List of heads of state of Ghana

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This is a list of the heads of state of Ghana, from the independence of Ghana in 1957 to the present day.[1]

From 1957 to 1960 the head of state under the Constitution of 1957 was the queen of Ghana, Elizabeth II, who was also the queen of the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms.[2] The monarch was represented in Ghana by a governor-general.[3] Ghana became a republic within the Commonwealth under the Constitution of 1960 and the monarch and governor-general were replaced by an executive president.[4]

Monarch (1957–1960)[edit]

The succession to the throne was the same as the succession to the British throne.

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Reign Royal House Prime minister
Reign start Reign end Duration
1 Queen Elizabeth II 1959 (cropped).jpg Queen Elizabeth II
(1926–2022)
6 March 1957 1 July 1960 3 years, 117 days Windsor Nkrumah

Governor-general[edit]

The governor-general was the representative of the monarch in Ghana and exercised most of the powers of the monarch.[5] The governor-general was appointed for an indefinite term, serving at the pleasure of the monarch. Since Ghana was granted independence by the Ghana Independence Act 1957, rather than being first established as a semi-autonomous Dominion and later promoted to independence by the Statute of Westminster 1931,[6] the governor-general was to be always appointed solely on the advice of the Cabinet of Ghana without the involvement of the British government, with the sole exception of Charles Arden-Clarke, the former colonial governor, who served as governor-general temporarily until he was replaced by William Hare.[7] In the event of a vacancy the chief justice served as officer administering the government.[8]

Status
  Denotes Chief Justice acting as Officer Administering the Government
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Monarch Prime minister
Took office Left office Time in office
1 The National Archives UK - CO 1069-43-9 - crop.jpg Sir Charles Arden-Clarke
(1898–1962)
6 March 1957 14 May 1957 69 days Elizabeth II Nkrumah
No image.png Sir Kobina Arku Korsah
(1894–1967)
14 May 1957 13 November 1957 183 days
2 No image.png The Rt. Hon. The Earl of Listowel
(1906–1997)
13 November 1957 1 July 1960 2 years, 231 days

First Republic (1960–1966)[edit]

Under the Constitution of 1960, the first constitution of the Republic of Ghana, the president replaced the monarch as executive head of state.[9] The president was elected by Parliament for a 5-year term. In the event of a vacancy three members of the Cabinet served jointly as acting president.

Political parties
Symbols

C Constitutional referendum

No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
1 Kwame Nkrumah (JFKWHP-AR6409-A).jpg Kwame Nkrumah
(1909–1972)
1960
1964[C]
1 July 1960 26 February 1966
(deposed.)
5 years, 240 days Convention People's Party

Military rule (1966–1969)[edit]

Lieutenant-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah led a coup d'état which overthrew President Nkrumah and his government, all political parties and Parliament were also dissolved.

Other factions
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
2 Joseph Arthur Ankrah.jpg Lieutenant-General Joseph Arthur Ankrah
(1915–1992)
Chairman of the NLC
24 February 1966 2 April 1969
(resigned.)
3 years, 37 days Military
3 No image.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
Chairman of the NLC
2 April 1969 3 September 1969 154 days

Second Republic (1969–1972)[edit]

Other factions
Status
  Denotes Speaker of Parliament and acting President
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party Prime minister
Took office Left office Time in office
(3) No image.png Brigadier Akwasi Afrifa
(1936–1979)
Chairman of the Presidential Commission
3 September 1969 7 August 1970 338 days Military Busia
No image.png Nii Amaa Ollennu
(1906–1986)
7 August 1970 31 August 1970 24 days Independent
4 No image.png 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 overthrew President Akufo-Addo, Prime Minister Abrefa Busia and his government, all political parties, and Parliament were also dissolved.[10]

Lieutenant General Fred Akuffo led a ball coup d'état which overthrew General Acheampong,[11] then Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings led a coup d'état which overthrown the Supreme Military Council.[12]

Other factions
No. Portrait Name
(Birth-Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in the office
5 No image.png General Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
(1931–1979)
Chairman of the NRC
13 January 1972 5 July 1978
(deposed.)
6 years, 173 days Military
Chairman of the SMC
from 9 October 1975
6 No image.png Lieutenant-General Fred Akuffo
(1937–1979)
Chairman of the SMC
5 July 1978 4 June 1979
(deposed.)
334 days
7 Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–2020)
Chairman of the AFRC
4 June 1979 24 September 1979 112 days

Third Republic (1979–1981)[13][edit]

Under the Constitution of 1979 the president was head of both state and government. The president was directly elected and served a four-year term that expired at the next general election; a president might serve a maximum of two terms.[14] In the event of a vacancy the vice-president served as acting president.[15]

Political parties
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
8 Hilla Limann.jpg Hilla Limann
(1934–1998)
1979 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 overthrew President Limann and his government, all political parties and Parliament were also dissolved.[16][17]

Other factions
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(7) Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Flight Lieutenant Jerry Rawlings
(1947–2020)
Chairman of the PNDC
31 December 1981 7 January 1993 11 years, 7 days Military

