President of Ghana

President of the
Republic of Ghana
Seal of the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana.svg
Presidential Seal of Ghana
Standard of the President of Ghana.svg
Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg
Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo

since 7 January 2017
StyleHis/Her Excellency
ResidenceJubilee House
Term lengthFour years, renewable once
Inaugural holderKwame Nkrumah
Republic established
Jerry Rawlings
Current Constitution
FormationRepublic Day
1 July 1960
1992 Constitution
15 May 1992
DeputyVice-President of Ghana
SalaryUS$76,000 annually[1]
Website(in English) presidency.gov.gh
(in English) ghana.gov.gh

The president of the Republic of Ghana is the elected head of state and head of government of Ghana, as well as commander-in-chief of the Ghana Armed Forces. The current president of Ghana is Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, who won the 2020 presidential election against former president, John Dramani Mahama, by a margin of 4.23%.[2] He was sworn into office for his second term on 7th of January 2021.[3]


According to Chapter 8, Article 62 of the 1992 Constitution of Ghana, a person shall not be qualified for election as the president of Ghana unless:

  • (a) he/she is a citizen of Ghana by birth
  • (b) he/she has attained the age of forty years; and
  • (c) he/she is a person who is otherwise qualified to be elected a Member of Parliament, except that the disqualifications set out in paragraphs (c), (d), and (e) of clause (2) of article 94 of this Constitution shall not be removed, in respect of any such person, by a presidential pardon or by the lapse of time as provided for in clause (5) of that article.[4]

Presidential candidates must lodge a nomination document signed by at least two registered voters in each district, and includes the name of a vice presidential running mate.

The president serves a four-year term. He is limited to two terms, whether successive or separated. If the president dies, resigns, is permanently incapacitated, or is removed from office, the vice president automatically ascends as president for the balance of the term. If the vice president ascends to the presidency before more than half of the presidential term expires, he is only allowed to run for a single full term as president. If both the president and vice president are unable to perform the duties of president, the Speaker of Parliament becomes acting president, and new elections must be held within three months.

Oath of office

The president of Ghana must be sworn in by the chief justice before Parliament and the citizens of Ghana. The president-elect must repeat the following:

"I, _______________ having been elected to the high office of President of the Republic of Ghana do (in the name of the Almighty God swear) (solemnly affirm) that I will be faithful and true to the Republic of Ghana; that I will at all times preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the Republic of Ghana; and that I dedicate myself to the service and well-being of the people of the Republic of Ghana and to do right to all manner of persons.

I further (solemnly swear) (solemnly affirm) that should I at any time break this oath of office; I shall submit myself to the laws of the Republic of Ghana and suffer the penalty for it. (So help me God)".[5]


After the oath of office has been taken by the elected president, these following insignia are handed over to the president. These devices are used to display the rank of his/her office and are used on special occasions.

  • President's Sword (image) and the Presidential Seat. A carved wooden seat overlaid with gold.

Powers and duties of the president

Presidential styles of
Nana Akufo-Addo
Seal of the Presidency of the Republic of Ghana.svg
Reference style'His Excellency President of the Republic of Ghana"
Spoken styleYour Excellency"
Alternative styleMr. President

Chapter 8 of the Constitution of Ghana states the duties and the powers of the president. The president is required to:

  • uphold the Constitution
  • exercise executive authority
  • preserve the safety and homeland of Ghana.[4]

Also, the president is given the powers:

The president may execute or cause to be executed treaties, agreements or conventions in the name of the Republic of Ghana.[4] The president shall take precedence over the populace of the Republic of Ghana and may refer important policy matters to a national referendum, declare war, conclude peace and other treaties, appoint senior public officials, and grant amnesty (with the concurrence of the Parliament of Ghana).[4] In times of serious internal or external turmoil or threat, or economic or financial crises, the president may assume emergency powers "for the maintenance of national security or public peace and order".[4]

The president shall be removed from office if he/she is found, in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, Chapter 8 section 69 (ii) – prejudicial or inimical to the economy or the security of the Republic of Ghana.[4] The president shall cease to hold office on the date the Parliament of Ghana decides that he/she be removed from office.[4]

