Ghana’s Independence A Look At Leadership From 1957-2015

Today marks the 58th anniversary of Ghana.

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Ghana is the first of colonies in the sub Saharan Africa to gain independence. Africa and the rest of the world follow the creation of the new state with high anticipations. The situation in Ghana inspires nationalist movement all over the continent.

On 6th March 1957, Ghana was born through the struggle of by its first President, Osagyefo Dr Kwame Nkrumah. It was under Nkrumah that the high number of social services, such as schools, hospitals and roads in Ghana were established.

Ghana became the first country in Africa to provide free education and medical care for her people. Two more universities, one at Cape Coast and the other in Kumasi were established to bring the total number of universities to three.

The well-planned network of roads, an international airport in Accra and one of the highest standard of living in Africa are achievements that the average Ghanaian could be proud of.

On February 24, 1966, Nkrumah was removed from power by the army led by General Joseph Ankrah.

In 1969, a new constitution was formed and the ban on political parties lifted by Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa. Dr Kofi Busia led the Progress Party as the new Prime Minister.

On January 13, 1972, forces within the military carried out another coup and put in Colonel Ignatius Acheampong as head of state but lacks the experience economic-political visions which ended up in corruption all over government institutions.

Dr Kwame Nkrumah died in Romania on April 27, 1972. Ignatius Acheampong was forced to resign and William Akuffo took control of the Supreme Military Council as the head of state in 1978 with promise of change but nothing happened in his government.

On the 15 day of May 1979, Flight Lieutenant Jerry John Rawlings heads an uprising within the army and the coup was successful. He was arrested and later freed by soldiers who supported him.

June 4, 1979, the Armed Forces Revolutionary Council took power but still had the intention to form democratic government. The aim of the coup was to end corruption in the country.

Dr Hilla Limann became president on June 18, 1979. In 1981, he was overthrown by Jerry Rawlings and the Provisional Defence Council established.

In May 1992, the National referendum approved a new constitution. Rawlings formed the National Democratic Congress and stood as president and won. He was re-elected in 1996.

John Agyekum Kufuor was sworn-in as president in 2001 beating late president Atta Mills who was vice president to Jerry John Rawlings.

Kufuor was re-elected in 2004. In 2007, Ghana celebrated its 50th anniversary which was graced by leaders all over the globe.

Late President Atta Mills won the 2008 elections beating his closest contender, Nana Akufo-Addo and was sworn in as the president but was unable to complete his 4-year term. On 24 July 2012, Atta Mills died due to a short illness. As stipulated by Article 60 (6) of the 1992 constitution, then Vice President John Mahama was sworn-in as the sitting president.

He stood on the ticket of the NDC and won the 2012 elections beating Nana Akufo-Addo.

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