Fourth Republic (1993–present)[edit]

Under the current Constitution the president is head of both state and government.[18][19] The president is directly elected 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 the remaining time as the president.[20]

Political parties
No. Portrait Name
(Birth–Death)
Elected Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
(7) Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings
(1947–2020)
1992
1996
7 January 1993 7 January 2001 8 years National Democratic Congress
8 John Kufuor 080915-A-8817J-090.JPG John Kufuor
(born 1938)
2000
2004
7 January 2001 7 January 2009 8 years New Patriotic Party
9 John Atta-Mills election poster (cropped).jpg John Atta Mills
(1944–2012)
2008 7 January 2009 24 July 2012
(died in office.)
3 years, 199 days National Democratic Congress
10 John Dramani Mahama 2014 (cropped).jpg John Mahama
(born 1958)
2012 24 July 2012 7 January 2017 4 years, 167 days
11 Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg Nana Akufo-Addo
(born 1944)
2016
2020
7 January 2017 Incumbent 5 years, 324 days New Patriotic Party

Timeline since 1960[edit]

Nana Akufo-AddoJohn MahamaJohn Atta MillsJohn KufuorHilla LimannJerry RawlingsFred AkuffoIgnatius Kutu AcheampongEdward Akufo-AddoNii Amaa OllennuKofi Abrefa BusiaAkwasi AfrifaJoseph Arthur AnkrahKwame Nkrumah

Standards[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Independence, Coups, and the Republic, 1957–present", The Ghana Reader, Duke University Press, pp. 299–300, 2016, doi:10.1215/9780822374961-060, ISBN 978-0-8223-7496-1
  2. ^ "Magnum Photos". pro.magnumphotos.com. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Magnum Photos". pro.magnumphotos.com. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  4. ^ "Ghana – INDEPENDENT GHANA". countrystudies.us. Retrieved 26 May 2020.
  5. ^ Vandrei, Martha (19 July 2018). "That ubiquitous monarch". Oxford Scholarship Online. doi:10.1093/oso/9780198816720.003.0007.
  6. ^ Ibingira, Grace Stuart (30 April 2019), "Ghana", African Upheavals Since Independence, Routledge, pp. 51–59, doi:10.4324/9780429052002-4, ISBN 978-0-429-05200-2, S2CID 240905963
  7. ^ "Lewis, Sir Allen (Montgomery), (26 Oct. 1909–18 Feb. 1993), Governor-General of St Lucia, 1982–87 (first Governor-General, 1979–80; Governor, 1974–79)", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/ww/9780199540884.013.u173811
  8. ^ Prempeh, H. Kwasi (30 July 2013). "Constitutional autochthony and the invention and survival of "absolute presidentialism" in postcolonial Africa". Order from Transfer: 209–234. doi:10.4337/9781781952115.00020. ISBN 9781781952115.
  9. ^ Todd E, Pettys (9 February 2018). "Part Two The Iowa Constitution and Commentary, Art.IV Executive Department". The Iowa State Constitution. doi:10.1093/law/9780190490836.003.0007.
  10. ^ "Busia, Dr. Kofi Abrefa, (11 July 1913–28 Aug. 1978), Prime Minister of Ghana, 1969–72", Who Was Who, Oxford University Press, 1 December 2007, doi:10.1093/WW/9780199540884.013.u152838
  11. ^ Rich, Jeremy (8 December 2011), "Akuffo, Fred", African American Studies Center, Oxford University Press, doi:10.1093/acref/9780195301731.013.48197, ISBN 978-0-19-530173-1
  12. ^ Shillington, Kevin. (1992). Ghana and the Rawlings factor. Macmillan. ISBN 0-333-56845-1. OCLC 28182404.
  13. ^ Nketia, J.H. Kwabena (2001). "Ghana, Republic of". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.11009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  14. ^ Yankson-Mensah, Marian. (2020). Transitional justice in Ghana an appraisal of the National Reconciliation Commission. T.M.C. Asser Press. ISBN 978-94-6265-379-5. OCLC 1151190908.
  15. ^ Nketia, J.H. Kwabena (2001). "Ghana, Republic of". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.11009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  16. ^ Gyimah-Boadi, E. (1993). Ghana under the PNDC rule. CODESRIA. ISBN 2-86978-018-4. OCLC 475366719.
  17. ^ Isaacs, Anita (1993), "Development and Reform under Military Rule", Military Rule and Transition in Ecuador, 1972–92, Palgrave Macmillan UK, pp. 35–65, doi:10.1007/978-1-349-08922-2_3, ISBN 978-1-349-08924-6
  18. ^ Nketia, J.H. Kwabena (2001). "Ghana, Republic of". Oxford Music Online. Oxford University Press. doi:10.1093/gmo/9781561592630.article.11009. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  19. ^ "Ghana - Constitution & Politics". doi:10.1163/2213-2996_flg_com_081034. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)
  20. ^ "Ghana - Constitution & Politics". doi:10.1163/2213-2996_flg_com_081034. {{cite journal}}: Cite journal requires |journal= (help)

External links[edit]