List of presidents of Ghana (1960–present)

 Convention People's Party  People's National Party  National Democratic Congress  New Patriotic Party  Military

No. Portrait Name
Election Term of office Political party
Took office Left office Time in office
Presidents of the Republic of Ghana (First Republic: 1960–1966)
1 Kwame Nkrumah (JFKWHP-AR6409-A).jpg Kwame Nkrumah
1960 1 July 1960 24 February 1966
(Deposed in a coup d'état)
5 years, 238 days Convention People's Party
Presidents as Head of State (Second Republic: 1966–1972)
1 No image.svg Joseph Ankrah
Chairman of the NLC
24 February 1966 2 April 1969 3 years, 37 days Military
2 No image.svg Akwasi Afrifa
Chairman of the NLC until 3 September 1969, thereafter Chairman of the Presidential Commission
2 April 1969 7 August 1970 1 year, 127 days Military
3 No image.svg Nii Amaa Ollennu
7 August 1970 31 August 1970 24 days Independent
4 No image.svg Edward Akufo-Addo
31 August 1970 13 January 1972
(Deposed in a coup d'état)
1 year, 135 days Independent
5 No image.svg Ignatius Kutu Acheampong
Chairman of the NRC until 9 October 1975, thereafter Chairman of the SMC
13 January 1972 5 July 1978
(Deposed in a palace coup d'état)
6 years, 173 days Military
6 No image.svg Fred Akuffo
Chairman of the SMC
5 July 1978 4 June 1979
(Deposed in a coup d'état)
334 days Military
Presidents as Head of State (Third Republic: 1979–1981)
1 Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings
Chairman of the AFRC
4 June 1979 24 September 1979 112 days Military
2 Hilla Limann.jpg Hilla Limann
1979 24 September 1979 31 December 1981
(Deposed in a coup d'état)
2 years, 98 days People's National Party
3 Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings
Chairman of the PNDC
31 December 1981 7 January 1993 11 years, 7 days Military
Presidents of the Republic of Ghana (Fourth Republic: since 1993)
1 Jerry Rawlings visits AMISOM 02 (6874167713) (cropped).jpg Jerry Rawlings
7 January 1993 6 January 2001 7 years, 365 days National Democratic Congress
2 John Kufuor 080915-A-8817J-090.JPG John Kufuor
(born 1938)
7 January 2001 6 January 2009[6] 7 years, 365 days New Patriotic Party
3 John Atta Mills.jpg John Atta Mills
2008 7 January 2009[6] 24 July 2012[7]
(Died in office)
3 years, 199 days National Democratic Congress
4 John Dramani Mahama 2014 (cropped).jpg John Mahama
(born 1958)
2012 24 July 2012[8] 6 January 2017[9] 4 years, 166 days National Democratic Congress
5 Nana Akufo-Addo at European Development Days 2017.jpg Nana Akufo-Addo
(born 1944)
7 January 2017[10] Incumbent 4 years, 151 days New Patriotic Party


Head of Government Ethnicity Religious affiliation
Kwame Nkrumah Nzema (Akan) Roman Catholic (later Nondenominational Christian)[11]
Joseph Ankrah Ga Methodist
Akwasi Afrifa Ashanti (Akan) Anglican
Nii Amaa Ollennu Ga Presbyterian
Edward Akufo-Addo Akuapem (Akan) Presbyterian
Kofi Abrefa Busia Bono (Akan) Methodist
Ignatius Kutu Acheampong Ashanti (Akan) Roman Catholic
Fred Akuffo Akuapem (Akan) Presbyterian
Hilla Limann Sissala Roman Catholic
Jerry John Rawlings Scottish/Anlo Ewe Roman Catholic
John Agyekum Kufuor Ashanti (Akan) Roman Catholic
John Atta Mills Fante (Akan) Methodist
John Dramani Mahama Gonja Assemblies of God (raised Presbyterian)
Nana Akufo-Addo Akuapem/Akyem (Akan) Anglican (raised Presbyterian)


Jubilee House
Golden Jubilee House.jpg
General information
LocationAccra, Ghana
Current tenantsNana Akufo-Addo

