Ghana: Mahama Out, Akufo-Addo In

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Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama
Nana Akufo-Addo and John Mahama

NANA Akufo-Addo, the 72 year-old human rights lawyer, will be sworn in today as Ghana’s new president.

He succeeded John Dramani Mahama who he beat in the 7 December election.

Meanwhile, the Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari, and at least 10 African heads of state and more than 6,000 people are expected at the ceremony in the capital, Accra, where security will be tight.

Akufo-Addo, who had run for the office twice before promised free high school education and more factories.

He was a former justice and foreign minister in the NPP government from 2001 to 2007, Mr Akufo-Addo, from the New Patriotic Party, was elected on his third attempt to reach the post, after a campaign dominated by the country’s faltering economy.

Mr Mahama and former leaders John Rawlings and John Kufuor are expected to attend the ceremony in the capital’s Independence Square.

Major roads in and around the area have been cordoned off.

Mr Akufo-Addo has vowed to revive the country’s economy, saying that “there are brighter days ahead”.

An economic slump under Mr Mahama led to an International Monetary Fund bail-out.

The current president has defended his record, saying his government had been up against “strong headwinds” that caused growth to slow, public sector debt to rise and the country’s currency, the cedi, to fall.

Ghana has been a multi-party democracy since the end of military rule in 1992 and the transition is seen as reinforcing its reputation for the peaceful transfer of power between administrations.

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