ghana declared independence from Britain in 1957. In 1960, Ghanaians approved a new constitution and elected Nkrumah President.

His administration was primarily socialist as well as nationalist. It funded national industrial and energy projects, developed a strong national education system and promoted a pan-Africanist culture. Under Nkrumah, Ghana played a leading role in African international relations during the decolonization period.[2]

In 1964, a constitutional amendment made Ghana a one-party state, with Nkrumah as president for life of both the nation and its party. Nkrumah was deposed in 1966 by the National Liberation Council which under the supervision of international financial institutions privatized many of the country’s state corporations. Nkrumah lived the rest of his life in Guinea, of which he was named honorary co-president.[3][4][5]

Video 48 Min  + 2 Min read to complete

Jerry John Rawlings (born 22 June 1947)[1] is a former Ghanaian military leader and subsequent politician who ruled the country from 1981 to 2001 and also for a brief period in 1979. He led a military junta until 1992, and then served two terms as the democratically elected President of Ghana.[2][3]

Rawlings initially came to power in Ghana as a flight lieutenant of the Ghana Air Force following a coup d’état in 1979. Prior to that, he led an unsuccessful coup attempt against the ruling military government on 15th May 1979, just five weeks before scheduled democratic elections were due to take place. After initially handing power over to a civilian government, he took back control of the country on 31 December 1981 as the Chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council. In 1992, Rawlings resigned from the military, founded the National Democratic Congress, and became the first President of the Fourth Republic. He was re-elected in 1996 for four more years.[4] After two terms in office, the limit according to the Ghanaian Constitution, Rawlings endorsed his vice-president John Atta Mills as presidential candidate in 2000. He currently serves as the African Union envoy to Somalia.

 

John Kofi Agyekum Kufuor KCB (born 8 December 1938) is a Ghanaian politician who served as the President of Ghana from 7 January 2001 to 7 January 2009. He was also Chairperson of the African Union from 2007 to 2008. His victory over John Evans Atta Mills after the end of Jerry Rawlings’ second term marked the first peaceful democratic transition of power in Ghana since independence in 1957.

Kufuor’s career has been spent on the liberal-democratic side of Ghanaian politics, in the parties descended from the United Gold Coast Convention and the United Party. He was a minister in Kofi Abrefa Busia‘s Progress Party government during Ghana’s Second Republic, and a Popular Front Party opposition frontbencher during the Third Republic. In the Fourth Republic Kufuor stood as the New Patriotic Party‘s candidate at the 1996 election, and then led it to victory in 2000 and 2004. Having served two terms, in 2008 he was no longer eligible for the presidency.

Video 48 Min  + 2 Min read to complete

John Evans Fiifi Atta Mills (21 July 1944 – 24 July 2012) was a Ghanaian politician and legal scholar who served as President of Ghana from 2009 to 2012. He was inaugurated on 7 January 2009, having defeated the ruling party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo in the 2008 election.[2] Previously he was Vice-President from 1997 to 2001 under President Jerry Rawlings, and he stood unsuccessfully in the 2000 and 2004 presidential elections as the candidate of the National Democratic Congress (NDC). He is the first and only Ghanaian head of state to die in office.

John Dramani Mahama About this soundpronunciation  (/məˈhɑːmə/; born 29 November 1958) is a Ghanaian politician who served as President of Ghana from 24 July 2012 to 7 January 2017.

He previously served as Vice President of Ghana from January 2009 to July 2012, and took office as President on 24 July 2012 following the death of his predecessor,[1] John Atta Mills.[2] Mahama is a communication expert, historian, and writer. He was a Member of Parliament for Bole Bamboi from 1997 to 2009 and Minister of Communications from 1998 to 2001. He is a member of the NDC (National Democratic Congress).

Mahama is the first vice president to take over the presidency from the death of his predecessor, Prof. John Atta Mills, and is the first head of state of Ghana to have been born after Ghana’s independence. He was elected after December 2012 election to serve as full-time President.[3] He contested re-election for a second term in the 2016 election, but lost to the New Patriotic Party candidate Nana Akufo-Addo,[4] whom he defeated in 2012. This made him the first President in the history of Ghana to not have won a second term.

In February 2019, Mahama was confirmed as the candidate of the opposition National Democratic Congress to contest in the 2020 elections, the incumbent president Nana Akufo-Addo who unseated Mahama in a 2016 election, capitalizing on an economy that was slowing due to falling prices for gold, oil and cocoa exports.[5]

Video 48 Min  + 2 Min read to complete

Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo (/æˈkʊf ɑːˈd/ (About this soundlisten) a-KUUF-oh ah-DOH;[1] born 29 March 1944[2]) is currently the President of Ghana.[3] He has been in office since 7 January 2017.[4] He previously served as Attorney General from 2001 to 2003 and as Minister for Foreign Affairs from 2003 to 2007 under the Kufuor-led administration.[5]

Nana Addo first ran for president in 2008 and again in 2012, both times as the candidate of the New Patriotic Party (NPP), but was defeated on both occasions by National Democratic Congress’ candidates: John Evans Atta Mills in 2008 and John Dramani Mahama in 2012 after the former’s death. He refused to concede and went to court, the Supreme Court of Ghana affirmed John Dramani Mahama’s victory.[6] He was chosen as the presidential candidate of the New Patriotic Party for a third time for the 2016 general elections and this time, he defeated John Dramani Mahama in the first round (winning with 53.85% of the votes), which marked the first time in a Ghanaian presidential election that an opposition candidate won a majority outright in the first round.[7]

Video 48 Min  + 2 Min read to complete

You might also be interested in these stories