The president of Ghana's official residence was Osu Castle (also known as Fort Christiansborg or Christiansborg Castle) in Accra. In 2007, the opposition MPs in Ghana stormed out of a parliamentary debate on whether to take out a $50m loan to build a new presidential palace. MPs from President John Kufuor's New Patriotic Party voted unanimously in favour of taking the loan from India.[12]

They argued that the president should not be based in Osu Castle, where slaves used to be kept. The opposition National Democratic Congress said the money would be better spent elsewhere.[12] The old flagstaff house used by Ghana's first president as a residence is being renovated into a museum, while the grounds on which it stands is being built up as an ultra modern office complex and residence for the president and vice-president of Ghana as well as their staff.[12] The new presidential palace was expected to be completed by August 2008 but was finally completed in November 2008. At the inauguration of the new presidential palace, President John Kufuor revealed to the press that the new name of the palace would be Golden Jubilee House. The name was chosen in reference to the 50th anniversary of Ghana's Independence.[12]

Part of the office space has been given to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs when it had to be relocated because of a fire that gutted its offices. The NDC government refused to move to the venue after it assumed office in 2009 noting that some of the work in the residency is not completed. The government of President Atta Mills also noted that the National Security establishment Bureau of National Investigations (BNI) wanted to ensure that security at the venue was improved before the government moved in. The name was changed to Flagstaff House by John Atta-Mills in an attempt many see as to cover its link to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of Ghana under the New Patriotic Party. On 7 February 2013, the office of the presidency was finally moved to the Flagstaff House.[13] The name has been reverted to the Jubilee House.


Dassault Falcon 900 EX of the President of Ghana

National transport services for the Ghanaian President are:[14]

Air transport services for the Ghanaian President are:[15]

The presidential aircraft uses the colour scheme as the flag of Ghana in stripes, except for the use of the Ghanaian coat of arms on the empennage instead of the flag of Ghana.

In October 2012 a jet aircraft was acquired in the Golden Jubilee House. According to the Chief of the Golden Jubilee House Property Agency acquisition of an Embraer 190 jet aircraft for the president cost 105 million cedis (about US$55 million). The jet aircraft's planned location is in the Ghanaian Presidential Retreat's Peduase Lodge.[16]

Timeline since 1960

Nana Akufo-AddoJohn MahamaJohn Atta MillsJohn KufuorJerry RawlingsHilla LimannJerry RawlingsFred AkuffoIgnatius AcheampongEdward Akufo-AddoNii Amaa OllennuAkwasi AfrifaJoseph Arthur AnkrahKwame Nkrumah

Latest election

Candidate Party Votes %
Nana Akufo Addo New Patriotic Party 5,755,758 53.72
John Darmani Mahama National Democratic Congress 4,771,188 44.53
Paa Kwesi Nduom Progressive People's Party 106,092 0.99
Ivor Greenstreet Convention People's Party 25,552 0.24
Edward Mahama People's National Convention 22,214 0.21
Nana Konadu Agyeman Rawlings National Democratic Party 20,323 0.16
Jacob Osei Yeboah Independent 15,911 0.15
Invalid/blank votes 167,349
Total 10,881,083 100
Registered voters/turnout 15,719,499 69.25
Source: Electoral Commission of Ghana


The president-elect of Ghana is the apparent winner, as ascertained by the chairperson of the Electoral Commission of Ghana, following the general election on 7 December.

During the period between the presidential election and the inauguration, the outgoing president is a lame duck, while the incoming president heads a presidential transition team to ensure a smooth handover of power. If a sitting president has won re-election, the incumbent is not referred to as a president-elect as he or she is already in office and is not waiting to become president. Likewise, if a vice president succeeds to the presidency by way of the president's death, resignation or removal (via impeachment) from office, that person never holds the title of President-elect, as they would become the president immediately. The most recent president-elect is former Minister of Foreign Affairs Nana Akufo-Addo of the New Patriotic Party, who won the presidential election on 9 December 2016.[17] He was subsequently re-elected after the presidential election on 9 December 2020.[18]

The vice president–elect of Ghana is the running mate of presidential candidate who wins an election. First established after the adoption of the 3rd Constitution of Ghana, the inaugural holder is Joseph W.S. deGraft-Johnson. The current vice president–elect of Ghana is Mahamudu Bawumia. Until the formation of the 3rd Republic of Ghana, the position of Vice President did not exist.

