List of heads of state of Ghana

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Coat of Arms of the Republic of Ghana.svg
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politics and government of
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This is a list of the heads of state of Ghana from independence in 1957 to the present day.

From 1957 to 1960 the head of state under the Ghana Independence Act 1957 was the Monarch, who was the same person as the Monarch of the United Kingdom and of the other Commonwealth realms. The monarch was represented in Ghana by a Governor-General. Ghana became a republic under the Constitution of 1960 and the monarch and Governor-General were replaced by an executive President.

Monarch (1957–1960)[edit]

The succession to the throne of Ghana was the same as the succession to the throne of the United Kingdom, governed by the Act of Settlement 1701.

Monarch Reign Royal House Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II - 1953-Dress.JPG Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–)
6 March 1957 1 July 1960 3 years, 117 days House of Windsor Nkrumah

Governors-General[edit]

The Governor-General was the representative of the monarch in Ghana and exercised most of the powers of the monarch. The Governor-General was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. After the passage of the Statute of Westminster 1931, the Governor-General was appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Ghana without the involvement of the British government. In the event of a vacancy the Chief Justice served as Officer Administering the Government.

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
Governor-General Term of Office Monarch(s) Prime Minister(s)
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
1 No image.png Sir Charles Arden-Clarke
(1898–1962)
6 March 1957 24 June 1957 110 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah
2 No image.png The Earl of Listowel
(1906–1997)
24 June 1957 1 July 1960 3 years, 7 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah

First Republic (1960–1966)[edit]

Under the 1960 Constitution, the first constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the President replaced the monarch as executive head of state. The President was elected by Parliament for a -year term. In the event of a vacancy the served as Acting President.

President Term of office Political party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
1 Kwame Nkrumah (JFKWHP-AR6409-A).jpg Kwame Nkrumah
(1909–1972)
1 July 1960 26 February 1966
(Deposed)
5 years, 240 days Convention People's Party

Military rule (1966–1969)[edit]

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
2 JosephAnkrah.png Lieutenant-General Joseph Ankrah
(1915–1992)
24 February 1966 2 April 1969 3 years, 37 days National Liberation Council
3 AkwasiAfrifa.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
2 April 1969 3 September 1969 154 days National Liberation Council

Second Republic (1969–1972)[edit]

President Term of office Political party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
(3) AkwasiAfrifa.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
3 September 1969 7 August 1970 338 days Military
4 No image.png Nii Amaa Ollennu
(1906–1986)
7 August 1970 31 August 1970 24 days Independent
5 Akufo Addo.jpg Edward Akufo-Addo
(1906–1979)
31 August 1970 13 January 1972
(Deposed)
1 year, 135 days Independent

Military rule (1972–1979)[edit]

General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong led a coup d'état which overthrown the President Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister Abrefa Busia and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo led a coup d'état which overthrew the General Acheampong then Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état which overthrown the Supreme Military Council

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
6 No image.png General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
(1931–1979)
13 January 1972 9 October 1975 6 years, 173 days National Redemption Council
9 October 1975 5 July 1978
(Deposed)
Supreme Military Council
7 Akuffo.jpg Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo
(1937–1979)
5 July 1978 4 June 1979
(Deposed)
1 year, 28 days Supreme Military Council
8 Jerry Rawlings 2.jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
4 June 1979 24 September 1979 112 days Armed Forces Revolutionary Council

Third Republic (1979–1981)[edit]

Under the 1979 Constitution the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by Parliament and serves a four-year term that expires at the next general election; a President may serve a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President serves as Acting President.

President Term of office Political party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
9 Hilla Limann.jpg Hilla Limann
(1934–1998)
24 September 1979 31 December 1981
(Deposed)
2 years, 98 days People's National Party

Military rule (1981–1993)[edit]

Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état which overthrown the President Limann and his government, all political parties and Parliament was also dissolved.

Head of State Term of Office Military
# Portrait Name Took Office Left Office Duration
(8) Jerry Rawlings 2.jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
31 December 1981 7 January 1993 11 years, 7 days Provisional National Defence Council

Fourth Republic[edit]

Under the current Constitution the President is head of both state and government. The President is elected by Parliament and serves a four-year term that expires at the next general election; a President may serve a maximum of two terms. In the event of a vacancy the Vice President serves as Acting President.

President Term of office Political party
(at time of election)
# Portrait Name Took office Left office Duration
(8) Jerry Rawlings 2.jpg Jerry Rawlings
(1947–)
7 January 1993 7 January 2001 8 years National Democratic Congress
10 John Agyekum Kufuor - World Economic Forum on Africa 2008.jpg John Kufuor
(1938–)
7 January 2001 7 January 2009 8 years New Patriotic Party
11 John Atta-Mills election poster.jpg John Atta Mills
(1944–2012)
7 January 2009 24 July 2012
(Died in Office)
3 years, 199 days National Democratic Congress
12 John Dramani Mahama at Chatham House.jpg John Dramani Mahama
(1958–)
24 July 2012 Incumbent 1 year, 268 days
(as of 18 April 2014)
National Democratic Congress

Living former heads of state[edit]

Name Term/Reign Office Date of birth
Elizabeth II 1957–1960 Queen of Ghana 21 April 1926
Jerry Rawlings 1979
1981–1993
1993–2001
Military ruler
President of Ghana
22 June 1947
John Kufuor 2001–2009 President of Ghana 8 December 1938

External links[edit]