List of presidents-elect


President–elect Party From To Number of days
1 Kwame Nkrumah   CPP 20 April 1960 1 July 1960 72 days
2 Hilla Limann   PNP 9 July 1979 24 September 1979 78 days
3 Jerry John Rawlings   NDC 3 November 1992 7 January 1993 65 days
4 John Agyekum Kufuor   NPP 28 December 2000 7 January 2001 10 days
5 John Atta Mills   NDC 28 December 2008 7 January 2009 10 days
6 John Dramani Mahama   NDC 28 December 2012 7 January 2013 10 days
7 Nana Akufo-Addo   NPP 9 December 2016 7 January 2016 31 days

Prime Minister Kwame Nkrumah became the first Ghanaian to be elected as President of the Republic of Ghana. President Limann holds the record of having the longest transition period from President-elect to president. His transition period lasted 78 days. President Rawlings prior to the presidential elections in 1992, was already head of state of Ghana. He was the chairman of the Provisional National Defence Council. Because Ghana adopted a new constitution in 1992, the position of President of the Republic was vacant. President John Kufuor and President John Atta Mills both hold the record of having the shortest transition period from President-elect to president with both transition period lasting only 10 days. This is both presidents needed a second round of voting (2000, 2008) to win the presidential election.

See also


  1. ^ "Top 15 Highest Paid African Presidents 2017". 15 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Ghana elections 2020: Nana Akufo-Addo declared winner". The Africa Report.com. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  3. ^ Dontoh, Ekow; Dzawu, Moses Mozart (10 December 2020). "Ghana's President Vows to Restore Growth After Election Win". Bloomberg News. Retrieved 11 December 2020.
  4. ^ a b c d e f g h The President – Chapter 008 – The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 – The Executive Archived 28 July 2013 at the Wayback Machine. judicial.gov.gh. Judiciary of Ghana.
  5. ^ The Constitution of the Republic of Ghana 1992 – The Oath of Allegiance Archived 20 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine. judicial.gov.gh. Judiciary of Ghana.
  6. ^ a b "Profile: Ghana President John Atta Mills". BBC World News. 3 January 2009.
  7. ^ "Ghana's President John Atta Mills dies". BBC World News. 24 July 2012.
  8. ^ Nossiter, Adam (24 July 2012). "Atta Mills dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
  9. ^ "Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama sworn in". Sina Corp. 7 January 2013.
  10. ^ "Ghana election: Opposition leader Akufo-Addo declared winner". BBC News. 9 December 2016. Retrieved 11 March 2021.
  11. ^ Miller, Jon (22 May 2014). Missionary Zeal and Institutional Control: Organizational Contradictions in the Basel Mission on the Gold Coast 1828-1917. Routledge. p. 30. ISBN 978-1-136-87625-7.
  12. ^ a b c d "Ghana unveils presidential palace". BBC News Online. 10 November 2008. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  13. ^ President Mahama Moves To The Flagstaff House Archived 8 May 2013 at the Stanford Web Archive presidency.gov.gh.
  14. ^ President's transports. Cars. Government allocates Kufuor two Mercedes Benz cars, two four-wheel to follow
  15. ^ President's transports. Air transport. Veep Inaugurating Falcon 900 EX EASY Presidential Jet
  16. ^ "Ghana gets a New Presidential Jet". adeparadio.com. Archived from the original on 24 June 2013. Retrieved 7 June 2013.
  17. ^ GhanaWeb (9 December 2016). "EC declares Akufo-Addo president-elect". ghanaweb.com. Accra: Apex AdMedia. Retrieved 25 May 2018.
  18. ^ "Ghana elections 2020: Nana Akufo-Addo declared winner". The Africa Report.com. 9 December 2020. Retrieved 11 March 2021.

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